George Walford: Social Ideological Structure

The ideological structure of society is, in this respect, parallel with that of each person. In order to maintain expression of any ideology a society, like a person, must maintain expression of all those ideologies which lie to the protostatic side of it in the range. To show this for each ideology is a long, complicated and difficult task, and one which has not yet been carried out in full detail. (THE ENDURING EIDOSTATICS goes some way toward establishing that the proto-, epi- and parastatic ideologies, and the groups identified with them, have to be accepted as functional constituents of any modern industrial or post-industrial society). Here we shall speak only in general terms, showing briefly the grounds for accepting that the general eidostatic phase is not, as it is sometimes thought to be, an obsolescent survival but has to be accepted as a functional constituent of any society which is to maintain the eidodynamic phase; we shall indicate the grounds for believing the conception of a purely eidodynamic society to be an illusion.

The eidostatic ideologies are negatively identified with the non-social world and the eidodynamic ideologies are negatively identified with the social world. Active concern with any object or class of objects, the impulse to work on it and establish or increase control over it, goes with negative identification with it. We find, accordingly, that the eidostatic ideological groups tend to direct their energies toward the non-social World; it is this world they regard as the source of the ills, the problems and difficulties from which we suffer, and it is this world they regard as needing attention.

The eidodynamics, on the contrary, display negative identification with the social world; it is this world they regard as the source of the ills, the problems and difficulties from which we suffer and it is therefore toward this world that their energies are directed.

A society which has its attention directed entirely outward toward the non-social world, an exclusively eidostatic society, may survive. A society which has its attention directed entirely toward its own structure, a purely eidodynamic society, cannot do so.

Every society, if it is to survive, must ensure that its people are fed. This requires the direction of energy and attention toward the natural, the non-social world, it requires eidostatic behaviour. If the people are to do more than barely survive then many other material commodities must also be provided, and all of them require, for their production, eidostatic behaviour. We can conceive of a society in which these activities would not be necessary, but as a practical matter, if we are concerned with the well being of our children and our grandchildren and their immediate descendants, then we have to accept that most of the energy of our society, now and in the foreseeable future, will need to be directed toward the non-social world. This is to say that it will need to be expended in behaviour implying identification with the eidostatic ideologies.

These ideologies have to be accepted as functioning constituents of our society in the economic field. lf our society is not to be a repressive one (and the eidodynamic assumptions exclude political repression) then those identified with these ideologies, now recognised as socially necessary, must be accorded means of expression for their assumptions in politics and in societal activities generally. We have to accept the continuing existence, in the political field and elsewhere, of eidostatic opinion in something like its present strength.

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