Violence and Ideology

I learned a good amount in the last five years. I say a good amount because every class was divided into fulfilling some pedagogical purpose. It’s been a month now since I finished but the world continues to revolve around in its orbit. Looking back at the fragments of information that my brain collected, I see mainly the beginnings of my hypothesis about ideology. Ideology is not singular but plural, competing for the attention of many, while seeming invisible, almost non-functioning. When I think of ideology I first of all think of Erich Fromm’s theory of the human necessity for belonging. In Escape from Freedom, he outlined that food and shelter are mere necessities of survival and that in order for man to survive he must have some sense of belonging. Such belonging is not just a call for love or friendship but is often actualized through ideology. Ideology as a word is but a vague explanation of a worldview that gives the person a framework through which they see, participate, and understand interactions and events. It is at this point that I must pause to think back on Marx’s theory regarding human consciousness. Material conditions determine man’s consciousness. And I struggle now to recall the name of the theorist that spoke about how the material is formed not from an isolated economic base, but from an economic base that is determined through government policy. I lied and I do recall the name of the person who made this phenomenon possible. His name was Pollock and he named such a phenomenon state capitalism. And so Marx’s theory about the inevitable crisis of capitalism and lack of growth of capital is undermined. In its place Lenin spoke about the appeasement of the working class through the governmental policy of imperialism. i pause to realize that I know nothing but that oppression is built into the system of capitalism. Such oppression was of course pointed out by Marx, who decried religion but also decried such conditions of oppression. And so the Communists forgot to decry oppression when they decried religion, instead twisting the theory to state that all bourgeois ideology is the only oppressive ideology, making the way for a theory that became what it opposed. What is oppression anyway but violence? Violence pervades the 21st Century. The chaos is so great that often people point to the weapon as the agent of violence and forget that violence has long now been a chain. I in no way seek to undervalue the terror that occurred in Florida. I imagine the fear that entered the people’s hearts, knocking until they stopped and collapsed. Is it awful that I think of the pain in the shooter, who grabbed a weapon perhaps envious of the freedom that homosexuals can exert; While he a Muslim is ridiculed and unacknowledged as a human being, made instead to be in connection to what only began as a chain of violence, Isis. All ideology is two-sided spouting love in some way and hate in another. That man was told to love his God, and he was taught to love through hate of those who dishonored his God. How is that different from nationalism, capitalism, democracy, communism, racism, sexism, and any system that makes a sectarian worldview? The problem of the 21st century is sectarianism. Man now free to choose a worldview, free from the sacred hell of the past, is allowed to choose. The lack of unity, something that was once a Utopian fantasy, of being free without chains, has allowed for the growing division and a decrease of recognition to those who are most vulnerable to enter the chain of violence that has long existed. The person that most taught me perspective was William Faulkner, who never made the plot unilateral, but also showed all the contradictions in understanding one event. At some point in his most brutal novel, Sanctuary, the narrator, a lawyer, Horace Benbow, notes the fatalism of justice and says: Perhaps it is upon the instant that we realize, admit, that there is a logical pattern to evil, that we die, he thought, thinking of the expression he had once seen in the eyes of the deal child, and of other dead: the cooling indignation, the shocked despair fading, leaving two empty globes in which the motionless world lurked profoundly in miniature (221). Right before such quote Benbow realizes the connection between violence and ideology, which can never be understood in one action but that must be understood as a ripple, with the judge only seeing the immediate action that had resulted in some violation to be payed by the perpetrator: a debt as Nietzche said. The perpetrator was not to be isolated but part of some circumstance that had resulted in the event to be judged. And it is right here that I must return to ideology, because ideology allows people to judge one single event in one certain way. People never quite think about the complexity, the wounds, nor the death that cannot be seen. And so we create more ripples, add more fire, allow for more violence, because the hurt underneath such violence is never addressed but instead made into a fire. It has only been one day and already the connection between one man and his ideology of hate has been pointed out, of course only creating more hatred and more violence. The point is not to blame the weapon, but to examine the conditions that keep adding fire to the hatred. Ideology against ideology and money as the only commodity to give recognition to any ideology. A few moments…of silence



For those who die in this pattern, fed by the only ideology which is present in all ideologies: hatred and lack of love.