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News Political ideologies and nations/people welfare

  1. Mar 26, 2009 #1
    Do people who choose and stick to one of the political ideologies serve national interests or their own ideologies? I am particularly talking about people who are extremely critical of the opposite opinions and/or choose to ignore all other opinions.

    Is it possible to find optimal solutions for all ()/national problems withing one ideology? Or the solutions will be better if one work from scratch without any ideology and identifies the problem and uses unbiased criteria in choosing the solutions?

    This is one of the thing I never understood about politics - it looks like that it is played with overwhelming bias and people seem to value their ideologies more than addressing the problems.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2009 #2
    There is no such thing as a solution not based on ideology, despite the fact that some don't recognize their own ideology. Unbiased solutions do not exist.
  4. Mar 27, 2009 #3
    Spoken like a true ideologue there, Al68.

    Unbiased solutions do exist, such as taking the last candy bar two kids are fighting over and cutting it in half. Of course we are all limited in our understanding and often mislead by myths to some extent or another, but some of us work to free ourselves from such misconceptions while others revel in them.

    And yes rootX, I agree with your comments completely. Orwell was clearly making this point as well in his 1984 with the "Ignorance is Strength" portion of The Party slogan. If only more people could take his cautionary tale to heart.
  5. Mar 27, 2009 #4
  6. Mar 27, 2009 #5
    The ideologue picks one kid over the other. The realist accepts that there is no basis for doing so.
  7. Mar 27, 2009 #6


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    Lol, no kyleb. Even realism (and I don't necessarily agree that that is a realistic solution) is an ideology. Everyone who posts a lot in this forum - including you - does so because they have a strongly held ideology.

    I have found that it is often those least willing to acknowledge having an ideology who are the most ideological. Case in point, while researching Kieth Olberman for another thread, I came across an interview where someone asked him if he was a liberal and he said "I'm not a liberal, I'm an American".

    Overly strong ideology is what enables people to hold contradicting arguments in their heads at the same time and accept both. The current situation with government spending and the debt is a good example.
  8. Mar 27, 2009 #7
    In history its often been those with extremely strong held beliefs that have wrought the most change. The centrists are the ones who are swayed and make the deciding votes though. Without one or the other we may well wind up deadlocked or moving forward too slowly.
  9. Mar 27, 2009 #8
    No Russ, my intrest is in promoting understanding. One notable example being my attempt to expose the absurdity of the WMD propaganda in the buildup to Iraq. It wasn't ideology which made me contest that, but reality; the reality you and others attempted to disparage with every trick in the book, but one which is obvious to most everyone now. Another example being your "what does Israel seek to gain thread", which you ditched out of when confronted with what Israel is gaining though perpetuating this conflict. You'd obviously like to think all who contest you are all just ideologues of another persuasion, and of couse many are, but not all.

    Too slow for what? Looking at our history I see us largely in deadlock here, with ideologies fighting for their beliefs rather than understanding how to reconcile them with reality.
  10. Mar 27, 2009 #9
    You have your own ideas and beliefs about x. You therefore have an ideology. This is a very simple concept.

    And by the way, your ideology says you should break the candy bar in half an share it. A philosopher could have a field day with that solution, as I would if I had longer than 2 minutes to spare at the present moment.

    For instance, another solution would be to determine which child deserves the candy bar, and then give it to him.

    The differences in concept are proof that your view are ideological.
  11. Mar 27, 2009 #10


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    :rofl::rofl: Don't forget who I am, kyleb. I see all of your posts - even those that have to be deleted.
  12. Mar 27, 2009 #11
    I'd as you to elaborate on your argument, but I know hollow insinuation is all you've got.
  13. Mar 27, 2009 #12
    Sometimes you just have to take the candy bar. Give them each a carrot. Got to think of their health you know.
  14. Mar 27, 2009 #13
    Well, you prove my point. You don't recognize that your solution is biased toward outcome equality. Sure there's no bias between the kids, but that's not the type of bias I was referring to.
  15. Mar 27, 2009 #14
    Yes indeed. Can't disagree.

    As for bias, I agree that they are unavoidable but it's better to admit/acknowledge them (I made a mistake in my OP about getting "unbiased criteria").
  16. Mar 27, 2009 #15
    When did most change happen? You'll probably find that it often happened when there was a rather voiciferous ideologue leading the charge. Certainly there are other triggers aswell such as war and economic instability but as far as change perpetuated by people, as opposed to events, you'll likely find an iconic leader at the head of the movement.
  17. Mar 28, 2009 #16
    After reading this a second time, a question occurred to me:

    Can you prove to me that you aren't being biased towards your own idea of how the situation should be handled?
  18. Mar 28, 2009 #17
    That is a good lesson for next time, but imposing it after the candy bar was up for grabs is egotistical.
    Equitableness. Fairness. Justice. You see bias in that?
    Seems to me the most notable times of change came though piriods when people we educated to think for themselves rather than conditioned to be led, the enlightenments rather than the dark ages.
    Biased towards who? If you can't find reasonable argument for that, then your answer is obvious enough.
  19. Mar 29, 2009 #18
    You haven't the slightest clue of what bias or ideologies are, and you're obviously resistant to growth and understanding.

    I'm done.
  20. Mar 29, 2009 #19
    Well keep the candybar to yourself then. Whatever.
  21. Mar 29, 2009 #20


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    For the purposes of a productive discussion, it would help if people agreed on terminology, so I borrowed these from Merriam-Webster online:

    ideologue, ideology and bias.
    Now it seems impossible to escape from having an ideology, and it's probably difficult for most people to escape bias, or a preference for a particular outcome.

    In theory, a government is supposed to promote the general welfare, one of the ideals mentioned in the Preamble of the US Constitution.

    There is certaily the concern that many (perhaps most) politicians are more concerned about their own welfare, and the welfare of their financial and political benefactors, than the general welfare.
  22. Mar 29, 2009 #21
    Yes, I recognized it later that we cannot escape from ideologies. But, one of the other thing I was thinking about in my OP was that if it is better to stick to one ideology or they should be situation based (changed according to the present needs).

    I don't know if one can/should change ideology according to the present needs. IMO, people with strong fixed ideologies often create more troubles e.g terrorists..

    This was another concern in the OP.

    It seems like most politicians are willing to employ every possible tactic that can give them more votes regardless if that means acting unprofessionally/ethically and is fairly common. So, that made me think who they are trying to serve.
  23. Mar 29, 2009 #22


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    It often is a situation of conflicting ideologies, e.g. in the current economic crisis, does the government adopt an Keynesian interventionst approach, or does it adopt a more free-market, hands-off approach. Or in national security, does the government curtails some liberties to ensure domestic security, or engage in activities such as extreme rendition, which appears to have violated the civil and/or human rights of individuals. The latter example involves a conflict between an ideology that denies human rights to those who are not citizens of the country involved in extreme rendition and an ideology that recognizes the inherent rights (of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, justice, . . . ) to all persons.

    Ultimately, one has to adopt an ideology, which perhaps could be modified as circumstances dictate.

    There may be a core ideology of compassion and justice that does not change, but other apects of an ideology may change, e.g. austerity vs extravagance/indulgence depending on the prevailing economic situation.
  24. Mar 30, 2009 #23
    Obviously. I never said there was something wrong with bias, just that there were no unbiased solutions. I am very biased toward individual liberty, bias is not a bad thing.
  25. Mar 30, 2009 #24


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    A terrible example. Individual liberty should be judged on its own merits, not because of a preconceived bias. :tongue:
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