Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.
What do human consciousness, society and planetary ecology all have in common? They are all incredibly complex systems of minute interactions which holistically produce a more or less perfectly working system.
The evolution of consciousness allowed mankind to transcend their base animalistic functions. The evolution of society allowed us to cooperate and dominate the planet; inventing and producing new technologies at an exponential rate which have more or less worked to our benefit. Planetary ecology has created complex interlocking systems that allowed all of this to happen in the first place. From weather patterns to tectonic shifts, an oasis was created that allowed carbon based life to flourish. The universe is one gigantic complex construct. Layers upon layers of systems interacting perfectly to produce something so sublime that the more you try and understand it, the more one attempts to quantify it, the further it moves beyond the ability of words to describe properly.
So, it makes sense that mankind has often tried to simplify things into a condensed form that allows us to comprehend all of this without our brains exploding. First, it was religion. We created gods to explain the mysteries of the world around us and to comfort us. Explanations for the unexplainable. Next came ideology – arguably religion in a different skin – replacing deities with manifestos and political theories. Yet one thing stayed the same; the different ideas created ultimately ended up at odds with one another. We shunned that which was different, creating dichotomies to make us feel like we were in the right and they were in the wrong. We became convinced that we were all free, trapped in gilded cages shouting at one another across the room that ours was shinier, more comfortable and better suited to our needs. Yet the whole time we couldn’t see that we were all trapped. Trapped because we chose to subscribe to one belief instead of another.
But a truly free individual must draw on concepts across all ideological and religious spectrums. Complete devotion to a single idea enslaves one to it, instead of serving oneself selflessly we serve a construct that exists to preserve itself. Thus, in pursuing freedom, equality, altruism, piety or strength you can lose these things entirely. Ideas are not conscious beings, they are the projection of a singular or shared wish. They do not have your best interest at heart, rather their own self-preservation that hides under an illusion of your own intent. Therefore, to be truly free one must be devoted to constantly changing, building and evolving their own personal philosophy. To become the best possible outcome of themselves whilst also becoming the best possible outcome for society, for the world and lastly for humanity.
This is also the case for global ideology as well. Whether we like it or not globalisation is here to stay. Five-hundred years ago, a Cherokee hunter, a Zulu tribesman, and a holy man from the Himalayas would be oblivious to the others existence, their beliefs and their ideological, religious or philosophical drives. Yet nowadays one can watch a Spanish football game on a device designed by an American company and produced in China. Everything, like human consciousness, society or planetary ecology, is interlinked. So why shouldn’t our beliefs be?
The problem we face is that whilst the world may be global, its people are not. Every existing ideology ultimately corrupts itself through its zealots’ actions. Soviet Russia built itself on the values of Marx and Lenin and the pursuit of economic equality. Yet soviet Russia became a totalitarian monstrosity, preventing millions of becoming truly equal whilst its ruling elite grappled with one another for power.
The Capitalist West built itself on the values of economic and social liberty. But it did so off the backs of slavery, imperialism and colonialism. The pursuit of wealth and a western dream where all people have an equal opportunity of achieving financial liberation has set us at each other’s throats. Everyone wants to be a millionaire but not everyone can be, so most end up at the bottom of the pile whilst others scramble over and above them to the top.
It doesn’t have to be this way. A solution to this problem is ideological holism, which takes the best bits from everything. Capitalism’s market with the regulations of socialism, where the upper and lower class marry in the middle. The liberal values of tolerance with conservative pragmatism, for we cannot tolerate the intolerant. The spiritual and moralistic side of faith, with the rational side of science. You can have your God and so can everyone else. What this seeks to achieve is a tempered world free of extreme views that exists in an ideological centre. In an ideologically holistic world, there will be no need for nationalism, as we will learn to be global patriots. There will be no need to force one God on another, for we will be able to accept the beliefs of others. It will make sense to save the planet, to preserve each other’s cultures and learn of new ones. The challenge will not be so base and menial as the victory of one value over another. It will be a true challenge, a challenge for humanity to evolve and better itself.
What must be avoided in this pursuit is falling into paradox. Ideological holism is not here for lifelong devotion. Time brings change to everything, and the biggest irony that it may bring is of the holistic aspect slowly eroding. Time may produce just another ideology, oppressing and persecuting. So, this view must not dominate our vision. Instead, ideological holism sits on your shoulder like an ambivalent entity helping you pick grains of truth from each bowl on the table. It could be therefore said, that it is an anti-ideology, challenging you to avoid the cyclical war of beliefs that has plagued history and create a straight path into the future.