Ideology and Perfection


Foolish Thoughts?

Boy, one of the biggest problems with ideology is that all ideology is a collective concept. And when expressed that ideology is expressed only in positive terms for the purpose of convincing those why may be skeptical of its value. It only has credibility when a collective of people accept it. The greater the number of persons who adhere to that ideology the higher the credibility that ideology has.

The big argument now is whether society that practices a collectivist ideology or a society that practices an individualistic ideology is the best form of society. Most persons do not understand the dominant differences in the two ideologies. This is because the people have been taught to avoid the idea of extremism as it is called these days. This may be true in practice but we shouldn’t avoid it in thought.

The biggest value that extremism offers is clarity of thought. If we are to understand the pros and cons to any ideology then we must take it to its most extreme position in order to see what ideal it is leading us to. Once we understand what the ideal is then we can ascertain what needs to be sacrificed in order to achieve that ideal. And it must viewed in a non-judgmental manner.

In the recognition of this we can determine the absolute value of the concept of individualism and collectivism through definition of principle. Since we are seeking an absolute value of each concept we must have a common denominator from each. That common denominator is the “person”. In other words each concept must be identified by what is demanded of the particular person.

The concept of individualism declares that the first and only obligation of the person is to his own needs and desires. To take this concept to the extreme we must declare that the person places this obligation above everything even if it means to sacrifice the needs and desires of others. In other words, a person’s needs and desires take priority even if it means depriving the collective of its needs and desires. And if this results the extermination of the collective then so be it.

The concept of collectivism declares that the first and only obligation of a person is to the needs and desires of the collective. To take this concept to the extreme we must declare the person places this obligation above everything even if it means the sacrifice of his own needs and desires. In other words, the needs and desires of the collective takes priority even if it means depriving a person of his needs and desires. And if this means the sacrifice of the individual then so be it.

Now, if we examine the two concepts we can compare the value of each from that particular person’s prespective. We can declare with certainty that no particular person can be the direct cause of the extermination of a collective but it can be said that a collective can be the direct cause of the extermination of a particular person. The death penalty would be a good example to exemplify this.

Collectivism is a construct of society that is the foundational basis for the philosophical concept of altruism on the social level. Socialism/Communism is the political ideology with the goal of creating a society that practices this philosophical concept. The problem lies in the fact that since the end result is an ideal any means that will aid in the creation of this society is allowed even if it means the use of force.

Every collectivist ideology has this idealic goal, the creation of the perfect society. History verifies this. The only thing separating the different ideologies is the determinant of the imperfection that has to exist. Once any particular collective ideology becomes the dominant ideology of a society it will set out to exterminate the imperfections of that society as that particular ideology sees those imperfections to be.

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Categories: Ethics and Morality, Politics | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Ideology and Perfection

  1. BB-Idaho

    ‘Collectivism’ probably has a number of definitions. From my perspective and in the broadest of terms, any grouping of any sort greater than one could be construed as a collective: a baseball
    team, a family, holders of insurance policies, a legislative body, etc. Thus, if we consider the
    Jewish people as a collective (and any number or sources indicate that they themselves do) we may
    note and take exception to “We can declare with certainty that no particular person can be the direct cause of the extermination of a collective” and assign responsibility for the deaths of 6 million
    Jews to a particular person. We recognize that a counter-argument would be one collective
    attempting to eliminate another, because as John Donne noted ‘no man is an island-no man
    stands alone’ (a bit of circular argument taking us back to the premise of ‘collective’. In any
    event, the seeking of perfection from a pragmatic standpoint is asymptotic. Like many algebraic
    functions, the seeking of the ideal can approach a value but never reach it. I would argue as well that conversely, the concept of ideal total individualism in society suffers the same asymptotic
    function. With the caveat of being stranded on a desert island….and then one would have to
    kill the dog. :)

  2. The Griper

    i agree with you that a “collective” has a number of definitions and that the family is considered as the smallest of these. in this respect, Sociology does a very good job at defining the different collectives.

    and i agree that while no particular person can be the direct cause of the extermination of a group they can be asssigned the responsibility such as Hitler in regards to the Jews and Stalin in regards to the Russians even tho their reasons be different.

    i will also agree with your conclusion about the ideal in regards to individualism. the end result of both ideals end up in the extermination of the race of man. and that is not the ideal result, is it?

    thus, in my mind, “altruism” as well as the concept of Ayn Rand’s “selfishism” cannot be “Ideals” and we need to look elsewhere to find the Idealic type of life.

    make sense?

    • BB-Idaho

      Altruism/Rand can be ideals, IMO, albeit so far apart as to complete some sort of circle of
      anarchy. I’m pondering medieval times here: monks & nuns devoted to altruism, Dukes &
      Castle owners independent by means of sword & peasant, for example. Again, we are up
      against the asyomtotic barrier…possibly, IMO, in that only the rarest of individuals would we
      find a totality of makeup. On average, most people have at least one belief that belies their
      basic philosophy. I’m pretty liberal on many things, but I have no problem with the death
      penalty, tough law enforcement or a good military. And you, Griper, exhibit a kindness and
      curiosity that Rand would consider belittling (at least as I interpet her icy heros)…one does
      wonder about the comparison and contrasting of collectivism v statism and the relation between
      between distribution of power therein, though. (I think)

  3. The Griper

    but we both have one thing in common tho, the “truth”. and from that we both have grown, i believe from each other. i know i have changed a lot of my beliefs, especially my political beliefs over the years and you have been very instrumental in that change. and i have enjoyed that journey with you too. i also think i have surprised you and myself with a few posts that have come as a result of our discussions.

    this post was in conjunction with the last one and i think you might get a kick out of the next one and see where i am leading to on this particular topic. :)

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