Exploring and understanding radical ideologies

While we are going about our journey through life, we as individuals of society have to interact with other individuals on a daily basis. Considering that we live in a world consisting of billions of people, each with their own unique set of ideologies and virtues, interacting with others can at times be quite trying, or painful. We have individuals who view the world with such strict adherence to their ideologies that they no longer see what is objectively true. Without awareness of how these radical ideologies are formed, an individual may be at higher risk to adopt a radical ideology, which raises the question: how are radical ideologies formed?

In order to understand how radical ideologies are formed, we must first understand what an ideology is and how they are formed. An ideology, according to Wikipedia, is “the imaginary relation to the real conditions of existence”, which is a system of belief reinforced by external stimuli. How an ideology is formed largely depends on which external stimuli are at play. If you have an individual who is constantly being bullied by someone (the external stimulus) for being fat, that particular idea is being reinforced. In instances like this, continual reinforcement by that particular external stimulus may lead the individual to believe that they are fat, even though that may or may not be true. All ideologies are formed in a similar, reinforced manner. An individual performing well at school may have their parents (another external stimulus) reinforce the idea that they are doing well in school. The continual reinforcement of this particular stimulus will lead to the individual doing well academically. Ideologies like these may or may not impact an individual’s life, depending on the external stimulus’ level of reinforcement in relation to the individual’s awareness and knowledge of how external stimuli may emotionally manipulate them.

Radical ideologies are formed the same way as all ideologies are, except they are reinforced to the point where an individual believes it in place of an objective truth. Those who adapt these ideologies are able to manipulate people emotionally into believing the ideology. Whether or not they are aware of what they are doing, or how they do it are different questions, but a great example in the past would be the Nazis in World War II, with Hitler manipulating Germany into following his radical cause. Radical ideologies like these stem from oppressive external stimuli. When there are many individuals being oppressed and oppression is continually reinforced, radical ideologies start to form and spread among those being oppressed.

With technological progression and the internet allowing everyone to have a platform to communicate their thoughts and ideas, more radical ideologies are being reinforced and spread by those who are consumed by them, such as cults, politicians or radical religious/social sects. Knowing why an individual has a certain ideology is crucial to understanding and interacting with them. It allows one to interact with any individual in a civil manner while protecting their ideology from unwanted contamination, but at the same time allows one to be exposed to information from these radical idealists and objectively analyze and learn from the experience.

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