Monday, August 10, 2009
Is ideology important?
I was at a meeting at Mayday Books about ten days back. This was one where anyone who was so inclined was allowed to speak for two minutes, ostensibly on the economic crisis. And what a farrago of nonsense I had to endure (for over two hours). The people at the meeting who understood the roots of the economic crisis could probably be counted on a crippled hand. The rest ranted on whatever took their fancy. These people don't seem to understand that just proclaiming that one is "of the Left" doesn't necessarily make it so. Some theoretical understanding and some responsibility in utterance is called for. Without viewing the world through an ideological prism, one cannot be of the Left. All that is left is inchoate moral outrage and the simplistic and puerile thinking that those in charge are "evil"; and that once these "evil" and "greedy" people are supplanted, everything will be hunky-dory. This is the rubbish one has to endure at these meetings. I remember a meeting two or three years back when one person stood and proudly announced, "I hate Bush." So ...? The problem has never been Bush. This is an imbecile's view of social and political reality. Bush has gone and Obama is in. What has changed? You could put an archangel in the White House and the structure and dynamic of the empire would not change an iota. The aircraft carriers, the foreign bases, the wars of aggression, and the assassinations and the torture would continue unabated (as they are in the Obama administration). Someone has to say this out loud: Ignoramuses who have never cracked a book and never learnt to think and who then go to these worthless meetings and self-importantly spout drivel are not going to accomplish anything. These meetings are an exercise in futility and other than stoking the egos of a pack of sorry losers accomplish precious little else.