Idiotology III

Drink soup with a fork, push a car with a piece of string, swim with lead boots, and understand the world through ideology. Let's not even consider the more confused, post-modernist, and outlandish aspects of ideology, like the Frankfurt School and the rubbish that Zizek spouts. Mocking that would be (a) shooting fish in a barrel and (b) the fish would already be so dead that shooting them would only make them stink. One way to avoid a real fight is to smear yourself with dung. The same holds true in the intellectual realm.

Instead let's just look at the mainstream stuff, the "respectable heartland” of ideology, the pen that houses its mightiest, tamest, and most beautiful beasts. Yes, you can't have an abstract essence without having concrete examples. You can’t have ideology as a 'thing' without having ideologies as 'things.' But even here, at the heart of its empire, all you find are confused pygmies and a Boschian wilderness of absurdity piled on absurdity.

The great pride of ideology as a way of looking at the world is its "discovery" and delineation of the great continents of ideology. Think Columbus discovering Lala Land! These mythical continents, these Atlantises of political theory are three: the continents of Liberalism, Marxism, and Fascism. Recently a bearded navigator from a landlocked country has claimed to have discovered a Fourth One!

The problem with these continents however is they have a tendency to drift, break up, and rejoin with bits of each other at a speed quite out of keeping with tectonic mechanics. In the attempt to travel from one to the other you might actually find yourself arriving at your own departure point instead of your destination, and as for the landmarks when you get there, the shifting sands of any tidal estuary puts them to shame for constancy.

Colin Liddell
Caligula's Horse
13th January, 2013

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