Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The road to slavery

It is undeniable that the New York Times stands out today as the media outlet where news are most thoroughly shaped by radical ideology.

5 comments:

Damien Hirst said...

What do you understand for "ideology"? If you have read something very basic about the theme, you should know that ALL of us live according to an ideology. Louis Althusser said, "ideology [...] is indispensable in any society if men are to be formed, transformed and equipped to respond to the demands of their conditions of existence."

Hannah Arendt said, "ideologies pretend to know the mysteries of the whole historical process -the secrets of the past, the intricacies of the present, the uncertainties of the future-because of the logic inherent in their respective ideas" (Ideology and Terror). Christianity make all make the same claims; yes or not? We should define what we understand for "ideology" before saying that we do not live according to one of them.

To say that the New York Times is promoting a "radical ideology" is a rhetorical tautology; all ideologies are radical by nature. There is no judgement in it.

If you want to read something very good about what is ideology according to Hannah Arendt writings - she is not one of the best philosophers working with this concept-, look this website:

http://www.cooper.edu/humanities/core/hss3/h_arendt.html

Crossroads said...

Thanks, I have in fact read Hanna Arendt many times, and I am using precisely her definition of ideology: "the logic of an idea...which is never interested in the miracle of being...and can never be interrupted neither by a new idea nor by a new experience" (see "The origin of Totalitarianism" pages 642-644 in my edition). I should mention that Arentd's description of ideology as "the logical development of a prejudice that claims to explain every apect of reality" was much beloved by the late Msgr. Giussani, who quoted it repeatedly in his work.

Now, exactly based on Hanna Arendt analysis I claim:
a) That this notion of ideology has nothing to do with the Marxist notion (as expressed in your Althusser quote).
b) That certainly Christianity is not an ideology, since it is an event before it is a doctrine. In fact, even its doctrines are not the logical development of any prejudice about the logic of history, but if anything the attempt to describe precisely a "new experience." By contrast, Arendt's ideologue is a man who chooses to REMOVE himself from experience in order to dominate the world through "the logic of his idea." Christianiy arises from the exactly OPPOSITE motion. Of course,
the temptatin of REDUCING it to an ideology is not taken away, and we all have to fight against it.

ampleforth said...

So Christians should be open to the possibility that their belief could be "interrupted neither by a new idea nor by a new experience"?

Crossroads said...

Of course you have to be careful about what you mean by "experience," since the word leands itself easily to misintepretation. But if you are asking whether in some appropriate sense the Christian faith involves experience, I would say yes, definitively. The whole point of God becoming man is, after all, that he chose to "submit" himself to our experience, to be "experienced." Our faith, in a sense, rests on the experience of meeting people who met other people who met Jesus. What convinced the apostles of Jesus' claims was, of course, the Holy Spirit, but the action of the Spirit worked through the actual encounter with the man Jesus of Nazareth, which was an experience.

Damien Hirst said...

Thanks for this Albacete's gentle and respetous style answer. It is very interesting.