Someone recently asked me what Ideology I followed, I replied: “We had to choose a word for an English essay when I was about 15 and I chose ideology as my word and defined it I recall “as a way to simplify the world by lying about it” or something like that. Not really changed my view”
And then added when challenged how my essay continues to this day:
Here’s the evolving continuation: By definition if you eschew ideology, your take is a work in progress subject to life long revision in the light of Bayesian observations and adjustments.
I tried on for size: Anglicanism, Adam Smith free marketism, Conservatism (Pressure for Economic and Social Toryism or PEST), anti-racism, feminism, existentialism, Tolstoy Anarchism, Pacifism, Marxism, (Pabloist and Gramsci flavors), Labour Partyism, socialism, Freudianism, Gestaltism, Taoism, Post Modernism I did not try, Manufacturism, Welsh Hill Tribalism, environmentalism, Popperianism (I met Popper once) mixed with Kuhnianism, and even tried on the odd day recently (an optimistic friend) Optimism….and none fitted.
So I took a bit from each,of these, and built myself an Isaiah Berlin Fox-not-a-Hedgehog (“The Fox knows many things, the Hedgehog just one”) SLR camera to view the world, with a huge range of interchangeable lenses: long/short, detail/depth of field, wide angle, fish-eye etc. added the filters and tools of the scenario-based futuring of Peter Schwartz, mixed with Philip Tetlock’s forecasting scepticism. Then added Philip Kitchen’s Modest Scientific Realism (RWOT: there is a real world out there) to my Popperian and Bayesian leanings, and retained a focus on inequality (no civilizational survival with high inequality) and the planet’s future as strong focus points, and mixed well and I got non-ideologicalist-non-ism…and learning intelligently from history.
Oh and yes I admit to still being a Keynesian of the Classical not Samuelson-Hicks BS corrupted version. And a follower of Albert Hirschman whom I nearly met, missed him by minutes in MIT one day 🙂 And I am still a passionate Manufacturist….something I share with Michael Heseltine and Peter Mandelson….and Dennis Healey.
And for light relief, I add a few lines from Tony Hoagland’s fine poem: “What Narcissism Means to Me” 🙂
“There’s Socialism and Communism and Capitalism
and there’s Feminism and Hedonism,
and there’s Catholicism and Bipedalism and Consumerism,
but I think Narcissism is the system
that means the most to me
and Sylvia said that in Neal’s case
narcissism represented a heroic achievement in positive thinking.”