Feb 282024

In their struggle against tyranny, many dismiss ‘philosophy’ while calling for ‘practical’ solutions to a condition that is wholly the consequence of ideas – and ideology. Given that the predominant zeitgeist of today’s culture is primarily on the Left, it should not be surprising that the field of philosophy has been largely discredited and dismissed as a failed subjective approach to the problems and challenges of life. However, this is a tragic error.

Reality dictates that one cannot possibly separate the philosophical from the practical without encountering a contradiction. If the ‘theory’ does not match the ‘practice’ then the ‘theory’ is no longer valid and cannot be regarded as such. The proper response is not to dismiss all ‘theory’ out of hand, but to formulate a theory that does indeed match the practice.

In the fields of ethics and politics, ‘theory’ is often equated with ‘philosophy’ or ‘ideology.’ Each of these terms is properly associated with modes of thinking that lead to certain intended outcomes or results.

So why do so many applied ‘theories’ fail to result in their intended outcomes? For a simple reason: the ‘theories’ are based on a mode of thinking philosophically referred to as the “primacy of consciousness” which stands in direct opposition to the “primacy of existence.”

The primacy of consciousness and the primacy of existence are the fundamental metaphysical roots underlying any system of thinking or belief.

The primacy of existence operates on the notion “that the universe exists independent of consciousness (of ANY consciousness), that things are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an IDENTITY.” (Ayn Rand Lexicon) To identify these properties of existence requires a philosophy that seeks to further our understanding of the nature of the universe and existence. The political polarity of this view of existence is the Right.

The primacy of consciousness operates on the “notion that the universe has no independent existence, that it is the product of a consciousness (either human or divine or both).” (Ayn Rand Lexicon) Any theories of existence based on this premise cannot properly be called ‘philosophies’ but are rather ‘ideologies’ which require no validation by any independent external existent. The political polarity of this view of existence is the Left. It should therefore come as no surprise that all such ideologies fail in practice, without exception.

Consequently, all ‘philosophies’ of the Left cannot be classified as valid or legitimate ‘philosophies’ at all because they have no bearing on the facts of reality or the process of reason. The very term ‘ideology’ places ‘ideas and thought’ ahead of all other considerations, no matter whether real or imaginary.

Many who desire solutions that are ‘practical’ rather than ‘philosophical’ may be confusing philosophy with ideology, or they may simply wish to dispense with the effort required by philosophy, a mode of thought that is disciplined by the facts of reality.

Unless a philosophy proves itself to be Just Right in practice, it cannot be considered a philosophy at all, but is mere ideology.

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