Politics at the meta-physical level is a battle of ideas. One perspective to govern is weighed against another perspective. All the Ism’s; Capitalism, Socialism and its various derivatives, such as compassionate capitalism, democratic socialism are just different shades of the same color.At the end of the day, politics is still about movements and mass mobilization. Cadre based parties with ideological polarization still do better at the ballot box than the most well intention ed Civil Society type Non Profits. The Green Party movement internationally grew out of the local community movements into a powerful political force to reckon with. Greens are especially influential in Germany and other EU Nations. The ban on Nuclear Power in Germany by the year 2022, was triggered by a growing green vote in the nation.
The battle for ideas on the streets and subsequently on the ballot box is demonstrated in the political theater in Bangkok with the telegenic Ying Luck Shinawatra, riding on a sympathy wave voted in by rural peasants in Chang Mai and the adjoining areas on the popularity of elder brother Thaksin. It was clearly a battle of ideas at the forefront- An elite and military backed and pro monarchy democrats against a pro poor and populist with a rural mass base. The needs of a middle class against the wants of an agrarian poor. This battle is being illustrated worldwide from Caracas to Tehran. Ahemadinejad wins because the poor vote for him and Hugo Chavez wins too because of populistic measures like low fuel prices and free healthcare and education ala Cuba. Populism wins votes, lets admit it. Good Economics does not make good politics always, sad but true.
Often, ideology is media powered, they are the flavor of the season like Neo-conservatism during the Bush 43rd presidency or the ‘change’ fever is the Obama flavor in the ice cream parlor of political discourse. Ideology should be about the set of ideas which bring development, serve the have nots and be pragmatic about what works for the time frame and what is a relic. Ideology which translates into development with a popular buy-in sustains itself. Ideas that work count, communism is good for a politics class read….