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Why Ideology Matters

Allan Greenspan has been the chairman of the American Federal Reserve Bank for almost twenty years (until Ben Bernanke took over in 2006). One of the most influential people in the American financial and political world. After hanging after Ayn Rand for decades, the 2008 crisis made him severely adjust his ideology. His underlying idea of how the world works changed.

Why is ideology important? Because this powerful man’s flawed ideology can reasonably be related to human suffering, like U.S. slums called Tent Cities. Behind every tent lies the story of a person or family losing jobs and housing, and even more importantly losing prospects of living a good life.

Photo: www.theunionews.com

Ideology informs our underlying assumptions about how the world works. Not everything is what it seems to be; as Plato has put it, we might all be living in caves and only see the shadows on the wall before us. We have ideas about what the world and what truth is, but we might easily be misguided. Not too long ago the world simply was flat. Even more recently, and still, kings were simply appointed by God almighty, women were not deemed fit to vote, and communism was the holy grail of social organization. In our days, neo-liberalism dictates that individual freedom is and should be our highest value.

But we might be wrong – as we have been before. Effects can be devastating and far reaching. And this is why ideology matters. Especially for those who exert power over others, it has to be exceptionally clear what their ideological stances are. Powerful people should be asked for and willing to share their ideology. Then ideologies can be contested. It’s a pity it needed hundres of thousands of jobless and homeless families to get the message through this time…

Relationism is a simple answer on market-oriented neo-liberalism, the ideology that has since the days of Reagan and Thatcher increasingly governed Western society – spilling over to the South and East increasingly. Relationism is about what defines people, about what makes people happy: relationships. Relations not only between people, but also between people and the planet. Relationism works for complex societies: where processes are strongly interrelated, focusing on their relationships is a necessity. This new ideology is based on a Vision: the Universal Declaration of Human Direction.