A recent Facebook spat of mine involving the Great Depression reminded me of the concept of ideology over reality. It’s not a big deal but it did strike me as something to discuss in a blog.
Basically, in a reply to one of my posts, a fellow with absolute certainty posited that the Great Depression would have lasted only a few months but President Franklin Roosevelt intentionally extended it to promote a socialist ideology.
It’s also important to understand my original reply had nothing to do with Roosevelt or the Great Depression. It was merely a comment about the Federal Reserve.
The Simple Problem
The simple problem with the stated post is that Roosevelt took office some three years after the Great Depression started. This is ideology over reality.
Do I think the person who made the statement is lying? No, I don’t. I think that person absolutely believes what they are saying. That person likely heard it from some factually unsound individual and believed it because it fit his world view. I didn’t even bother replying because there is just no point. When ideology over reality takes over a mind, for many people it seems almost impossible to go back.
The Original Thread
The original post I commented on involved a historical article about Andrew Jackson and his veto of the Second Bank of the United States. Someone else commented that between then and the establishment of the Federal Reserve, there were a series of economic panics and that, perhaps, Jackson’s veto, had drawbacks.
Ideology over Reality
In any case, that’s not really the point of my blog today. I understand Confirmation Bias and I’ve written about it before. Ideology over reality is becoming disturbing. The reply about the Great Depression was one of several I received on the issue. Not a single reply addressed my point in any way. They all spoke about nebulously related concepts, topics that met with the ideology of the person writing.
A growing number of people seem to just not care about reality. Ideology is first, last, and only. Facts simply don’t matter. Reality is irrelevant. What’s important is simple ideology. My ideology is right. Everything about it is right. There is no room for debate. There are no complex topics. It’s all simple, straightforward, easy. I’m smart, you’re stupid. Your way will lead to my destruction and I must stop you by any means possible.
Anyone who agrees with my ideology is always right. Anyone who disagrees with my ideology is always wrong. When a threshold percent of the population succumbs to this way of thinking, we can no longer coexist with one another in a peaceful way. We haven’t reached that threshold yet. Hopefully, we never will.
Think logically, not ideologically.