The ideologies of the 20th century turn out to have had a very short shelf life. It’s a matter of opinion whether some ideologies are actually real ideologies, or excuses, but they’ve all died, pretty ignominiously, and surprisingly thoroughly.
No great loss, admittedly. Those ideologies have been out of touch for decades. It’s their stench as they rot which is the problem.
A few dead ideologies
Communism: Communism has morphed in to a form of socialist crony capitalism, producing billionaires in the former rock solid communist countries of Russia and China. Command economies aren’t ideologies; they’re simply able to do things differently, not ideologically. Quite the opposite, in fact, these economies and societies are based on pure pragmatism, which is also not an ideology.
Nazism: The “ideology” of “hate other people, kill them and take their property and call ourselves supermen to justify it” hardly qualifies as an ideology. There is in fact no real ideology, and never was.
Capitalism: Capitalism as an ideology is roughly the equivalent of finding reasons to be rich. It has never been a real ideology, simply churning out reasons for itself for centuries. It has been idealized, however, to an absurd extent, and failed totally to deliver for 95% of the population. Capitalism is its own worst enemy, actively promoting disbelief in itself, on that scale. Add to this charming image the fact of pure criminality and corruption, and what’s to like, let alone trust?
Libertarianism: The anti-government ideology which persists in finding reasons to try to get elected to government has never been realistic. How does a society function without administration? Through press releases? Through endless self-righteous babble? It was never much of a thought, let alone an ideology.
Anarchism: From the barricades of the 19th and 20th century to the howling bores of the 21st century, these are the “alternative libertarians”, a tiresome and idea-less talking rubbish dump of very little real perception or depth.
Religious fanatics: The epitome of total ideological failure, these pseudo-religious theoretical cockroaches rummage around the hatreds and prejudices of the last few thousand years, finding reasons to kill and oppress people. They have absolutely nothing in common with their religious origins. They simply shout quotations and shoot people, not very religious at all. They are, in fact, the greatest liability to those religions, destroying their credibility and provoking opposition and hostility.
Criminalism: Humanity’s most repulsive people are typically criminals. The normalization of crime, gangs, and the rest of the hideous social train wreck is in fact an active ideology, just not a formal ideology like the others. Crime is a way of life, criminals are portrayed as heroes… And it has basically destroyed the original social environment in which it grew. The Bad Guy, in fact, is a jerk, sometimes a super jerk. Every crime creates an enemy. The death of criminalism will be of its own making, and well deserved.
Conservatism: Conservatism in its senility is a particularly ugly sight. It has all the characteristics of the other failed ideologies, and mindlessly spews out dogmas like a bad case of dysentery. In its current form, it no longer has even a base, just rallies and rantings to try to pretend it’s still alive. It has no chance of survival, whatever it does.
Identity ideology: One of the most primitive, and most increasingly absurd, forms of ideology is basic group identity. It started with the caves, and hasn’t developed much since. It’s a typical divisive ideology. Everyone else is “them”. That may have worked centuries ago, but now, it just gets in the way of life and business. It is arguably the most impractical, counterproductive total waste of time ever to pretend to be an ideology in human history, and that’s not easy.
Pseudo-progressivism: This dull, repetitive drip of agreement with progressive ideas is lip service only. “Oh, the environment! ….Yeah…” is hardly a contribution. Real progressivism can never really be an ideology. If anything, it’s basically an acknowledgement of the need for new ideas. How can it be an ideology when it keeps adding new elements to itself on a daily basis? The pseudo-progressives have nothing to give, and tend to be fully as dogmatic as their conservative relatives, They’ll be truly obsolete soon enough.
Defining the death of ideologies
An ideology is a synthesis of ideas. It dies when it has finally come to the end of its ideas, and when the people who “believe” in it have no ideas. It becomes far less explorative, and over time, less related to human realities. The stagnation is shown by dogmas, repetitive statements, rhetoric aimed at anyone else and anything else, and these things do nothing but recycle itself, becoming ever less relevant. Sound like any ideology you know?