Twenty years of working closely with leading establishments in the advanced societies of Western Europe, East Asia and North America have taught me that the presence of too many ideology-driven individuals in any society will invariably impede it from going through the necessary three stages on the road to progress. Indeed, advanced societies tend to look upon ideologists as suffering from a condition that warrants serious study and treatment, and there is not a single advanced society on the face of the earth today whose leading and ruling elite is driven by ideology. Finding solutions to the complex problems of contemporary life entails using a scientific approach based on empirical verification and adopting practical solutions that were tested and successfully applied by others, not doctrinal formulas dreamt up by ideologists to fit their rigid worldview. ... An ingredient the prescription for progress does not include is ideology. Indeed, once an ideological mindset takes hold among the opinion-makers of any society, that society’s prospects of making any headway on the road to progress are severely diminished. By definition, ideologists are driven by moral certainty in a system of belief, a certainty they can only sustain by suspending their critical faculties and building up a defense mechanism against any challenge to their core beliefs. They tend to take refuge in a bunker mentality which leaves little room for self-criticism and even less for breaking the wall of denial isolating them from reality. Such criticism as they do engage in is reserved for others; when it comes to evaluating their own performance, there is nothing but self-praise.The Bush administration's bunker mentality, exemplified by the praise for Michael Brown just before he was removed from his post at FEMA, shows that our own government has fallen into the grasp of ideologues. If we don't get it back, we're well and truly screwed. (The PoMo PC ideologues in academia are a lesser problem, as they do not exercise legal authority.)
... I now believe that another step should precede the acceptance and practice of criticism, namely, the dismantling of the wall of denial behind which we have sequestered ourselves....These words need to come from many places, from the ivory towers to the halls of Congress and the Oval Office.
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