16 November 2015
An ideology is above all a system of belief into which everything must fit and that therefore assumes a sort of ultimate, absolute knowledge.
This attachment to absolute, over-arching knowledge is why adherents so easily slip into authoritarian thought and behaviour. After all, if you know the core truth or the root causes of what is going on, actual truths presenting themselves to you in reality are of relatively little importance; indeed it is surely right to ignore them and concentrate on the more important underlying truth – even (and perhaps especially) if it contradicts what you can see and hear in reality.
From liberal-left practitioners, we can perhaps see this latter tendency most obviously in the reaction to terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam like those in Paris on Friday night.
The cry goes out that this phenomenon 'is nothing to do with Islam’ or 'has nothing to do with religion’ even when the killers keenly and openly justify their actions in terms of Islam. This is the most extraordinary double-think you might say, or else simple downright lies.
But it makes perfect sense in terms of ideology, for in ideology the actual truth is subservient to the real, underlying truth. In this way it commands what ‘is’, so Islamic terrorism ‘is’ nothing to do with Islam, even when it quite patently is something to do with it - albeit not everything.
RIP to all the victims of the attacks in Paris and thoughts go out to everyone directly affected by them. Maurice Duruflé's 'Requiem' here is a lovely piece of work, doing what the best music does in these situations and words alone cannot.
Maurice Duruflé's 'Requiem' - in seven parts here, but it's the best recording I've found on Youtube. To open in a new window, click here.