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The need of a new ideology
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-04-24 09:02:00
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The G20 summit is long over and the last ripples of the usual police brutality outside the summit with the demonstrators that cost the life of a man but what remain is the ideological questions the whole situation raises at least to me. The G20 or whatever they like to call themselves are representing capitalism in all its forms including the social democrats who balance between a hypocritical centre, a liberal capitalism and a populist socialism but in the end of the day they all agree. The other side is on the streets in confusion of negative messages without ideological base and a solution.

ideology01_400I know well that what I just wrote is pretty provocative but it is the bitter situation at least as I can see it. The opposite side has as ideological flag the damage control; yes capitalism is bad and it is especially bad the way all the neoconservatives and the neo-liberalists of the market force ignoring the people and their needs on the contrary sacrificing the people for more profit. Yes the situation regarding the environment is dramatic and nobody seems to do anything enough radical at least to make the difference. Yes wars continue and nowadays they don’t need excuses; oil, diamonds, water, power and influence were the reasoning, nowadays they have become in most raw ways also the excuse, actually they don’t need excuses at all as the invasion to Iraq proved, they can manipulate and fabricate the excuses. But what is the alternative?

Have we been trapped in a negative critic without having anything else to show? What is the other side? Did ideology died with the end of communism in the end of 80s? Communism was murdered the most brutal way twice, once in France with the Paris Commune that lasted only two months and inspired Karl Marx and the second time in Russia. The second time was much worst because except the experiment itself it was also ideologically twisted in such a way to often compared (especially from the former soviet states) with Nazism. As a result even a reminder nowadays of the name of Karl Marx makes you feel like a criminal. I suppose ignorance is the best excuse but the result is all that counts. Furthermore the countries that still use the bureaucratic soviet model like China and North Korea are examples of human rights violations and disrespect of human life and basic freedoms like the freedom of speech and opinion.

Today none of us is able to present a model even one in the limits of utopia that can look as an alternative that can fulfil the dreams and the hopes. You see even representative parliamentary democracy has more faults to show than goods, corruption has become politicians second nature from all parliamentary sides. And the new radical left is not so radical but trying to compromise in the fear that somebody will call them communists ending up in a moderate left too easy to compromise. The last few years and in front of the economic recession the left parties have taken some unbelievable for their past positions accepting the end of the eight hours work in the name of unemployment and cutting off their income to help the banks and industrialists to keep making profit.

ideology02Marx is dead since 1883, the “Communist Manifesto” was written in 1848 and the “Condition of the working class in England” was written in 1844. Karl Marx and his Hegel wrote all these having in mind the industrial Germany, England and France of the late 19th century and this something we should always keep in mind as very well the Italian communist politician Enrico Berlinguer often pointed and what happened to the czarist and later Soviet Russia has little to do with it since there was a different historic and social background. Actually Enrico Berlinguer was one of the first to point the semantics of the ideology and demand the change starting from his very own party. But I think that he did the same mistake, he tried to balance stubbornly connecting the past with a doubtful present.

The people as they proved in the demonstrations that becoming more and more violent lately demand and need a new spirit not only of understanding but of action and to do so they need an ideological base that will be more aware of the social changes, of the environmental demands and more importantly ready to fight the private and state capitalism that shares the power nowadays since the governments became representatives and defenders of the profit, the bankers and the industrialists.

I’m sorry I don’t have anything to suggest but I can see the need for that ideological alternative because this negative critic and damage control in the end sounds like a constant complaining and that must change and the change must come soon.

   
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Emanuel Paparella2009-04-24 15:22:39
Indeed Thanos, the trouble with ideologies, any ideology I dare say, is that they tend to be seen as fix all for any social crisis. They in fact become an idol of sort as product of one's clever mind, to be defended and imposed on the people. When Mao told the Dai La Lama “religion is poison” he was undoubtedly looking upon religion in general and its transcendence of human culture as just another ideological product of human culture; something to be defeated as a competitor and an impostor. But than again, to be fair to Mao, he got that idea from Marx. Marx should have realized that Socialism as an aspiration of the human heart for justice, is much older than the ideology expressed in the Communist Manifesto. I think the first commandment has it on target: thou shall not be an idolatrous people worshipping golden calves. To identify that as perhaps the real crisis of modern Western Civilization. apparent especially in Europe, is to begin the journey or recovery and restoration beyond mere competing ideologies. The solution to that kind of crisis has been around actually for four thousand years and those who are blind to it are not part of the solution but part of the problem. In his “Letteratura e Vita Nazionale” Antonio Gramsci, the founder of the Communist party in Italy, made pretty much the same point when he pointed out that ideologies have to issue from the existential life of the people and not imposed on them. He found it astonishing that we had to wait till Manzoni in the 19th century to have two farmers as the protagonist of a major Italian novel (I Promessi Sposi). Another example, if we needed one, of the cart being put before the horse.


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