Proverbs on Ideology

Music: Goldberg Variations: Aria.
By Johann Sebastian Bach.
Performed by Kimiko Ishizaka at the Free Music Archive
under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication license.

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Poems for

Copyright by
Nicholas Gordon

1. Ideology is like blinders that allow a horse to go in a single direction without distraction.
2. It is more satisfying, logical, and effective to see life as a coherent whole. It is also reductive.
3. Religion is more or less ideological depending on the degree of fundamentalism.
4. A cult is an extreme instance of ideology.
5. What makes ideology so attractive is that it simplifies life, allowing the current of feeling to flow unimpeded by eddies and counter-currents. Which is precisely what makes it so dangerous.
6. People who adopt an ideology sometimes feel as though they have been reborn into a world in which their lives have purpose and meaning. Naturally, they then come to deny or ignore any part of truth that threatens that precious sense.
7. A cult of personality is a common feature of ideology, which is often personified by a charismatic authority figure who takes advantage of the fact that his or her followers have abandoned skepticism.
8. Far more evil is done by people who believe they are doing good than by people who believe they are doing evil.

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