Ideology is the science of idiots

Maybe you’ve seen a variation of this meme.

Well, that’s not what he said.

But maybe it’s what he meant?

3. Vols of Idiology!” Pray explain to me this Neological Title! What does it mean? When Bonaparte used it, I was delighted with it, upon the Common Principle of delight in every Thing We cannot understand. Does it mean Idiotism? The Science of Non compos menticism. The Science of Lunacy? The Theory of Delirium? Or does it mean the Science of Self Love? of Amour propre? or the Elements of Vanity?

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 16 December 1816

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(More) Social Sciences as Sorcery – on ideology

nier replicant girl fading

This is a beautifully constructed argument on ideology.

Among the many words which have suffered this fate, ‘ideology’ has received more than its share of propagandist twisting, whether of a deliberate or a semi-conscious kind. Having been coined with pejorative intent at the beginning of the last century, it has continued to carry imputations of at least partial falsehood. Abstracting from ulterior motives, it is not too difficult to arrive at an ethically neutral conception of ‘ideology’, defining it as a set of beliefs about facts, causal relations and values in human affairs, which support one another either through logic or the affinity of the sentiments
inspired by them, and at least some of which are either unverified, or unverifiable, or false in the light of reason.

To me it is as certain as anything can be in the study of human conduct that every social system supports and is supported by an ideology in this sense – which may be benign or wicked, fairly honest or outrightly mendacious … but that is another issue.

However, since few people will admit that their ideals might rest upon unproven or unprovable or even disproved assumptions, they will resist any definition of “ideology’ which would extend to their cherished beliefs the insinuations of untruth which the word carries.

As, on the other hand, they are only too ready to regard what their opponents believe as a pack of vicious lies, they will welcome a definition of ideology which will cover the beliefs of their enemies while excluding their own.

Stanislav Andreski, Social Sciences as Sorcery

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