George Walford: Personal Ideological Structure

Any reader who accepts – even if only provisionally – the theories brought forward in the preceding pages, and sets out to test them against his own observations, will quickly encounter gross discrepancies. The protostatics present no great problem; it will be found that their behaviour does, if not in all details then at least when taken as a whole, or over a period, exhibit predominantly the features these theories would lead us to expect. The first indication of trouble is the observation that the adherents of all other ideologies display, for much of the time and over large areas of activity, behaviour which is indistinguishable from that of the protostatics.

We all spend much time in eating, travelling, casual conversation, watching films or television, engaging in sports or attending entertainments (Frederick Engels was a keen fox-hunter), and these are all activities which imply identification with protostatic assumptions, with low intellectuality and political collectivism. Even in the act of verbally expressing our eidodynamic assumptions we have no choice but to demonstrate our protostatic identification with the general social group; we are obliged to use the common speech.

As one enquires further the discrepancies between theory and observation become more extensive. Each of the major ideological groups behaves in a way implying identification not only with its own ideology but also with all ideologies lying to the protostatic side of its own position. The discrepancy between ideological theory (as so far presented), and observable behaviour, becomes more severe as attention moves toward the eidodynamic end of the range until, with the paradynamics, we ind that the behaviour predicted by theory is, for some of them, a rare occurrence in their lives. Quite often we would need to spend long periods, sometimes years, observing the behaviour, including the speech, of a paradynamic before encountering any item of behaviour implying identification with the assumptions we have listed as distinctive of this ideology.

The difficulty is resolved when we take into account a feature which ideological development shares with some other developmental systems. This is that the development is from less to more complex, one aspect of the increasing complexity being the retention, within each successive phase as it emerges, of the main features of the less complex phases in the system. Thus the broadest of all developmental systems moves from the physical through the organic to the human; in this system man is the most complex phase, and he is so partly because he is not merely, or purely, human but incorporates also the main features of the organic and physical phases. He is a man and an animal and a physical object. In the ideological series each phase beyond the protostatic is not merely, or purely, epistatic, or parastatic, and so on, but is epistatic and protostatic, parastatic and epistatic and protostatic, until, at the eidodynamic extreme, the metadynamic is also paradynamic and epidynamic and protodynamic and parastatic and epistatic and protostatic. Each of us is identified with every ideology on the protostatic side of the most eidodynamic one implied by our behaviour, although it is this most eidodynamic one which determines our ideological classification.

Continue reading An Outline Sketch of Systematic Ideology (1977):
The Walsby Society | Introduction | Ideology and the Left | The Field of Ideology | Assumption and Identification | Definition of an Ideology | Ideological Groups | The Major Ideologies | Ideological Development | Intellect | The Group Situation | The Cosmic Situation | Political Individualism and Collectivism | Economic Individualism and Collectivism | Personal Ideological Structure | Social Ideological Structure | Conclusion | Papers on Systematic Ideology