The Dangers of Ideology (Avoid These)

Ideas are like wildfire. This analogy is nothing new, and it's because they can spread quickly, and burn with passion. They light fires under asses and in hearts. If an idea falls flat, it smolders out unless new life gets breathed into it. Ideas that resonate with people gain better traction, especially if they are able to rouse powerful emotions. Revolutions all begin with an idea, which is why they say the pen is mightier than the sword.

Words.

Thoughts.

Ideas.

Revolutions.

Ideas get bastardized, though. Some more than others, but the capacity is always there, even when not intended. Look how much controversy surrounds the intended meaning of the US Constitution, the Bible, the Quran, even the law. The meanings of words change, cultures change. A historical game of telephone emerges, and before you know it a text becomes unrecognizable.

Even the best of intentions can have disastrous results.

Another problem: texts become gospel. People begin to act like rules lawyers in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. People interpret the text to suit their own agendas. They act out of self-interest, which is likely at odds with the spirit of the original intent.

We must never lose sight of this monster's presence, though, and recognize it for what it is. We must never let Loricism become an ideology, unless it is to be an ideology of no ideology. It cannot be an ideology, because it values constant improvement of ideas, individuals, and the world. It values logic and reason, both of which are contradictory to ideological dogma.

Ideologies have nowhere to go. They're interred in their own mire. They become solidified, codified, and people cling to the words for dear life. They wield them like clubs. Worst of all, they take them for truth, even long after they've been disproved or found inferior.

Don't ever fall into the trap of thinking Loricism is the best way, or even the only way. It is merely a way. Its principles are suggestions. Wisdom is to be shared, not mandated. The minute it becomes doctrine is the minute it becomes permanently broken.

Humans are social by nature, tribal. We seek the comfort and safety of a tribe, and the byproduct of that predilection is that we distrust and mistreat people outside (and even some inside) our groups. We are all prone to this; sometimes it's obviously insidious, other times it's harmless enough. Judging others solely on the bases of things beyond their control (race, sex, age, place of birth) is unreasonable and unjust. It's just silly, but it's dangerous. We hold others at bay because we fear what we don't understand. We are programmed to do so. But it doesn't just end with the big picture stuff, like race, political affiliation, religion. We contrive rivalries everywhere. "We won last night's game!" some will say, referring to the closest geographic professional sports team. We. We form rivalries all over the place.

Because Loricism has a name and is an idea, it is going to be tempting for some to use this as a way to differentiate themselves from "others". Resist this urge. Stare it in the face and take away its power. This danger is incongruent with Cultura. Loricism aims to inhibit the negative effects that arise from unreasonable or illogical ideas and practices. This is one of them.

The spirit of the idea is more important than the idea (of Loricism) itself. In other words, there may come a time when you are proud to be a Loric, or you enjoy the company of others who share in this philosophy. You must resist the urge to use these things as a way to differentiate yourself from others. Your "belonging" to this group should be neither here nor there. It's nothing special.

Of course, care to avoid these pitfalls should be taken, and should be at the forefront of every Loric practitioner's mind. But people are people, and there are plenty of instances where warnings go unheeded. They then become prophesy.

A very obvious example is the final speech US President Dwight Eisenhower gave in which he warned of the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex.

There are other examples of times where people failed to learn from history. For example, Charles XII of Sweden, Napoleon, and Hitler all tried to invade Russia in the winter. We want to avoid repeating any of the follies of the past. Nearly every ideology has been bastardized for monetary gain, for power, for expansion of some empire. Think of all the times religion has been used to justify war. Every time a country lies in economic shambles, the abuse of capitalism or socialism or some other "ism" of governmental ilk is to blame. Every cult seems to start out the same and ends with the guru having sex with everybody (because he or she abuses their position of power). Political parties get co-opted or infiltrated. Workers' unions start out with a purpose and end up being corrupted.

The cycle continues, perpetually. We don't want Loricism to lose sight of its purpose, and part of that purpose is avoiding these pitfalls.

Feature image credit: Skeeze on Pixabay