Ideology Vs. Realism: Your Principles Might Be A Straight Jacket

By Tony Cartalucci

In reality, socioeconomic ideologies like socialism, communism, capitalism, agorism, and anarchy are like tools. They are best used under specific circumstances dictated by reality, and just like tools, are best used in combination or sequence toward achieving a certain end.

Healthcare provides a perfect example of this. All can most likely agree that one shouldn’t die simply because they cannot afford healthcare. The current state of healthcare – particularly in terms of infrastructure and technology – means that in order to provide healthcare to individuals who cannot afford it “socialist” style policies and charity is required. However, neither is a sustainable nor final solution – merely an incremental step toward one.

Free market competition, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and the advance of medical technology makes it cheaper and more accessible for everyone, including those who cannot afford it at current costs. Incrementally, research and development will yield healthcare infrastructure and technology even the poorest can afford without government intervention or charitable organizations. A combination of socioeconomic ideologies used to achieve this represents a process rooted in reality – not divorced from ideology – but utilizing socioeconomic ideology as practical tools toward a specific goal – and using them in combination and sequence to get there.

In a transition from healthcare today to a future where it is affordable and accessible to all, individualists and free marketeers will ultimately come out on top. Ironically, they can never do so until they make the transition today from temporary stop gaps to sustainable solutions tomorrow.

Unfortunately for many, socioeconomic ideologies are viewed more like “sacred cows” they jealously protect from contact with anything even remotely removed from its place along the socioeconomic ideological spectrum. And like a sacred cow, ideologies thus become an object of adulation rather than anything practical.

For individualists, free marketeers, capitalists, and other stripes right of the socioeconomic ideological spectrum, the notion of socialist healthcare is unacceptable under any circumstance. Despite being unable to implement immediate alternatives for addressing people unable to afford healthcare now, or any road map toward a future where healthcare is affordable without socialist schemes, they categorically reject even temporary measures and stop gaps.

This is because they put their ideology ahead of reality and by doing so fail to address and solve both real problems and more ironically – fail in moving society any closer toward their own ideologies of choice.

In a transition from healthcare today to a future where it is affordable and accessible to all, individualists and free marketeers will ultimately come out on top. Ironically, they can never do so until they make the transition today from temporary stop gaps to sustainable solutions tomorrow.

3D printing and other forms of personal manufacturing technology is another example of how ideologies can coexist. Communism focuses on the means of production being placed into the “people’s” hands. 3D printers and other computer-controlled manufacturing systems are privately owned means of production owned by individuals. It is literally private property that puts the means of production into the “people’s” hands.

For capitalists and communists it represents a paradox they are unable and unwilling to fold into their respective ideological proclivities. To a realist, it is simply a logical, technological solution that works.

Human Nature – Ideology’s Missing Ingredient

Communism in theory sounds very straightforward and fair. It is the centralized collection, planning, and distribution of wealth across society. In reality, it has never effectively worked. Why?

Capitalism depends on the invisible hand of the free market and self interests. It, too, has led to an overall divergence between its ideologically expected results and how it has actually manifested itself in reality. Why?

Communism – like virtually all ideologies left or right of the spectrum – fails to take into account human nature and more specifically, self-interest and greed. When a society’s resources are collected by a centralized committee of individuals – self-interest and greed guarantees corruption, abuse, exploitation and all other characteristics a devoted communist would generally identify with capitalism.

Capitalism – despite taking into account self-interest – fails to factor in another aspect of human nature: the tendency of wealthy people to consolidate and organize their resources in such a way as to bind the “invisible hands” of free market, rigging the system in their favor and creating monopolies no different than the centralized corruption, abuse, and exploitation that results from communism.

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Virtually all other ideologies suffer from similarly omitting human nature as a basis for all else to follow.

The concepts of free markets, distribution of wealth, ensuring all are fed, clothed, and cared for can co-exist if realism and pragmatism are applied, and combinations of ideas are drawn from ideologies in a manner resembling a carpenter utilizing different tools to shape wood into a single, final desired outcome.

Just like a carpenter would not use only a hammer to build an entire house – but rather saws, chisels, hammers, joints, and all other manners of tools in concert – no single ideology can be used to face and solve socioeconomic challenges.

They Who Use Ideology as Tools Build Empires

There are, however, those who do understand this. They do not pick and religiously adhere to a single ideology – they use all ideologies whenever and wherever convenient, and as socioeconomic tools. And because most ordinary people view ideologies in almost religious terms, these ideologies are mostly used for manipulating, dividing, controlling, and dominating human society rather than advancing it as imagined by each respective ideology’s adherents.

Image: The only thing these ideologies have in common is that they blind their adherents to reality and that the US uses them all to manipulate, divide, and conquer entire nations with them. 

This explains why the United States, for example, employed right-wing fascists in Ukraine to overthrow the government there in 2013-2014. And why it used “leftist” protesters in Thailand between 2009-2010 in back-to-back failed attempts to topple the government there. It also explains why in the Middle East and North Africa it uses terrorist fanatics to wage proxy wars while it uses Islamophobic racists and bigots to sow fear and social division back at home.

The common denominator between these apparently diametrically opposed socioeconomic ideologies is not rooted in ideology at all – but rather human nature.

Powerful special interests have used ideologies as tools to build a globe-spanning empire while those adhering to a specific ideology have ended up pawns in this empire’s games.

If one wants to build an alternative to this empire, they will have to likewise abandon viewing ideology as a single set of principles they must religiously adhere to and view all ideologies as potential tools to be used in concert and sequentially to create the single, final outcome they desire.

Those tempted to argue otherwise should sincerely look at whatever ideology they have devoted themselves to, and ask themselves when – by itself – it ever truly threatened or ever will threaten the monopoly and control over ideology the worst abusers on Earth currently hold. They will likely find that the answer is, they never did and never will.

Geopolitical realism is based on self-interest above all else. Those genuinely interested in understanding, analyzing, and explaining geopolitics or advancing geopolitics toward the benefit of all must see past ideological trappings, identify the real stakes and stakeholders, and practically discern how to balance, decentralize, and distribute power in a way genuinely conducive to human nature.

Those doing this follow money, motives, and agendas rather than discuss ideologies. Those incapable of doing this are not only useless in confronting corruption, abuse, and exploitation, they are paying into and are a part of the very system creating it.

And many times, real solutions involve no ideology at all – they are simply practical solutions virtually all regardless of their respective ideology can work together on. But because of the persuasive and alluring strategy of tension created by those who control inter-ideological conflict, many of these truly progressive solutions are neglected in exchange for circular political conflict.

Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, where this article first appeared, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg.

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14 Comments on "Ideology Vs. Realism: Your Principles Might Be A Straight Jacket"

  1. Lewie Paine | May 18, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Reply

    Major thumbs down. The ends never justify the means.

    • Did you even read the article? It’s not about what we believe in and do, it’s about looking at what special interests are doing and how they hide their agenda and motivations behind facades of ideology to manipulate us.

      Ignoring lies and shaping your own agenda based on reality is not an “ends justifies the means” scenario.

  2. We are all racists, homophobes, misogynists and other deplorable words.
    Sure we are.

  3. “And many times, real solutions involve no ideology at all”

    Translation: “Forget principles. The end justifies the means.”

    Talk about a shameless moral inversion. Deliberately mischaracterizing integrity as dogmatism? Sickening!

    • I think you missed the whole point, probably because you are obsessed with ideology…

      Creating a local organic garden to produce clean food doesn’t involve ideology and is also in no way a “ends justifies the means” scenario. There is even a link in that paragraph you referenced describing specifically the type of solutions referred to.

      • “Creating a local organic garden to produce clean food doesn’t involve ideology”


        The right to own land and to decide what to plant in your organic garden is predicated upon private property rights. That is in turn rooted in natural rights theory. Hardline Maoists would maintain that it involves the original sin of “private property”.

        You didn’t transcend ideology. You didn’t perform an end run around ideology. You simply ignored the reality of its existence.

        What you’re doing is what a child does when afraid, cover his eyes or ears to the upsetting stimulus.

        • and while you blather about “theory” other people, Marxists and agorists, are getting together, building alternatives to agricultural monopolies, based on practicality and self-interest and without any ideological discussion at all.

          They often do so needing to make compromises based on local laws and regulations. They also realize that by keeping their ideology in their back pocket, they are able to build bridges and find middle ground with more people based on what they fundamentally agree on.

          Maybe you should get out from among your books and try actually building something and see how far you get only associating with people who ideologically agree with you and only under ideal conditions as prescribed by your ideology of choice…

          There are no real ideologies Bevin, it’s all in our heads. Real solutions are things you can touch, walk around, and use.

          • “Maybe you should get out from among your books and try actually building something”

            I’m a retired architect. I worked for 30 years in the building industry. I’ve “actually built something”.

            Have you?

          • M.Martinez | May 20, 2017 at 7:18 am |

            lol. By “build something” I meant involving solutions regarding all the things you complain about.

            There is nothing wrong with “ideology.” It belongs in your back pocket, not pinned to your chest. You cited Marxists and believers in private property. Ironically, people from both camps bicker over these “ideologies” while using their iPhones.

            For the Marxist, the iPhone is a symbol of everything they stand against. For those against globalism which includes most private property proponents, Apple is also an example of corrupt special interests and monopoly.

            They have their ideologies pinned to their chests, but in practice they are betraying them in the truest sense.

            Conversely, a Marxist and an anarchist could find themselves doing business in a farmers’ market together without ever even talking about their respective ideologies. Although BOTH of their ideologies are in their back pockets, they both undermine corrupt special interests.

            You spent 30 years doing a job so I reckon you’re an oldtimer and have enough wisdom to sidestep your semantics and see the real point here. And if getting you to abandon your pride in favor of reason means me apologizing for coming across as a bit of a jerk, I apologize

          • Lewie Paine | May 20, 2017 at 8:20 am |

            Interesting that you use the ideology of the anarchist in your example. (…doing business in a farmers’ market…)

            That’s because in the real world on an individual level (living life), it goes without saying that voluntary, free market association is the best way to peacefully co-exist.

            A society can be based either on cooperation and non-violence or force and coercion. Point is, forcibly dominating others is not legitimate even when it is done in the name of ‘the people’ or ‘the common good.’

            And I know that for BC (as well as myself), the central guiding principle is the NAP.

          • M.Martinez | May 20, 2017 at 10:44 am |

            Who said that forcibly dominating anyone was acceptable? Where in the article does it say that? And where did I say that?

            The reality is that when you look at the world and where we are now and where we need to go, a transition needs to be made and we need to gradually move toward voluntary association.

            But if you reject out of hand absolutely everything that doesn’t mesh with your utopian “end,” you’ll never reach it and in fact, you’ll probably watch society drift further away from it. And also, as high and mighty as you and “BC” attempt to appear, I can guarantee you are both already compromising and paying into corrupt special interests and systems that forcibly dominate people. You do it for convenience and personal comfort, why not also do it for strategic progress, building bridges, and finding common ground???

          • Bill the eighth | May 24, 2017 at 11:55 am |

            After reading these comments, I can say without question you are a smarmy, arrogant, condescending know nothing, M Martinez.

          • M.Martinez | May 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm |

            What makes me arrogant? Does me staying on topic and you being emotional and whiny make me “arrogant?”

          • “and while you blather about “theory” other people, Marxists and agorists, are getting together, building alternatives to agricultural monopolies, based on practicality and self-interest and without any ideological discussion at all.”

            You really ought to consider thinking before typing.

            First you talk about “building alternatives to agricultural monopolies”.

            Then you declare that “There are no real ideologies”. Seriously? Recognition that agricultural monopolies are undesirable has nothing to do with ideology?

            a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

            It’s becoming clear that there is simply no reasoning with you. So this is going to have to be it.

            I’ll let you have the last word. You can tell me how your ideology is not ideology, because you refuse to label it as such.

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