While reading the second Jack Carr novel, True believer, I noticed an expression: You can kill a man but you cannot kill an idea. This proverb is either credited to the ancient Greek Sophocles, or to American civil rights activist Medgar Evers. This ancient proverb has, however, been used by many (source).
What keeps evidently unsuccessful ideologies alive? And Why?
First and foremost, an idea and/or an ideology is a (human) belief, a known unknown. We know that we do not know but we still believe. Many beliefs will stand the test of time (eg, love, philosophy, politics). Some beliefs will reinvent themselves (eg, from socialism to social democracy).
Some believers will argue that the implementation of the ideology went wrong instead of arguing that the belief itself was wrong. This might explain how ideas and ideologies remain alive. Believers seldom stop believing; even in captivity. Only new beliefs can replace old beliefs.
Developing new beliefs is impossible without a crisis of faith (eg, burnout) . Hence, old beliefs are likely to linger on regardless of our (public) denial. True believers will (always) remain true believers. Most likely, this phrase will ultimately be relevant in Jack Carr‘s 2nd novel (PS: indeed it was).
Any repression of beliefs will only reinforce those beliefs (eg, from religious Islam to political Islam). True believers will view any repression as evidence for having true beliefs. A lack of repression will outdate some beliefs (eg, from socialism to social democracy, from religion to secularity).
True believers will always fail to understand (a / our) lack of beliefs. You cannot force anyone to accept a known unknown. Any belief is a constant struggle between emotions and ratio.
The above (probably) also explains why ideological countries (eg, China, Iran, Russia) believe that they can and will win from pragmatic Western countries, and/but will always fail to do so. The more the West moves towards ideology, the more likely the West will ultimately lose.
“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” An alleged quote by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president
I’m A Believer (1966) by the Monkees (cover song)
artist, band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song
Note: all markings (bold, italic and underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.