When Ideology Invades Politics; In Other Words: The Importance of Theory vs. Practice

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So, if you’ve been reading, you’ll have noticed this post about my political views, where I touched on my stances on political issues as a whole.

At the end, I noted that, according to the test I took, ideologically, I fall “right on the line of Anarcho-Communism and Anarcho-Syndicalism/Collectivist Anarchism“.

Politically, however, I’m much more moderate. Though still in the bottom left quadrant, I’d be much more near the middle, simply due to the fact that, in addition to the fact that I’m an idealist, I’m also a realist.

If I could craft the world, I’d make it fit my ideological views, because, ultimately, I have too much faith in the positive nature of humanity.

However, since I can’t, and since humanity isn’t as great as I’d like to believe, when it comes to voting, politics, what I’ll stand for in an intellectual perspective, I take a slower, more methodical, approach.

While I do agree that a more aggressive approach is best to get things done, I also understand that progress, of any kind, is made in steps. Going 0 to 60 in three seconds is great, but if you do that, you can’t see the car coming up right behind you fast enough to react properly.

If you try to make a big change before taking the proper steps to implement those changes, you could have harmful consequences that impact more than you thought.

Whereas if you go in steps, you can deal with those consequences as they arise, making the proper changes needed to combat them while still working towards your overarching goal.

One of the problems, if it’s not the foremost problem, in the United State’s current political climate is that people lack either the intellect, the capacity, the will, or some combination of the three, to discern hopeful ideology and what the harsh reality of the world and just how much power we have over it actually is.

As I’ve stated before, people dislike hearing bad news. They go to such high lengths to avoid it that things that sound nice, no matter how false, are more believed, simply because they don’t want to face the fact that reality kind of sucks.

Those who are more intellectually inclined, realists, or even just cynics, know the world isn’t as good as we’d like to believe. Those who deal with depression, abuse, discrimination, and many more issues, have been through a great deal and have had to work through it, all while dealing with everything else in the world.

They, and I include myself when I say ‘they’, understand that the world isn’t fair; that things don’t always go your way; that everything isn’t always good. Life has made them realists.

Some people, like myself, manage to still be hopeful, to believe in the good.

It’s difficult being an optimist and a pessimist; a realist and an idealist. To be quite honest, it’s infuriatingly irritating and stressful.

On one side of the argument, I know exactly how things are in the world and can plan accordingly to deal with the consequences of it.

On the other side, I hold a fancifully positive outlook on life and the world, to the point that, though I know that things may not go the way I want them to, I’m still achingly disappointed when they turn out that way.

This shows up in my posts often. I, somehow, manage to keep hope that maybe, just maybe, someday in the future people will be as good as they can be. That the Rebellion, the Resistance, whatever you want to call it, will succeed.

After all,

Rebellions Are Built On Hope

To get back to the point, it’s possible to be both an idealist and a realist. It’s not easy, but then, nothing worth anything ever really is.

If you can recognize that the way you view the world isn’t how everyone else does, you can realize that ideological views can’t always align with your political views.

As I’ve stated before, a vote isn’t just an opinion, it is an action. When you have idealistic views, that’s just an opinion, but when you transfer those same views over to your politics, meaning who you vote for, what you stand for, etc. so on and so forth, that’s an action, because it’s directly affecting other people’s lives.

Hillary Clinton caught a lot of flak when she mentioned ‘a public and a private position’.

“You just have to sort of figure out how to … balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today. Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

While I can understand the sentiment behind the controversy, and even the issue behind the controversy, I don’t understand where why people objected so hard to the ‘public vs private’ part specifically.

Any intellectual knows that reality doesn’t always align with what you want it to be and that you have to compromise in order to get closer to your goals. That’s exactly what she was saying.

While I agree on principle that, no, we shouldn’t have to compromise to get important things done, I understand that it’s necessary in the world we live in.

Again, it’s about theory vs. practice.

We need to take a step back, take a breath, and look at things as objectively as we can, separating ourselves from the issue for a moment.

Rather than just applying it wholly without thinking of the consequences, we need to implement our theory in a practical way.


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