An ideology can be looked at as a system of beliefs. This then raises questions:
- An explanation as to the cause of the agglomeration of separate smaller or lesser beliefs, one to another, to form the complexity which is an ideology.
- Whether the individual components of that complex can also exist independently.
- Whether an outward expression of those beliefs is a necessary part of ideology.
- To ask why individuals continue to adhere to those beliefs.
Approbation. The need for approval seems to be a (or the sole) driving force in integrating individuals into societal conformity (aka social cohesion) and so (ultimately) ideology. It is telling that those who seem to have a deficiency in that quality are termed “sociopaths”.
Social accord. Approval implies agreement, the social prevalence and acceptance of the concept. .
Critical Mass. To survive a belief system must reflect the opinion of a critical mass of a society (or social sub-set)
Transmission. Perhaps the mechanism of the (necessary) spread of a belief system is entirely ad hominem and is transmitted piecemeal by the beliefs of others. This has been labeled a “meme” and describes an idea or a behavioral pattern which spreads from person to person within the context of given culture
Parental influence. It seems that parental attitudes and ideology have a stronger impact than those ideological inputs of later life.
“Culture”. The distance between a “culture” and any system of beliefs needs exploration. Both involve patterns of behaviour, which depend upon, emanate from and are justified by that system of beliefs. The contentment with that system of beliefs which is “owned” by an individual seems to generate additional powerfully self-sustaining effects.
Perpetuation and Defense. Systems of beliefs, once ensconced, and widely accepted will become regarded as the optimum or “ideal”. As a result they will be defended vigorously. This might also be because they form such an immutable part of self-image and these become inseparable from body image. As such they are protected much as the physical body is assiduously protected.
Parasitic or saprophytic variation. Perhaps the complexity of an ideology, in itself, acts as a fertile substrate for the incorporation of other (additional or parasitic) beliefs, and so allowing that ideology to grow.
Certainty and Conviction. Once a critical mass is reached individuals come to believe that the system is certain and “Absolute”. As belief systems become defended energetically the resultant conviction of their “absoluteness” might be expressed by a variety of emotions, including “righteousness”.
Self Perpetuation. Contentment with the validity of the belief system might originate from within the system itself. In other words it may develop an autonomous, endoteric validity.
Structured Professions as examples of Ideologies. When I began to study law I became concerned that the “rationality” of law would become an entity in itself and allow me to be convinced of its validity, simply because each component was groomed to “interlock” with the other compounds. My concern was whether my identification with the system of law could divorce that (legal) system from a greater world and trump other systems of my own beliefs which I wanted to preserve. Notable among these was my belief in the system of medicine.
Leading into the field of medicine: of concern to me has been the contentment of those within medicine, who show self-satisfied with both their own capabilities and the (purported) all encompassing and prevailing comprehensiveness of “conventional” medicine. Out of this come undesirable components which include inflexibility and arrogance (which might be simply a component of inflexibility).
Dynamic variation. It is common cause that belief systems alter dynamically.
Senility of Ideology. As societies fail, even marginally, so the infrastructure of that society will begin to fail. Each summates with the other causing exponential acceleration of degradation of both the ideology and the infrastructure. Once that occurs the context changes. Since ideology is closely related to context, the ideology itself then begins to weaken – early by an attempt to adjust to, and compensate for, these changes. However that fragmentation itself is sufficient to break the absoluteness which charecterises ideology, so further accelerating the demise.