Advice: On Socio-political Philosophies

All angry, young men who are seeking an ideology for socio-political change, i would advise them to mindful of all philosophies which incorporate these two elements:

1. A utopian vision of a perfect society: There are no perfect solutions to our socio-political problems. Followers of any ideology which claims to present one are either myopic or ignorant of the implications of their own views. We do not have all-encompassing panaceas for the ills of our world. The fault lies, perhaps, within us. Humans are not perfect and neither are societies.

2. Statements of this sort: "People will suffer/die, but it will be a sacrifice for the higher good." It is my opinion that any ideology that makes its followers believe in such a thing contains distinct elements of fundamentalism, and is likely to cause more harm than good.


misspecs said…
This statement about being used for the 'greater good' is indeed something to be aware of.

Another blogger wrote a fantastic piece on extremists just a week ago. She mentions a lot of things which also make sense for us when seen in this context (Islam/terrorism/extremism)
Anonymous said…
Dear Awais,

Try not be post-modernist please. Our conception of Utopia which we chase, may be too ideal, a Platonic Conception, but my dear, that is what makes us different from extremesits. Remember, Sartre's idea of "Permanent Revolution." Similarly, no matter how much perfection we achieve, we shall ask for more and more. We shall erbel against the system we created. We shall always aim for a "more perfect system." If we assume that you are right, that there is no Utopian system, then Sir, our never ending quest for it, will keep us away from Fundamenaism/Intellectual Stagnation/ Reactionary Ideas and ever in search of Progress.

Laal BadShah.
Awais said…
@ Laal Badshah

I am not a post-modernist; similar ideas have been expressed by thinkers from the logical-analytical camp.

Secondly, progression can be achieved stepwise, dealing with individual or related group of problems, progression in a segmented manner... instead of sweeping away a whole society and replacing it with a new one by some revolution.

Just because there is no single, all-encompassing, perfect cure for all human diseases, it doesn't prevents doctors and researches from searching for better treatments. Human society is like that; there are multiple diseases inflicting it; probably it would be better if we tried to treat them separately instead of insisting on an all encompassing, perfect cure that doesn't exist.

And if the only reason for your belief in a utopia is that it allows you to carry out your quest, then you are deluding yourself with false hope.