Do we have the ideal idealism?

The title is rather self-explanatory. Let’s see, we are twenty-something, starting to walk through the path of an adult, learning how rough and miserable life can be, getting accustomed to conflicts in our personal life, family life, even to conflicts in things like politics, religion, and business. Furthermore, we are getting the idea of living life with certain principles, or with that what we call ‘idealism’. Do we have the IDEAL idealism?

Nationalist or Chauvinist? Religious or Fanatic? Green or Blinded? Independent or Big-Headed?

It might seem easy to pick, but if we dig a bit deeper, we will see idealism and absurdity are only separated with a thin, invisible layer. In fact we’re somewhere in between; we can even be both at the same time. But still, the question keeps resounding in my head, “do we have the IDEAL idealism?” What if what we believe to be ideal is not ideal at all? What if we don’t realize that we’re doing something which is actually against what we believe in? Or perhaps, what if idealism is something that really depends on one’s opinion and therefore there is no such thing like ideal idealism inasmuch as everyone will probably see idealism in different ways and perspectives?

What do you think?

Illustration (The Thinker - Paris) was taken from here.

  • Nick

    It is interesting that people dwell on ‘ideals’ at all. I think most if not all people have an ideology, some are pure doctrine handed down or picked up along the way others have more nuanced ideologies. It makes me wonder that if perhaps having an “ideal” self or environment is an innate component of human thought. If human beings fundamentally seek to free themselves from oppressive conditions (and I’m not just referring to political conditions; physical, mental, and social as well) then perhaps having an “ideal” any “ideal” is a way to orient a person in the direction that is free of conditions of oppression. If this is the case then any “ideal” is ideal if it performs a liberating function for the person who holds it. This notion throws sand on the notion of a universally ideal “ideal” but I think it is probably closer to the truth. Whatever that is.

  • Murry N. Rothbard has an excellent essay called “Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature”. It’s very thought provoking for anyone that’s questioning the whole ideology vs. reality argument. In summary, if the ideal is at odds with nature (Biology or Physics, etc.) then the ideal is inherently bad and anti-human. If nature says we’re all different down to the most minute detail, then its anti-human to say we all could be, or should be, equal in all ways. Equal in the eyes of God and under the Law, sure, but in all ways, no.

    Oh by the way, I’m using a modified version of your free theme, although I may upgrade some day soon. Thanks I love it!

  • Wrote about this, here.

    Shameless blog promotion. :mrgreen:

    • well, it’s not that shameless. great post you have there!

  • Hey Mike, its me again. Interesting topic here.

    You should check this out:
    Its a fun quiz I took while I was bored. It basically tells you what world view you belong to the most. Its not serious at all but fun nonetheless.

    Louis Althusser, the famous Marxist, said “ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existance”.

    How ideal your ideology is, depends on how you depict reality. Its not all black and white, is it?

    I’m agnostic (borderline atheist) but i love 17th century hymns. I like the idea of socialism but I don’t want my taxes to be raised. I am anti war, anti violence but I do believe in good, rational national security.
    In conclusion,I might be a bit confused.
    But then again, I don’t want to be limited by one specific ideology.

    What is most important, i think, is to be open-minded.

    • You can say that again. :D totally agreed. it seems life is even more interesting when we have no boundaries verging our life.

  • Hello Jubel,

    I agree with Yoanitya, there’s no such thing like ideal idealism.

    Different idealism create different ways of thinking, and that’s what make people unique compared to others ^^.

    Being an idealist is fine, as long as it doesn’t turn into fanatism-that-totally-gone wrong, hahaha…

    Btw, salam kenal nih, gw Leo dari TK ITB angkatan 06 :P

    Nice post, keep posting ^^

    • Well, I don’t usually see different idealism as a factor that make one unique. Hehe. I prefer to see it as a power generator. Similarly to what Colson said, different idealism will eventually bring wars. You’ll get used to it soon. Just take a look to everything surrounds you. You’re at your third year at ITB now; Pemilu HIMATEK and Pemilu KM are about to come. You will see “the war” in front of your eyes. Hahaha. Anyway, salam kenal.

    • Yeah, I’ve seen that there’s a lot of idealist in HIMATEK ^^

      Really, A LOT. :P

  • Kinda agree with Robin. People don’t find what best for them by thinking.

    Despite all the debates about what is actually an “IDEAL idealism”, I simply believes that an ideal-idealism is not exist anyway.

    A friend of mine once handed my this book filled with quotes, and there is this one good quote I remembered, “The reason there are so many opinions out there is because no one knows the truth”.

    An ideal for one might be differ from other’s ideal. Maybe we should remember what Einstein always tries to tell us: It’s all relativity out there… :smile:

    • So you’re into Physics now? Einstein? Hehe. But I do agree that everything depends on one’s mind. So, that’s it. Ideal idealism do not exist.

  • The wonderful thing about ideals is that they are at odds with reality.

    On a micro level (though science isn’t my thing “I am working hard to integrate quantum and string theory. Hope the result will earn me a Nobel Prize”) and on macro level (“Where Marx stopped I will continue to make the world a socialist paradise”).

    Other people with competitive ideals will thwart my ideals on a personal level (they will divert the subsidies I need for my research to their project: colonization of Mars) and at the level of society at large they will lobby successfully for privatization and neo liberal free market societies and destroy my chances for a socialist society.

    But that’s great. All that will cause frustration. Ideals really create huge amounts of frustration. And frustration causes adrenaline and energy. And that again is wonderful. The energy wants an outlet. It may turn out in a wonderful creative, artistic life. Or, and this is much more likely, in war, crime and bloodshed. Which is perfect - because wars, crime and bloodshed are the essence of gaming. And we would want to miss that for any price, would we?

    So, ideals? I am all in favor.

    • Well, it’s such a unique way to connect the idea of idealism and energy. And on the essence of gaming, don’t you thing that every socio-cultural differences that we have on Earth would probably contribute to cultivate the essence of gaming? War of Nations, War of Idealism, War between the Industrialist and the Environmentalist, and War of Religions. (I hope that last thing would never ever happen.)

  • Dude i don’t think people find what best for them by thinking.

    Liat deh The Thinker. Kenapa seorang pemikir punya badan six packs? Kenapa dia telanjang di depan publik (disini udah kena UU Pornografi tuh :D)? Kenapa tangan kanannya ada di kaki kiri? Dengan bentuk badan seperti itu asa sareukseuk… Tapi Rodin tetap buat The Thinker seperti itu.

    Intinya, menurut saya, sesuatu yang absurd pun pasti punya alasan.

    Nevermind pencitraan publik, simple common sense dan absurdity. Why don’t you try anything that seems right for you? You’re at your 20s, you have time for that…

    • LOL. You have nice idea there. Why don’t try it all? I’m still in my 20s now. Hehehe.

  • halllooo, akhirnya ada juga artikel yang gak ngomongin teknologi :mrgreen:

    I stamped myself as a realistic idealist faithful confident believer but moderate person.

    Here are the details :

    1. Realistic idealist : not too stubborn but still have notion to grasp, have my own track to live my life. life is all about reality, sometimes we should relent. Not because we are weak and afraid, but the termination “negotiation” exists for a reason. That’s why we should be able to balance between our ideal notion and the ongoing reality.

    2. Faithful confident believer but moderate : I indeed disagree with some of modern and traditional values, but I don’t have to yell at them or to the people who still believe them. To me, what matters to you only matters to you and what matters to me only matters to me, let’s not bother each other. I accept difference, I accept resemblance, I don’t accept assertion, intimidation, etc. I believe the real truth is just like a remote control car and God holds and plays the remote control, not us. We show to someone else about the car, but it’s God’s authority to make it approach or not to the person.

    That’s why I labelled myself so.

    What about you, Mike? How’s school? Lagi skripsi ya? Good luck :)

    • Wheew, what a comprehensive explanation you have there. And Yonna, the term “realistic idealist” is a bit tickling me. As in fact, based on the dictionary, “idealist” is the antonym of “realist”. Pulling the two words together would mean having some kind of balance, aye? Hehe..

      Kuliahan ya gitu deh.. nunggu ujian komprehensif.. skripsi kebetulan sudah beres. hehehe..

    • ya ampun, kenapa sih saban kali gue mau nulis terminology pasti ujungnya termination? hahahaha…gak teliti :mrgreen:

      ya bener, dua2nya berlawanan, tapi menurut gue bukan berarti salah satunya lbh buruk/lbh baik daripada lainnya, so that’s why i try to mix it altogether. lagian saya bukan tipe ekstrim kanan kiri atas bawah depan belakang dll, makanya gitu deh maen campur aja kaya makan baso aja hehe :mrgreen:

  • I love “What If” game. It always makes brain work better,at least for me. So you said about Idealism as dubious thing.I feel like we entering the never ending story. People living with idealism as their best -ism and some others choosing the reverse. Consider,Idealism- as the unarguable fact that sun is so damn hot,but in the other hand is earth’s survival kit- as the opposite of idealism.
    People live with those facts. How can we scan the universe basic history?
    Being an idealist progressive (The -ism created by me and my friends) I will go to the result to see right or wrong,ideal or not ideal,better or worse.

    • Yup, it’s truly dubious. Anyway, I didn’t get it clearly when you compared idealism to the “sun” fact. Were you saying that idealism that exists among us are something ambivalent? And, can you explain the progressive idealism that you have? Sounds like music to me. Hehe.. :mrgreen:

  • Why is it so important to put some label on ourselves? Is it a way to define ourselves? Or because it’s comfortable to know “who we are” by being in those boxes?

    • Well, I don’t see it as “boxes” by the way. Actually, I was trying to distinguish which is right and wrong but just can’t seem to find a solution because right and wrong themselves are perceptively a vague idea. I also don’t see it as a defining matters to our identity because the concept is basically undefinable. Hahahaha.. damn. Anyway, thanks for the comment. It actually opened another perspective on this matter.

  • Honestly, this is one of the most classical issue among Indonesians. Probably because we are still “young” compared to developed countries, our political identity is still elusive, and in very extreme sense, may not exist at all.

    I have read several articles about nationalism, and how it is actually very dangerous compared to Patriotism. Apparently, some scholars argue that nationalism is basically a blind love to your country without being critical. I’m not really expert in this topic, perhaps others have better answer.

    and I think fact is absolute, but truth is relative. I think everyone should pick which truth and ideals he/she believes as long they happy about it without bothering other people, sadly it does not happen in Indonesia.

    • Wow, that’s interesting. It’s quite logical, indeed. I just can’t imagine if our beloved country, Indonesia, had already been 450 years old, things would have been a lot different. Perhaps, we all would have a clearer meaning on how nationalism/patriotism should be like.

  • well, I go with what Lucas Eugene Scott said in One Three Hill (it’s way too long so I’m gonna skip the part where I copy the whole quote from Mya’s Facebook Profile because you can take a peek there yourself),, anyways,, I guess at the end it all comes down to how you think of it. cliche as it may seem, but it’s true,, that nowadays, you can wrong the right or right the wrong using just the right words. it depends on how you debate it. how you make people think that your point makes sense. that your idealism makes sense.

    so yeah, I think there’s no such thing as an ideal idealism. just like there’s no such thing as an ideal beauty like how the media builds. you know,,, how commercials shapes a certain image of ‘the perfect beauty’ so if you’re not like that than you’re not beautiful?

    I believe that what matters is that you’re comfortable with your own idealism and that you feel what you believe in is constructive for you. because when you start to wonder whether what you believe in is right or not, then maybe it’s trying to tell you something. I mean, logikanya, if it’s bothering you, then maybe it’s not the right one for you. I’m not being a smart ass lho.. I’m just really talkative and bored shitless now.. hehe excuse me. I guess I better get back to my thesis.. have a nice day ahead!

    • You have a point there. And it’s kinda reinforcing the idea that ideal idealism does not exist, just like I believe it doesn’t. You said that if I started to think that my idealism is bothering me, it might be a sign that that is not the right one for me. Well, that’s easy.

      Here’s the thing:
      What if we found somebody who is totally idealist but he did not realize that, in others’ point of view, he was acting a bit absurd rather than being a true idealist? But then, if we take a look at the definition of what idealism is, we will end up in total confusion because there is no such thing like ideal idealism, no parameters on how far idealism may have gone wrong. (wrong? can I say “wrong”?) hehehe.. :D

      - being nationalists/religious or spreading compulsive hatreds
      - being green or just blinded (or stupid).
      - acting against government corruption conducts or just being “sok-tau”

      A: “Hey, man! You’re spreading hatreds!”
      B: “No, I wasn’t. I was just showing my pride to my nation/religion.”

      Duh. :twisted: :twisted: