Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

A new Great Divide: Ideology vs Pragmatism

From the start of parliamentary democracy, Europe had a clear divide between Labour / Left versus Conservatives / Right (c.1900-2000). The post-WWII rise of Globalism created a new divide with Nationalism (c.1950-today). It seems that a new great divide is emerging from the pandemic’s economic ashes: Ideology versus Pragmatism (2021-onwards).

For a long time, I’ve been puzzled by the Chinese hybrid version of domestic Nationalism and international Globalism. Several of my blogs do mention that America’s former culture of pragmatism has been replaced by rigid ideological beliefs. China went the opposite way: from rigid ideological beliefs to pragmatism. Back then, I failed to see a new Great Divide emerging.

Mid October 2020, I made a casual remark to a new friend: I have little ideology and lots of pragmatism. The title of a next blog revealed my new insight: Ideology vs pragmatism. Since several days, I’ve realised that the Chinese hybrid version of domestic Nationalism and international Globalism equals Pragmatism. Again, China is showing us the way forward. 

Losing your (ideological) beliefs requires a life-altering moment (eg, burn-out, near death). However, these moments are individual. For a long time, I wondered if collective life-altering moments are possible without entering into a destructive military war. Since a few days, I am realising that a (collective) pandemic results in a collective life-altering moment.

Such a life-altering moment presents us with a choice: the fight, flight, freeze or fawn response (my blog). In other words: will you adapt to Change – or not? The intensity of your life-altering moment will (most likely) define your individual choice. I assume that the same principle (ie, intensity) also applies to collective life-altering moments. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an intense debate between micro (ie, healthcare) and macro (ie, economy) perspectives. Essentially, the intensity of that debate is causing a schism between ideological beliefs and pragmatism given its likely outcome: virus contained, economy dead (see my April 23 blog: What could happen to countries run by virologists?).

China shows us that pragmatism combines micro (ie, healthcare) and macro (ie, economy) perspectives. This reluctant observation might be a side-effect of my own pragmatism.

China Grove (1973) by Doobie Brothers

artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

And though it’s a part of the Lone Star State 

People don’t seem to care 

They just keep on lookin’ to the East

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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