"If the tone I set is that we bring as much intellectual firepower to a problem, that people act respectfully towards each other, that disagreements are fully aired, and that we make decisions based on facts and evidence as opposed to ideology, that people will adapt to that culture and we'll be able to move together effectively as a team." -- Barack Obama
We hear this -- "rather than ideology" -- often enough it deserves a close look. What does it mean to base decisions on facts and evidence rather than ideology? Is it meaningless political-speak that simply implies the politician is not set on any certain ideology and will be open-minded to all solutions? Does this mean that Obama will listen to libertarians and base decisions on the facts and evidence that free market solutions are superior to statist central planning when it comes to economic matters? Will he listen to proponents for deep cuts in tax rates and severe spending cuts? Will Obama seriously consider the idea that spontaneous order is necessary in a complex society and that government intervention is futile?
The answer to all these questions is -- No. The reason is that he'll make decisions based on liberal/progressive ideology. Many disclaim ideology out of a new ideology of anti-ideology.
Ideology makes it unnecessary for people to confront individual issues on their individual merits. One simply turns to the ideological vending machine, and out comes the prepared formulae. And when these beliefs are suffused by apocalyptic fervor, ideas become weapons, and with dreadful results. - Daniel Bell, The End of Ideology.
For some reason there's the belief that problems come to us anew as unique curiosities with no history -- this is convenient for the subjectivist who wants to create a special reality outside the one we must adhere to unless we face consequences. It's an attractive proposition for those who don't want to be shackled by time-tested principles. The irony of Obama's statement is that it's completely backwards -- he doesn't want to make decisions based on facts and evidence, but rather on ideology -- the ideology that promotes the idea we can manufacture our own reality.
The new ideology that is ostensibly anti-ideology is really stating that "ideology" is any set of ideas that oppose the prevailing liberal/progressive ideology. For an understanding of Obama's ideology, read and understand John Rawl's anti-ideology ideology. It's a clever and intellectually powerful subjugation of all opposing ideologies to the progressive ideology -- a modern illusion of open-mindedness and inclusion that assures a collective agreement to be controlled and coerced for the greater good -- not the good of all individuals, mind you, just the amorphous, greater good.
But, let's not put a damper on the Inauguration -- The Obama Bash. I was watching the build-up on several cable news stations and the fawning is truly amazing. I'm not sure if this is 90% media generated celebration that their ideology is represented in a powerful position or if the public is really so enamored with our new president. We'll see. As a nation we should be outraged at this extravagant expense in a recession, but, what the hell, enjoy the party. The "unbearable lightness of being" is upon us.
Photo from Rita's Blue Dog at -- rita314.wordpress.com/.../