Ever since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the events in Belgium, Syria, Greece, and Ukraine, I’ve been reflecting on ideologies.
There are many ideologies, from religious, to economic and those drive political ideologies, but also national ideologies. These ideologies have many positive outcomes, however, they all suffer from being pickled in aspic (stuck in the past we might prefer to put it.).
So what is an ideology?
Simply put, an ideology, is a set of beliefs, which comprise a whole belief system.
National Socialism (which was espoused by the Nazis of 1930s Germany) was an ideology that blamed others for the state of the nation. However, if one reads Hormegeddon by Bill Bonner, it was mostly because those who pulled the strings, mis-directed the economy, by spending too much on arms and munitions, and finding scapegoats for their shortcomings, first in Poles, and later in the Jews, but which in reality, the policies stole wealth from the individual consumers, and businesses, and directed it to non-productive assets, and products whose sole aim was to be destroyed. Bullets are used once, bombs too, and their cost is borne by the producers of real wealth via taxes. Over the 15 years from 1930 ’til the end of the war, the German real economy shrank by some 40%.
Religions are ideologies too. The problem for the world’s great religions is that they were idealised during man’s early awakening (in a critical thinking sense) and before science made many of those beliefs out-dated, or no longer of any real merit.
Many firm believers of the three major religions still believe that “homosexuality” is a sin, when science long ago (late 1970s – 1983) confirmed that the sexual stamping of the brain occurs initially in the first tri-mester of gestation – when the hormones that engulf the growing foetus, change the structures of the brain to identify with the chromosomes, (XY for boys, XX for girls) and this sexual stamping system can be interfered with by stress in the mother, in which the stress hormones – cortisol, and adrenalin mask the testosterone or oestrogen produced by the mother, and the absorption of these by the infant (See: “Sex and the Brain” by Joe Durden Smith and Diane de-Simone) The sexual stamping process is not a single event though, much as we would like to believe it to be, but a series of events at about 12-13 weeks, 24-26 weeks, and at puberty. The most acute cases mean the recipient of this cocktail of chemicals may seek gender re-assignment later in life, or be gay or lesbian depending on the extent of the interruption. This explains, why the events of the Depression and World War II led to an increased proportion of the population with these “imperfectly sexual stamped” individuals in the fifties, sixties and seventies when they matured.
Some will merely be slightly affected, giving girls a “tomboyish” outlook, while young boys may play with what have traditionally been girl’s toys – such as dolls and the like. Their voices and adam’s apples not fully developing as in a fully masculinised male when puberty strikes.
In other religions, it is forbidden to eat pork. This practice was not an issue in Northern Europe, where for several months of the year, the cold weather meant pork was edible for longer periods and using salt as a preservative, or cooking or smoking, and then further preserved at cooler temperatures, meant this staple food source was a welcome edition to diets during what would normally be a lean period of the year.
In the 6th century Middle-East, where temperatures regularly exceed 40 degrees Celcius during the day, pork, without temperature control, would be rancid within a day, and seriously affect people’s health. It therefore made perfect sense in the first to the nineteenth centuries to avoid this potential food source, until refrigeration had been invented.
In a desert climate too, the wearing of sandals, head coverings, and loose clothes made perfect sense as these protected both from the heat of the day, and the cool of the night. For a woman too, it disguised their form, allowing her to travel in perhaps more safety, especially as the nearest law enforcement maybe some miles away in the form of a father or other male protective figure. In more temperate climes, the enforcement of these dress rules is perhaps carrying this ideology too far.
In politics too, ideologies can be taken too far. William Bonner aka Bill Bonner, makes the case very articulately in his book Hormegeddon, that too much of a good thing can be very bad for you. In post WWII Europe, where the death of millions, and the wrecking of Europe’s economy, meant the public yearned for a world fit for returning heroes and heroines.
In America, FDR’s new deal, had introduced new social policies, all paid for by the Federal Reserve’s largesse, which they were able to do, after Roosevelt had issued his now famous Executive Order, which sequestered the nation’s Gold and Silver, which had been revalued upwards by 40%, when the Gold price went up from $25.00 an ounce to $35.00, though also increased the national debt to over 200% of national income.
In the UK, a Labour controlled new government ushered in the National Health Service, a new national education service, and many of the social policies, that are now promising to bring the country to the brink of bankruptcy. As Mrs Thatcher so eloquently put it… “The trouble with socialism is, that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
In Europe, the Treaty of Rome formed the Iron, Coal and Steel Federation where the original six countries – France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Italy became the foundation of what was later to become the European Union (EU), after other evolutions into the EEC (European Economic Community) and the EC (European Community).
The cornerstone of this enlarged area was the European Court which included the Court of Human Rights, and as these rights have extended, those rights have placed increasingly larger financial burdens on distressed European taxpayers.
Reluctance to raise taxes by most politicians due to not wishing to commit political suicide.
Capitalism, too can have its ideological boundaries, when taken to extremes. The market can be brutal and it was because of this that many believed a different model was necessary.
Ideology therefore, places restrictions on change, and growth means change. When you restrict yourself to an ideology, of whatever persuasion, you close your mind to newer more enlightened beliefs.
Pigs, if kept in sanitory conditions are not unclean, and when slaughtered they have been the back-bone of British diets since the middle ages. Killing animals in a humane manner, is how enlightened people should treat their potential food sources, and allowing girls the same educational opportunities as their male counterparts shows that you believe that everyone should be able to reach their potential.
The problem for many ideologies, is they have failed to re-examine their beliefs, and a new enlightenment is long overdue.
Political and religious leaders – are you listening?