Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Great Struggle

“The great struggle of our times is between realism and ideology…”

In no other time in history has this maxim been more true. In a time when human knowledge has been expanding at an incredible rate, new frontiers open up and we use our imaginations to see what might be.

This is of course what the imagination is for: it creates ideas, it is crucial for human development both as individuals and as a species. The imagination allows us to project our thoughts beyond our current reality to predict, run scenarios or just good old fashion escapism.

But the imagination always needs to be brought back to reality when used for practical matters otherwise the results can be dire. The man who sees things that are not there is insane- to live in the imagination is madness; rather mental illness or ideology.

There is an order to things: a reality, truth. Ideologies are based on truths but once the world is viewed through a narrow lens people’s views get distorted, their practices become disordered. Belief always leads to action, that’s why ideas are important. Even Pacifists are not passive, they go out and protest.

In an effort to make the world a better place, a person will identify the problems and seek to solve them, or at least rally against them. This has lead to many ideologies seeking revolution- for example Communism is usually associated revolution and the toppling of the old order. Communist revolutionaries sort to make the world a better place, to bring in the “New Man” although they ended up bringing in some of the greatest horror stories in history- examples of which:

*The programs which killed millions in the Soviet Union

*the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia with its genocide and trying to over turn civilisation

* in China the ‘One Child Policy’ with its millions of forced abortions as well as a number of ramifications which will devastate China and potentially the entire world (China will have a massive population collapse, ending its status as an economic power).

The old saying “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is so true, statements of “we meant it for the best” so hollow.

Why do people believe in such flawed ideologies? Because they contain truth; indeed sometimes some quite profound insights. But reality is systematic and when truth is taken out of place, ignored or distorted error enters in and that’s were the damage is done. No more so than when the error has to do with the human person, as it always becomes dehumanising.

To quote another saying “the truth will set you free”. Living conformed to reality, to truth, is the way to happiness: error enslaves and damages a person, could you really call that freedom? The only ‘ugly truth’ is that there is error and its crimes.

It is the human vocation to be truth seekers, and from this happiness and fulfilment comes; do not people of all cultures turn to wisemen to try and find happiness? Does not the truth inspire us to great acts? When art captures truth do we not find beauty? Be on watch for error in ideology as it will destroy what is good, truth and beautiful.

The great struggle of our time is between realism and ideology: seek truth and the good and beauty that goes with it, and fight a ceaseless war with error.

2 comment(s):

Lucia Maria said...

Fantastic first post! Welcome aboard, Vanguard. I hope there's many more of those sorts of posts to come.

ZenTiger said...

Nicely said. Welcome to the blog.

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