I propose this as the 2017 alternative to ‘How do you do?’ (correct English) or ‘Hey, how are you?, nice to meet you’ (street English)
What is new to say that the sole reason for ideologies is to produce a series of idea-logic, lenses to see the world? Nothing. Trouble is, the old list of ideologies assigned to Left and Right for example are proven themselves useless to understand the lenses that people use to see their world today. We are in a true Opticians revolution.
Those ideologies have been unbundled a while ago, and their bits inside have fond now new homes in new baskets, sometimes without completely abandoning the original pedigree label. For example, in populism, we now have the bits coming from the Right and the ones form the Left. Strange fellow travelers get together under a new, bigger, overriding idea-logic.
But, to me, ‘world view’ is much bigger than an ideology. World view has a concept of man, a concept of history (including a reconstructed one) and a concept of the paths for things to come. A world view is a host for many bits of ideologies that I can gather and foster so that I have a complete picture of that world. I don’t care much about the origins of the bits, really. In fact, I may not even recognize their birth certificate.
OK, I am going to stop asking about old and tired political ideologies and going straight to world views. Granted, I have not figured out exactly how I am going to grab my gin and tonic and see in the eyes of my new acquaintance, holding her own gin and tonic, and say ‘So, Mary, what is your world view?
Because world views we are seeing. Lots of them. We may not recognize them in our search for oldideologies. Picking on a man not short of attention these days: White House Regent Steve Bannon. It’s easy to go for hours talking ideology in inventory fashion: what is in and out, a bit of this, none of that, pro this, against that, etc, and going nowhere near a deep understanding of his true world view.
Forget that. However, here is the clue. The Regent is seriously obsessed (and in the public domain on that, big time ) with a book and a world view: The Four Turning (The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy (1997) by the authors of the also so called ‘Strauss–Howe generational theory’. I am not going to expand on this for lack of space. See here instead. Suffice to say, according to this world view, we are in ‘Crisis’ (the previous turn were High, Awakening, and Unravelling). It is inevitable. Bottom line, it includes clearly the possibility (necessity actually) of war, and, for start, everything will be shaken up. ‘This is an era in which America’s institutional life is torn down and rebuilt from the ground up—always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival'(…) ‘n Parsons’ terms, a Fourth Turning is an era in which the availability of social order is low, but the demand for such order is high. Examples of earlier Fourth Turnings include the Civil War in the 1860s and the American Revolution in the 1770s—both periods of momentous crisis, when the identity of the nation hung in the balance’ (Text taken from the reference above)
This is not an ideology (of what?) but a full world view that ‘must happen’: fatalistic, eschatological, fundamentalist. There is a plan, a logic, something in front quasi-inevitable. And there are players. And the old Marxist term of Useful Idiot comes handy. By the way, Bannon on Trump: ‘Trump is a blunt instrument for us; I don’t know whether he really gets it or not. (Vanity Fair, 26.01.2017)
To put an extra perspective, ISIS is a worldview, Islamic fundamentalism is an ideology . Many Christian Fundamentalists, Evangelicals with the certainty of the Second Coming any time now, for example, are in a full blown world view. The ideology may have a Biblical certificate but what you do next (personal, family, nation, politics) in the expectation of the imminent end of time is a full world view.
Current historians so far are crying nonsense at The Fourth Turning. And it is nonsense. As much as the inevitable recreation of the old Caliphate is. But go and tell their prophets to drop the guns, because historians say it is nonsense. Hello, headchopper, don be so stupid, you see, the historians are laughing.
So this is what Maria says to me in airport waiting to board: Since you ask, Leandro, this is what the world has gone so far, this is where we are and this is where we are going, inevitable, clear (yes please, I’ll have another one, thanks ), it’s history, and this is what I think will happen, and this is what we should do.
And all that before talking any corporate stuff.
Would that not be just wonderful?
Any remaining conversation would be much easier!
My job would so much easier.