Ideology as a Problem of Political PhilosophyJune 28, 2021
What is the position and importance of ideology in political philosophy? Under this last heading in our title, we will seek an answer to this question. Undoubtedly, this question brings with it many of the questions we have mentioned before.
First, let’s think about whether “ideology will be good or bad”. Is there a criterion or criteria for an ideology to be good or bad? What kind of attitude do we adopt when we bind ourselves with any ideological view and evaluate ideologies other than those that we consider close to ourselves? The answers to these questions will reveal our attitude towards ideologies.
Today, from the “ideological point of view”, it is understood to interpret social problems and developments only within the framework of the doctrine of a single ideology and to accept this interpretation as the only correct one. It is a typical feature of the ideological view to characterize different views as ‘ideological’, accepting its interpretation or analysis as final and binding.
Due to the typical feature of the “ideological point of view”, the lack of communication and conflict between people or groups who have adopted different ideologies creates ideological polarization.
Both the ideological view and ideological polarization are actually the result of the lack of correct evaluation tools, the confusion of the concepts of valuation, attribution and evaluation, and the insistence of all parties in the discussion that they have the only correct evaluation.
İoanna Kuçuradi, in her article titled Tradition and Revolution or Philosophy and World Politics, looks at the remarkable political actions and decisions since the Second World War, as well as the widespread intellectual, artistic, moral and social movements, as the most distinctive feature of contemporary culture. He says that “forgetfulness”, that is, “the value of human being reduced to zero” stands out (Kuçuradi 2010, p. 70). Contemporary culture, whose basic feature is to reset human values, has resulted in the principle of “everything can be done” being the most common principle determining actions, according to Kuçuradi (ibid., p. 71). Although some of those who see individuals as a “sum of zeros” include themselves in such a total, others exclude themselves and those they see as equals from this total (ibid.). The main feature of this second group, which excludes themselves from the “sum of zeros,” is hypocrisy; that is, the incompatibility between the moral value judgments they advocate, what they say good and bad, and the principles of action (ibid.). It can be said that this group, which acts in the opposite direction of what it preaches to people and recklessly bases on the principle of “anything can be done”, has made pragmatism an ideology with its actions (ibid.).
Pragmatism derives from the Greek word pragma, which means “to act”, “to do”, “to make”. Pragmatism is a view of philosophy that finds the truth and its criterion not in the actions themselves, but in their causes, their effects – their beneficial or harmful consequences – that is, whether they change something in practice. William James and Charles Sanders Peirce can be counted as the main representatives of this movement.
In fact, the main agenda of pragmatism, which Kuçuradi claims to be ideologized, is the values produced by the European bourgeoisie, which has not seen anything as a direct benefit other than increasing the profit share since the Industrial Revolution, and whose values were left outside the European Civilization during the Enlightenment and today are “underdeveloped”, “developing ” is nothing more than disseminating what they refer to with their qualifications to the societies. Another name for this dissemination is “imperialism”.
Imperialism, like fascism, nullifies human value and presents itself as a system without alternatives. Those who oppose this are also labeled as “ideologically” looking at world problems, and all approaches that advise to draw attention to the injustices exhibited by global capital in order to increase its profits and to take action against it are seen as “against reality”, as Napoleon said at the same time. Here, perhaps, although it has not directly positioned itself as an ideology, we are faced with the most dangerous of ideologies: it consumes only what is produced by making people believe that all ideologies are bad, lacks an ideological consciousness or a certain political awareness and worldview, and is increasingly privileged among other creatures It is an ideology that aims to create a helpless “sum of zeros”, masses whose thoughts are easily manipulated, who have lost their awareness of the only thing that makes it possible to determine values and be determined by values.
Ideologies, and first of all, the concept of ideology itself is a concept that emerged with the contribution of modern European culture, and ideologies are one of the indispensable elements of political life today. Perhaps it is difficult to talk about whether an ideology is good or bad in itself, but people still cannot help separating ideologies in this way. In general, the criteria that determine whether we call an ideology good or bad are also the points mentioned by Kuçuradi above.