Ideology Vs. Realism: Your Principles Might be a Straight Jacket

May 18, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – In reality, socioeconomic ideologies like socialism, communism, capitalism, agorism, and anarchy are like tools. They are best used under specific circumstances dictated by reality, and just like tools, are best used in combination or sequence toward achieving a certain end.

Healthcare provides a perfect example of this. All can most likely agree that one shouldn’t die simply because they cannot afford healthcare. The current state of healthcare – particularly in terms of infrastructure and technology – means that in order to provide healthcare to individuals who cannot afford it “socialist” style policies and charity is required. However, neither is a sustainable or final solution – merely an incremental step toward one. 

Free market competition, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and the advance of medical technology makes it cheaper and more accessible for everyone, including those who cannot afford it at current costs. Incrementally, research and development will yield healthcare infrastructure and technology even the poorest can afford without government intervention or charitable organizations.

A combination of socioeconomic ideologies used to achieve this represents a process rooted in reality – not divorced from ideology – but utilizing socioeconomic ideology as practical tools toward a specific goal – and using them in combination and sequence to get there.

In a transition from healthcare today to a future where it is affordable and accessible to all, individualists and free marketeers will ultimately come out on top. Ironically, they can never do so until they make the transition today from temporary stop gaps to sustainable solutions tomorrow.

Unfortunately for many, socioeconomic ideologies are viewed more like “sacred cows” they jealously protect from contact with anything even remotely removed from its place along the socioeconomic ideological spectrum. And like a sacred cow, ideologies thus become an object of adulation rather than anything practical.  

For individualists, free marketeers, capitalists, and other stripes right of the socioeconomic ideological spectrum, the notion of socialist healthcare is unacceptable under any circumstance. Despite being unable to implement immediate alternatives for addressing people unable to afford healthcare now, or any road map toward a future where healthcare is affordable without socialist schemes, they categorically reject even temporary measures and stop gaps.

This is because they put their ideology ahead of reality and by doing so fail to address and solve both real problems and more ironically – fail in moving society any closer toward their own ideologies of choice.

In a transition from healthcare today to a future where it is affordable and accessible to all, individualists and free marketeers will ultimately come out on top. Ironically, they can never do so until they make the transition today from temporary stop gaps to sustainable solutions tomorrow.

3D printing and other forms of personal manufacturing technology is another example of how ideologies can coexist. Communism focuses on the means of production being placed into the “people’s” hands. 3D printers and other computer-controlled manufacturing systems are privately owned means of production owned by individuals. It is literally private property that puts the means of production into the “people’s” hands.

For capitalists and communists it represents a paradox they are unable to and unwilling to fold into their respective ideological proclivities. To a realist, it is simply a logical, technological solution that works.

Human Nature – Ideology’s Missing Ingredient 

Communism in theory sounds very straight forward and fair. It is the centralized collection, planning, and distribution of wealth across society. In reality, it has never effectively worked. Why?

Capitalism depends on the invisible hand of the free market and self interests. It too has led to an overall divergence between its ideologically expected results and how it has actually manifested itself in reality. Why?

Communism – like virtually all ideologies left or right of the spectrum – fails to take into account human nature and more specifically, self-interest and greed. When a society’s resources are collected by a centralized committee of individuals – self-interest and greed guarantees corruption, abuse, exploitation and all other characteristics a devoted communist would generally identify with capitalism.

Capitalism – despite taking into account self-interest – fails to factor in another aspect of human nature – the tendency of wealthy people to consolidate and organize their resources in such a way as to bind the “invisible hands” of free market, rigging the system in their favor and creating monopolies no different than the centralized corruption, abuse, and exploitation that results from communism.

Virtually all other ideologies suffer from similarly omitting human nature as a basis for all else to follow.

The concepts of free markets, distribution of wealth, ensuring all are fed, clothed, and cared for can co-exist if realism and pragmatism are applied, and combinations of ideas are drawn from ideologies in a manner resembling a carpenter utilizing different tools to shape wood into a single, final desired outcome.

Just like a carpenter would not use only a hammer to build an entire house – but rather saws, chisels, hammers, joints, and all other manners of tools in concert – no single ideology can be used to face and solve socioeconomic challenges.

They Who Use Ideology as Tools Build Empires

There are, however, those who do understand this. They do not pick and religiously adhere to a single ideology – they use all ideologies whenever and wherever convenient, and as socioeconomic tools. And because most ordinary people view ideologies in almost religious terms, these ideologies are mostly used for manipulating, dividing, controlling, and dominating human society rather than advancing it as imagined by each respective ideology’s adherents.

Image: The only thing these ideologies have in common is that they blind their adherents to reality and that the US uses them all to manipulate, divide, and conquer entire nations with them. 

This explains why the United States – for example – employed right-wing fascists in Ukraine to overthrow the government there in 2013-2014. And why it used “leftist” protesters in Thailand between 2009-2010 in back-to-back failed attempts to topple the government there. It also explains why in the Middle East and North Africa it uses terrorist fanatics to wage proxy wars while it uses Islamophobic racists and bigots to sow fear and social division back at home.

The common denominator between these apparently diametrically opposed socioeconomic ideologies is not rooted in ideology at all – but rather human nature.

Powerful special interests have used ideologies as tools to build a global-spanning empire while those adhering to a specific ideology have ended up pawns in this empire’s games.

If one wants to build an alternative to this empire, they will have to likewise abandon viewing ideology as a single set of principles they must religiously adhere to and view all ideologies as potential tools to be used in concert and sequentially to create the single, final outcome they desire.

Those tempted to argue otherwise should sincerely look at whatever ideology they have devoted themselves to, and ask themselves when – by itself – it ever truly threatened or ever will threaten the monopoly and control over ideology the worst abusers on Earth currently hold. They will likely find that the answer is, they never did and never will.

Geopolitical realism is based on self-interest above all else. Those genuinely interested in understanding, analyzing, and explaining geopolitics or advancing geopolitics toward the benefit of all must see past ideological trappings, identify the real stakes and stakeholders, and practically discern how to balance, decentralize, and distribute power in a way genuinely conducive to human nature.

Those doing this follow money, motives, and agendas rather than discuss ideologies. Those incapable of doing this are not only useless in confronting corruption, abuse, and exploitation, they are paying into and are a part of the very system creating it.

And many times, real solutions involve no ideology at all – they are simply practical solutions virtually all regardless of their respective ideology can work together on. But because of the persuasive and alluring strategy of tension created by those who control inter-ideological conflict, many of these truly progressive solutions are neglected in exchange for circular political conflict.