Dangers of Negative Ideologies

Negative ideologies tend towards maintaining a law of history, the installation of totalitarian regimes, neglect of basic human rights, the abuse of an ideology to justify the use of force.

 

Assertion that history follows a law

“In memory of the countless men and women
of all creeds or nations or races
who fell victims to the fascist and communist belief in
Inexorable Laws of Historical Destiny”

Starting dedication of Karl Poppers book: “The Poverty of Historicism”, first published 1957, quoted from the website: http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/books/popper_poverty_of_historicism.html 

Historicism is a concept of scientific history claiming that history of mankind is based on a fundamental law which determines decisively the historical sequence in the past, present and future. Depending on the basic ideology this law can be f. i. “the manifestation of God’s Will”, “the law of class struggles” or “the law of race struggles”.  At the end of history always stands a vague utopia as f. i. “the Realm of God”, “a classless society” or “the perfect purebred national community”.
Since these “laws” are in accordance with nature and are therefore valid inescapably, there is a tendency to support the “law of nature” by “affirmative actions”. Thus, the logical consequence are directives of intolerance and force.

Popper summarizes: “The attempt to establish heaven on earth always creates hell”.

 

Installation of totalitarian regimes

By attempting to implement a historic “law” resp. by trying to adjust contemporary reality to it, all those, who think they cannot follow this “law”, must be “persuaded”, with force, if necessary. A democratic constitution however is not the right environment for this project, because a multitude of opinions will be opposed to the effort to streamline opinions. Adolf Hitler, the self-promoted “political designer” and “hands-on politician” in one person, therefore demands as early as 1925 in his programmatic book “Mein Kampf” the establishment of a centralised, totalitarian regime, a “Führerstaat”. Hitler could realise this kind of state in breathtaking pace after he was given nearly absolute power by his contemporary political colleagues in 1933. During this year already the NSDAP became the only legal political party and the foundation of new parties was forbidden. Until 1934 all German federal states were brought to enforced conformity and the economic, social and cultural organisations were streamlined to the party line of the NSDAP.  By this, the former pluralistic society had been abolished. All this happened of course in accordance with the predominant nationalistic race-ideology and for “the benefit of the German people”.

The transition from Bolschewism to Stalinism in the Soviet-Union showed a similar pattern. The ideology implied a forced industrialisation  at all costs to make the country a strong superpower, from which the “socialist world-revolution” should start. First Stalin switched off all immediate competitors, namely Trotzky, to establish thereafter a terror regime, which resulted in millions of deaths.

The main ideologies of the 20th century both put up dictatorial leader-regimes, which subjugated their  fellow citizens to a nearly perfect control by hammering propaganda, brutal terror by the legal authorities, concentration camps and an omnipresent secret police.

 

Contempt of basic and human rights

is the logical consequence of the combination of dogmatic ideology and totalitarian state. Since the “absolute truth” is at stake and all controlling institutions were abolished, there is no necessity to consider individual basic rights. Totalitarian ideologies deal with the really big issue, the realisation of the “ideal society” and the domination of the whole world, so the individual person does not count, but only the “people” or the “class”.

The next chapter includes examples in history and present of the abuse of ideologies to justify the use of force, aggression and oppression.

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