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Jules van Schaijik

The goodness of lamenting

Oct. 5, 2009, at 12:07pm

There is one aspect of mere conservatism or traditionalism that I have never liked: namely, what seems to me an overly pessimistic view about the present coupled with a largely unfruitful nostalgia for the past. It seems to be such a hopeless view, so dreary. One reason, in fact, why I think Personalism is so important right now, is that it provides the key to retaining most of the good things of the past, while enabling us to rethink those things in light of the positive developments of the modern period (most of which are related, in one way or another, to a deepening sense of personal selfhood). God is still with us. His truth is still marching on.

Having said that, let me now add that

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Jules van Schaijik

What’s wrong with ideology?

Sep. 24, 2009, at 12:31pm

In an online interview I came across recently, the interviewer, obviously annoyed by president Obama’s frequent exhortations to “move beyond the ideological battles of the past”, asks: “Since when did ideology become evil?” Why is “adherence to a coherent set of beliefs” bad, while “pragmatism, doing whatever fits the moment, the panacea?”

If ideology were nothing other than “adherence to a coherent set of beliefs,” then there is nothing wrong with it. But that is not all it means. An ideology is in some way disconnected from reality. A coherent set of beliefs becomes ideological as soon as it is no longer tested against the concrete facts on the ground and adjusted

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