“Perfect ideology was an elusive dream I thought but life must go on no matter what. So many years had passed and as I lived my life according to the world, I found myself captive in the quagmire of my own ambition and self gratification. Admittedly, I had my share of human frailties and as I later achieved a certain degree of “power” that brought my feet off from the ground, a forceful collision with a greater “power” brought my feet back on the ground. The impact and magnitude of humiliating personal defeat which was proportionate to political, social, economic and military collapse effectively reduced me to nothingness!”
IDEOLOGY is a generic term which means: the body of ideas characteristics of a peculiar individual, group or cultures. It is an overall view of or attitude towards life whereby there is aspirations, theories and aims that constitute a political, social and economic program or strategic course of action. Since ideology is basically just a body of ideas, it has to be developed, documented and extensively taught as doctrine for it to become a principle widely accepted as valid and authoritative.
Ideology is the basic foundation of doctrine that sets direction and defines the behavior, emotion, belief, attitude and opinion of man. In effect, the vision and aspiration of a nation or an organization is a reflection also of the collective ideological orientation of its people and vice versa.
An effective ideological indoctrination could positively develop people into practicing a supposedly ideal way of life (economically, socially and politically). But is there such thing as perfect ideology which can best serve not only the so-called national interest of each nation but, universally and more importantly, the highest interest of mankind as well?
Generally speaking, different nation’s ideologies are influenced mainly by the principle of materialism and by the inherent worldliness of man. Money and power that denote socio-economic and political magnifications are main concerns of governance and in the same vein, of man. Hence, economics, society and politics are main considerations in ideology’s conceptualization and its natural devolution.
Capitalism as an Ideology
The U.S. model of democratic political system espouses an economic ideology called capitalism. It is characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods (i.e. factories, machineries, tools and commodities used in the production of goods) and by prices, production and distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in free market. The government does not directly intervene with legitimate business activities, but mainly encourages and supports private entrepreneurship and help ensures growth and development of enterprise.
Many countries in the world adopt capitalism as the basic form of economic system. Unfortunately for our country Philippines and other nations similarly situated in the economic environment of free enterprise, the supposed fruits of capitalism have not really been translated into tangible economic, political and social progress. So far, for almost two centuries under that system (in the case of the Philippines), only the rich oligarchs and capitalists have become richer while the poor masses have become poorer. That has been one of main reasons for some sectors of society to look at a different ideological perspective including this humble representation.
The Alternative Ideology
I remember in my early college days when I began my own quest for a preconceived perfect ideology that I hoped to be able to adopt as the guiding principle in my life. In between years 1969 and 1971, which was a critical period in our country’s history, I had the opportunity to attend some brief and informal indoctrination (teach-ins) about the principle of a revolutionary socialism based on the theory of Karl Marx and on the more radical version by Mao Zedong.
I understood it was communism, an ideology that emphasizes the common ownership of the means of production and distribution of products based on needs. Primarily included in its strategic program are: the ultimate overthrow of capitalism through a ‘Proletarian Revolution’ and; the establishment eventually of the so-called classless society.
I was then inclined to embrace that concept as I was made to understand that its primary aim is to free peasants and workers from the chain of slavery and poverty. Incidentally my father was a laborer when he was still then alive and the promise of his deliverance from extreme hard work with meager income was compatible with my idealistic aspiration. I thought it was the best opportunity for me to realize my dream not only for my parent but also for others similarly situated. However, it was not meant to be. There were questions that remained unresolved as I carefully considered the pros and cons of my probable submission.
Lest I be misunderstood I’d like to explain that this is not meant to adversely criticize and in the process antagonize the proponents and adherents of ideologies herein mentioned. I can understand that capitalism for instance very well serves the interest of its proponents and same thing is true with communism. The main point I want to raise is the inherent conflict of ideas between the two. For instance, one ideology is perceived by the other to be anti labor and hard-line pro capitalist while the other is considered pro labor and hard-line anti capitalist.
This sharp contrast in theorem presents a dangerous “class conflict” scenario, which had in fact metamorphosed already into a long drawn-out “ideological warfare” like what happened during the Cold War period in the 60’s and 70’s. Poverty stricken third world counties were further devastated by the effects of violent insurgencies, counter-insurgencies and other civil strife that brought about death, destruction, economic depredation, social injustice, human rights violation, indignity, famine and disease. Countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Indonesia including the Philippines to name a few, had been reduced to testing grounds in the experimental conduct of ‘warfare for ideological supremacy’.
This historical tragedy among nations with diverse ideologies clearly indicates the infirmities, the inherent materialism of their respective ideology.
The Perfect Ideology
Perfect ideology was an elusive dream I thought but life must go on no matter what. So many years had passed and as I lived my life according to the world, I found myself captive in the quagmire of my own ambition and self gratification.
Admittedly, I had my share of human frailties and as I later achieved a certain degree of “power” that brought my feet off from the ground, a forceful collision with a greater “power” brought my feet back on the ground. The impact and magnitude of humiliating personal defeat which was proportionate to political, social, economic and military collapse effectively reduced me to nothingness.
Objectively, the root cause of it all cannot simplistically be attributed based on my fault or on the grave abuse of authority by the other party. I came to realize that such a tragedy was a symptom of social malaise traceable from the deeply seethed ideological misconception by both of us in particular and by our sick society in general.
Down and dejected, I underwent a series of profound soul searching in futile attempt to figure out my option. I must find solace and hopefully renewed vigor from within and from without the confines of my spiritual shelter. I needed to find a righteous spirit to guide me to the right spiritual direction. My search however proved futile as I came to realize only the fallibility of spirits outside my equally fallible religious faith!
I was about to lose hope until I came across Bro. Eli Soriano who, during a televised religious program: “Ang Dating Daan” (The Old Path), assured his audience with certainty as he was raising the Bible that there is hope for humankind. He briefly stated afterwards: “Ang kailangan lang, ang sasabihin mo, ang gagawin mo, ang gagastusin mo, kailangan …nakasulat!” (Whatever you say, whatever you do, whatever you spend…must be Biblically based!). That phrase attracted my attention and I became so interested to the point that I found myself regularly watching his program. (See also: http://esoriano.wordpress.com/ )
That chance encounter with Bro. Eli marked the beginning of my true spiritual awakening. My continuous exposure to his method of undefiled preaching convinced me even more that his is the right spirit that gives the right spiritual direction. He guided me to read and understand the Scripture and when I did, the perfect ideology that I had been hoping for completely unfolded before my very consciousness. He led me to the old path of righteousness, the Church of God which is the embodiment of perfect spiritual ideology emanating from God Himself!
In the Church of God, I discovered a divine ideology that teaches faith instead of doubt, hope instead of frustration and above all, love that heals instead of hatred that aggravates the sickness of the soul. It is the ideology that will give spiritual salvation which should be the ultimate goal, the highest interest of man. How I wish everybody adopts this perfect ideology but sad to say, it would not be the case. Perfect ideology is exclusive for the believers and would be believers only!