Ideologies; I do not subscribe to one...

Once I was told, “If you don’t have an ideology at 20, you will not have a heart at 50”. By which it intended to drive home a message that not having an ideology is as good as not having a heart. For that matter it can be any ideology. Ideologies are basically ideas which people have a firm belief in and act on. But I must say that they are also sources of problems especially when they are too extreme and hard-wired. This made me think whether it is really necessary for me to subscribe to one.

World is actually madly-driven by ideologies of various kinds. There are political ideologies of right and left wingers. Some countries subscribe, prescribe and impose democracy while others still grow under communist governments. Some others prosper under laissez-faire. Religious fundamentalism is another deadly form of ideology. It includes mono-theistic, atheistic activism, and missionary ideologies in propagandizing their influence and supremacy over one another, often leading to holy wars and disharmony. History is full of such instances.  

For instance, years after 2008 global financial meltdown, some people blame the aggression in market for failure, while some contend that it is government intervention that led to the sub-prime crisis that started in USA. Basically it is a prolonged debate between right and left winged political ideologists and academicians. There seems to be enough room for debate either way. But the real issue was not just from the right or the left; it is in fact caused by an intricate inter-play of regulations, market forces, devouring greed of Wall Street wolves and more complex nature of monetary instruments & systemic failures. Wherever the debates might lead us to, the fact that remains is common people lost their money & jobs and hurt the global economy in the process. The only people that benefitted are the wolves (Traders with inside information) and jackals (the bankers and management) of Wall Street.

On the political front we have similar stories. Life of Che is a perfect case in point. Che Guevara was a son of elite Argentine parents and had very good education & upbringing. His faith in Marxism drove him to the mountains of Cuba. He led Political revolutions in Cuba along with Fidel Castro and finally to the forests of Bolivia, his death bed. In pursuit of this idea he caused a lot of bloodshed. He was finally killed in Bolivia furthering his Anti-US, Marxist ideology and guerilla warfare. He died a villain death, although his idea was no worse than any existent ideology.

On the other hand Buddhist philosophy seems to have understood the limitations of such extremes and propounded middle path. Middle doesn’t mean center which is another extreme. Middle in budhist philosophy means anywhere in between.  Shantideva said a true budhist practitioner will not even grasp on this middle path, he will go beyond extremes and achieve something which is beyond good nor bad, which is free of attachment and fixation.

In essence nothing works in extremity. Nothing sustains even if it works.  A guitar makes good codes when the strings are adequately strung. It snaps under extreme pressure and makes no sound when they are slack.  Beyond our craniums the nature of things are free and uncontrived. These ideologies and constrained extremes thrive only as a figment of a person’s imagination. These figments can be very flexible in essence but we choose to constrain saying that we subscribe to a particular fixated ideology and a pattern of thinking.

At this time I for one, do not even subscribe to any ideology as such. Which I feel is good for me because I have freedom of openness to any idea that works better and to the good of humanity. This does not necessarily mean I do not have goals, ideas and lines of reasons. I do have all of these but I am not rigidly fixated on one or a collection of few. If we accept the fact the change is the only permanent thing, then confinement to rigid and constricted ideologies is not the way we live.

If human progress is linked with ideological furtherance then it is equally responsible for all the ills that progress beget. People fight wars to protect their ideologies; people make complex humongous markets to sustain their ideologies. People go to extremes because their ideologies are too extreme and remote, even at the cost of their lives, resources and humanity which are at best very absurd. Therefore fixating on a rigid ideology is not a sign of wisdom, it is rather a sign of shallow understanding of real scheme of things and heightened sense of insecurity.


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