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January 7, 2017 / Congau

Ideological Scarcity

Mainstream politics shuns ideology. It wants a stable normality without strong believes where everyone goes about their private business without challenging the structures of society. In short, they want politics without politics.

Some countries have come closer to this ideal than others. Germany is governed by a grand coalition effectively pushing the ideological opposition out to the fringes making them sound like radicals that are not to be taken seriously.

There is something to be said for this quiet condition in a big prosperous country, after all many people have no interest in politics at all and prefer to be left alone in their private lives. But the lack of ideology is also an ideology and therefore it is unsurprising if countries that are not comfortably included in benevolent Merkelism seek to formulate another one.

In Poland for example a sharp ideological conflict has broken out. It is condemned as a breach with so-called European values, but in a way it is a reaction to the non-ideological ideology of the EU. Institutions sometimes have to be broken to open up for a real alternative.

The ideologies are not dead, as some have claimed, and it could also never happen because any conception of society is itself an ideology and also because there will always be a certain reaction to whatever ideology is dominant.

But of course in certain times and places the ideological competition is less pronounced and when they are hidden it may look as if they have disappeared. The absence of quarrel and strife may be a good thing in itself, but it’s a pity that it dulls the social consciousness.

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