Warring political ideologies
It seems like the United States is in a constant War of Ideas. In fact, it feels like warring political ideologies is more common now than ever. Whether it is about COVID-19, Foreign Affairs, or other political topics, it seems that people are fighting over these ideals. However, these warring political ideologies like Left/Right or Democrat/Republicans are becoming a problem. It is important to understand what a War of Ideas is and how people should be recognizing how it is being weaponized to affect everyone’s rights like Freedom of Speech.
War of Ideas
So, what is a War of Ideas? The concept was first introduced by Richard M. Weaver, an American scholar, and professor at the University of Chicago. Although his initial concept was about nominalism, the foundation expanded to its modern-day definition. A War of Ideas is a clash of opposing ideas, ideologies, and concepts. These oppositions can occur against nations or specific groups, but they have the same goal. Winning the hearts and minds of the population by weaponizing official government policies, newspapers, think tanks, and other forms of media.
This War of Ideas manifests in different ways. In America, it leads to the warring political ideologies of democrats and republicans or progressives and libertarians. This has caused the American political system to become completely dysfunctional.
Ideologies Should Not Obstruct Personal Liberties
Warring political ideologies have become a detriment to American society. Especially when it comes to personal freedoms and policies. In fact, it has come to the point that we have two different ideologies and political parties that refuse to comprehend and understand each other. It is a complete lack of political civility. Compromise has become almost a sin in America's ideological war and it is causing problems on the national and individual level.
Due to the nature of a War of Ideas, various media and government is used as a weapon to further these ideas.
This can be seen in social media policies that favor certain ideas above others, often censoring people who go against those ideas. This can also be seen in other physical institutions like universities that make policies that further the reach of certain mindsets as well. Furthermore, media outlets are often used to create a polarizing effect. This deepens the divide and can affect the way people interact with each other. All of these have the side effect of restricting or denying personal liberties. Regardless of what people’s personal preferences align with, ideologies should not be obstructing free speech and personal liberties.
The most devious thing about a War of Ideas is that the ultimate goal is to win the hearts and minds of the people. However, some people aren’t aware of where they actually fall. In recent months, we have seen certain high-profile individuals like Dave Chappelle considered traitors to their “sides.” But what does that even mean?
People are so blind to their own agenda that they do not know where they actually align on the Political Compass. Despite the fact that America has a two political party system, people can range on the political spectrum. That is what the political compass actually measures through a series of questions. The compass is a four-box grid with 4 deciding factors that show where you are. These factors are set on two scales as well.
- Social Scale
- Economic Scale
These scales and factors show how you stand when it comes to political examples. For example, the author scales slightly to the right and further in libertarian. As a result, the author favors libertarian social policies while having the right economic beliefs. If you went by the American War of Ideas, the author would be labeled as Authoritarian Right. After all, it is a representation of what people are labeled as if they have the right policies. However, the political spectrum is far more nuisance and complicated.
Ending The War of Ideas
Without a doubt, the warring political factions in the United States have used their weapons well. It has created so much chaos that people are allowing their warped ideas of these political ideologies to see how manipulated the population is. All the while, personal liberties like freedom of speech are getting taken away for the sake of keeping these arguments going.
It is time to end the War of Ideas. That means understanding how complex people’s relationships to the political spectrum are and how political powers take advantage of institutions. All citizens can benefit from looking deeper into their own beliefs and understanding that current warring political ideologies do not completely represent you.