martes, 28 de febrero de 2012

Ideological pathology: Main types of pathological ideologies

Here is an overview of the four more important pathological ideologies (I shall, in time, do a post about each one).

Fascism (The Far-Right)
Main problem with it: Basically torture and murder in an industrial scale (now with nuclear weapons, which makes it even more fun). It is true that in their light form they "just" waste billions of monetary units in deadly toys, greatly increase our chances to use them, promote a harsher justice and police (both of which tend to end in non-white people being killed) and deprive people of rights (even basic ones) based on where they were born (a circumstance one does not control), but they are still the main promoters of the main threat to human survival (WWIII).
Current strength: Autocratic, militarist and/or ultra-nationalist regimes still common in the developing world. Xenophobic far-right parties gaining strength in Europe along with immigration and economic depression. Nationalism rampant in the USA, with a very aggressive form in the GOP "hawks".

Theocracy (Moderate Insert-religion-here)
Main problem with it: All their stories are false (ridiculously false). Main force behind dangerous traditions like misogyny and homophobia. Routinely legitimate dictatorships now like they did monarchies in the past. Oppose technologies like stem cell treatments or contraceptives that save and/or could save millions of lives. Hinder scientific progress directly and indirectly through their false stories. Waste billions of almost any monetary unit (including public funds) in totally useless stuff. If sufficiently powerful will kill and torture “heretics” and wage extremely long wars with millions of casualties.
Current strength: High to absolute in underdeveloped or developing countries. Surprisingly resilient in developed countries and very powerful in the USA.
   
Anarcho-capitalism (Neoliberalism/conservatism)
Main problem with it: Reduced wealth and (especially) welfare and increased inequality, with all the poverty, hunger, disease, ignorance, violence, injustice and depression that it entails. The market is always best and government can't do anything right, especially taxing(=theft), which means the financial sector and pollution must be deregulated, healthcare, education and infrastructure privatized and taxes made low and flat. Also, they equate any opposition to Marxism-Leninism (see below).
Current strength: Enormous, not because it has an especially big number of supporters (except in the USA) but because those supporters are very powerful (i.e. rich or hold positions of power).

Marxist-Leninism (“Real” left)
Main problem with it: Reduced welfare and (especially) wealth as well as a totalitarian tendency (very attenuated since the fall of the USSR, though). The market is always evil and all means of production must be controlled (indirectly) by the proletariat, which in practice means that a bureaucrat whose salary does not depend on being better than the competence at pleasing the consumer decides everything. Heaven on Earth quickly ensues. Also, let us not forget that in practice the governments that have put forth these policies achieve power by violent means and have been among the most atrocious in human history (Stalin, Mao, Khmer Rouge).
Current strength: Laughable, particularly if compared to 1940-1990. Just North Korea and Cuba, with the far-left controlling some Latin-American countries (mainly Venezuela)

Technophobia (Green movement)
Main problem with it: Impairment of progress in general, which is mainly driven by technological and scientific progress. Deriving from some combination of focusing on the problems technology generates (and not on all those it has solved or the fact that it can solve the ones it has created), a pseudo-pagan adoration of Earth's biosphere as a pseudo-divine benevolent organism, an instinctive and reptilian fear of the unknown and change (stemming from scientific and technological illiteracy) and a surprising lack of understanding of how cruel and brutal nature is (probably stemming from living in a very artificial society), everything "natural", "ecological" and "organic" becomes good, while everything "artificial", "industrial" or "synthetic" becomes bad. As a result, some extremely useful technologies can't be used to their fullest extent because they have become pet peeves of this ideology. Nuclear power, GMO crops and some vaccines become the harbingers of doom while nothing is done against indoor wood-burning, GM-pig insulin or chemotherapy and biofuels, "organic" farming and homeopathy are promoted. The damage is enormous, and that's leaving aside the (literally) immeasurable effects of the altered public discourse.
Current strength: Low but increasing.

Ideologues, here represented as pathogens (Rabies virus)

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