I am not an idealist, though I did in the past claim I was, I now believe with a slight arrogance that I am not more an idealist than anyone else. Idealism is synonymous to religiosity and ideology, as it is just a belief leading the lives of individuals. There is a probably difference in the fact that religious people are effectively slightly more sincere about their faith than the idealism of the lay person.
Idealism is the stuff of the everyday man everybody, whether they are aware of it or not, is idealist. The ideologies we have seen throughout history lead most of the time everybody to accept the world as it is. Though I am wrong when I say ‘as it is’ since everybody wishes some tiny or important changes in their life or in society. Idealism is hidden in the lies we tell ourselves everyday when we think that some ideas are impossible. That is true idealism, as it shows the ideal of the world we now live in.
I have somehow discovered an example of problematic hidden idealism in a discussion that often comes to be heated. A multi-party democracy is the regime under which we live now. It is also our excuse to judge in an ethnically-centred use of the Human Rights any other types of regime. This is the idealism I am talking about.
Now reflecting on idealism, I see suddenly myself as a hyper-pragmatic as I saw all the logical sense of a one party regime against the blind ideology of our system. The argument often used to judge one-party regimes is that they do not allow dissent or opposition. I have now a few questions and observations about both system that could show that both regimes are as faulty in their current states. And we might have no right to judge a regime over an other regime.
Every party has oppositions within their own party. As an example, some British conservative party members accept that homosexuals receive the same rights as heterosexuals while others do not. Now, because most parties do not want to fall into the disarray of looking inconsistent, they have accepted in the 20th century the dictatorial form of party discipline. This concept of party discipline, as a tool of control, is far more dangerous in a lot of ways than the idea of a one party regime.
I have a problem with multiple parties as it is still only a social representation of archaic tribal disputes where no one is concerned in the end with the goal of the policies for everybody on a long term, but instead with the concern is on the pure defence of the party lines told to follow. Of course, party members do have the right to vote on the party lines of thoughts but we can now observe today in politics that opposition parties are most of the times against the governing party choices out of principle rather than out of reason.
Would an opposition party make good arguments, should the party in power normally not admit that it has made a mistake and then accepts the laws proposed by the opposition. Or is the ideal of a multi-party democracy not inherently forbidding accepting the opposition’s point of view as it would mean to admit defeat on some level. “How could we let a minority tribe make a decision!?” is the shock of our regime ideology. The issue is even more complicated as accepting that the other is right would effectively prove that a one party democracy is far more intelligent than the stubbornness of a multiple party one.
Another level where a governing party cannot accept the opposition’s ideas is because, as I’ve already said, politics nowadays is mainly tribal. I vote left because my parents and my friends vote left. I vote right because my parents and my friends vote right. I vote centre because I have changed social milieu I used to live in and I am a bit lost – it is by the way why Europe finds itself nowadays in an in-between state where all the parties set themselves in the centre as they know that society is shifting - and the centre is the safest position to take as it accepts as many ideas as possible. Somehow a one party regime could let this question out on a public sphere and also let the voice of the extremes at least be heard. Why would extremes be heard? Be extremisms is only relative to the perceive centre set by the main parties…
I do not have many examples of countries where a one-party regime lives in a comfortable society and where repression never happens. Then again, no country exists where some form of repression does not exist. This is where hyper-pragmatism comes into play and states that the best of everything should be á goal for everybody and not merely accepts what is going on or ask for some slight liberal changes because we deny to ourselves there is something wrong with the system.
Viet Nam has actually a one-party policy which until the 21rst century did not work too badly. It has sent to prison some of its opponent, some allegedly intelligent dissents not deserving such a fate, some allegedly supported by the American government and its allies, others being just religious nuts wanting to make public what could have been private. Yet, it has a sensible one-party regime where people often vote for the person they find to be the most qualified for the job, and not for the person with the best facial symmetry on the list they think they ought to vote on.
Also, it has to be observed that Viet Nam does not exactly have only one parliament, but authorizes that passed laws be contested by interests groups like workers unions. This is somehow fairer for the common worker than a system where the majority in both electoral chambers passes a law which affects groups and they cannot go to a higher court to contest it except if it breaches the European declaration of Human Rights. And even in this case, I am waiting to see how long it will take for British prisoners to get the right to vote.
On the question of idealism and pragmatism, I am now to realize that my pragmatism is actually an attempt at going beyond the ideology in which we are lock due to a misunderstanding of our history. The First World War is often blamed on the accumulation of spending on ‘defence’ budget of European countries. Whenever I ask about military spending, the counter argument is exactly the language one based on the use of ‘defence’. It is though inconsistent as defence in our contemporary western countries means the collection of a variety of ballistic armaments we could not use in our own country for it would destroy our own basic infrastructures.
More than that, military spending is purely ideological as it is based on a socially constructed fear of being attacked. Costa Rica since its creation almost never had any army and yet has never been invaded. Now, this could mean that it is because it has strong allies pressuring the world not to attack this country. On the other hand, Switzerland has one of the most important army in the world and yet never had to use it at all. Switzerland is more vicious in the fact that even if it has a strong army, it would always anyway support and bow to the strongest whatever the moral sacrifice it means.
On the other hand, we find heroes of history from which we have learned nothing like Gandhi, who have fought off a whole empire without raising a weapon. Somehow these forgotten heroes of pure pragmatism have not inspired us enough.