Friday, June 29, 2007

Russell Kirk on Ideology--With Benedict XVI

Courtesy of Rod Dreher, a fascinating quotation on 'ideology' from Kirk:

Kirk contended that ideology is a type of religious dogmatism in a political context, and one completely inconsistent with a conservative outlook. It eliminates the nuances and shades of gray that exist in actual political or social life.

For the ideologue, humankind may be defined into two classes: the comrades of Progress, and the foes attached to reactionary interests,” who are not only incorrect but who must be destroyed.

The proponent of ideology “resorts to the anaesthetic of social utopianism, escaping the tragedy and grandeur of true human existence by giving his adherence to a perfect dream-world of the future. Reality [the ideologue] stretches or chops away to conform to [a] dream-pattern of human nature and society.” Because ideology is a replacement religion, when injected into the public sphere it makes politics, at least as Kirk defines it, impossible.

"Fairness doctrine", anyone? "Diversity, " anyone? "Global Warming"?

You can find a similar train of thought in our post on 'What's Wrong With the World.' Or you can look at our post centering on Ayn Rand--the "other side" of ideology.

And here's the same general idea restated by B-16 in his new book "Jesus of Nazareth":

Earthly kingdoms remain earthly human kingdoms, and anyone who claims to be able to establish the perfect world is the willing dupe of Satan and plays the world right into his hands." -- Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, 44.

Look, folks--if B-16, GKC, Whittaker Chambers, and Kirk agree on something, maybe it's worth remembering, eh?

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