Ideology is a structure of ideals, typically networked through moral, ethical, political, or economic beliefs. Ideologies can be molded and maintained by corporations, institutions, politicians, really anyone with the means and influence. The size of these belief structures can be totally local and contained to a culture, location, or demographic, but most ideologies have spread to global levels.
Ideologues are those that subscribe to these belief systems. They can range from capitalists to communists, and even find their way into religions and other walks of faith and spirituality. Ideologues find camaraderie and maybe even a sense of purpose within these artificial thinking templates, handed down from the powers that be. Ideologies seek to sculpt their followers, and some even offer rewards to those that are compliant and faithful.
These outlooks are engineered to instill absolute lines of thinking within the ideologue. This is done by providing each ideology with a full (unquestionable) narrative, complete with any answer or counterpoint a person might need, which pigeonholes perspective. The makers of these belief systems take the values and principles important to a person, and couple them with corporate/political agendas, effectively hijacking and dividing common sense.
When two schools of thought employ conflicting ideals, the ‘us-versus-them’ mentality comes to fruition. Even within a single ideology, a spectrum can be introduced (left, right, moderate, extremist), bringing about infighting. Having opponents stabilizes the dogmatic thinking patterns of the ideologue because ideology relies on loyal opposition. What both sides (or all sides) aren’t aware of, is that they’ve taken their ideas from somewhere else, allowing others to do their thinking.
These ideological ‘thinking templates’ kick up a lot of apologists. With so many believers manning the trenches in defense of ideas that aren’t their own, some are bound to realize that some of their belief structure is defective or offensive. Often, ideologues blindly apologize and make excuses for actions they might normally condemn, purely because the perpetrator shares their faith. This kind of back-patting tightens the shackle and could even be a method of recruitment, projecting a sense of solidarity.
Philosophy is a method of evaluation for ideology. It’s a tool used to sift through the agendas and their misinformation, to weigh the worth of any truth or value that might be buried. The concept of ideology versus philosophy is an almost perfect axiom. Where ideology is rigid and dishonest, philosophy is loose and encouraging. Ideology harbors and produces apologists, whereas scholars and problem solvers are the children of philosophy. The free-thinking that philosophy provides is anathema to the ideologue.