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Change, Conflict, Dogmatism, Liberalism, philosophy, Religion, Society, Volition

Dogmatism vs. Liberalism

There is no fun debating with a blue-blooded liberalist or a dogmatist. These guys are too clear about their positions. They can berate any opposition irrespective of which camp they belong to. Most of us do find them too singular, too linear in their manifestations. In fact, they come out as quite dour and boring due to their ornately framed arguments finessed in their own minds over long periods of time.

Thankfully, they are the outliers, mere dots on the tapered part of a bell curve that could be plotted for the educated urbanised society we live in today. And surely, we need the well-heeled urbanites for such a topic. Who else has the time for such debates…

Without them, the label dogma would never have been born and the liberalists would never have had the chance to preen their grey feathers. It is always an opposite number, that too a starkly different one that lends credence to the other side. In fact, all hell broke loose when I commented that liberalism could yet be another religion, just different from all the other religions known till now. The blue-blooded liberalists took umbrage and said, ‘we do not have any dogma, hence, we cannot be a religion’. Well, couldn’t disagree entirely. Their only dogma could be their belief that liberalism does good at the end of the day. But we all know without beliefs, there cannot be any ism or for that matter, a life. Yet, human society would never have been as much fun or as engrossing as it is, if there were only the starkly opposite numbers. One would have surely annihilated the other by now.

Human society survives or even continues to flourish, not due to the puritans sharpening their knives overtime or sulking in their corners, but because of the vast majority that are on either side of the median. The bulk around the median even pendulates between the two sides chaperoned ably by their nanny, Ms. Reality. We put on our pragmatist hat when we find our status shifted like sand dunes after a stormy night of change, wreaked in secret by our Nanny’s family. Our caring Nanny and her hidden forces rarely give us the chance to make our own choices. We amble on from our different dune states, accepting them as our reality (latest) and absorb the wisdom, the experience drills into us. It is this majority that gets warmed up the most when there is a debate between ‘Liberalism & Dogmatism’. As the debate heats up, we speak from our latest dune positions, motivated by the change our Nanny ambulated us through.

Because of our lives going through numerous such desert storms and the varied experiences thereby absorbed, a debate on this topic really gets heated and refuses to dry up soon. The blue-blooded liberalist or the dogmatist soon find themselves whipped back into obscurity as the debate becomes a multi-dimensional ping pong between differing – epitomised by varying experiences and accepted statuses – individuals. The majority is markedly different to the few liberalists or the dogmatists around, who have debated with themselves and concretised their positions in their own minds. Fun hits the fan as most of us are both dogmatic and liberal in different contexts. Our dune hopping lives ensured that we like being dogmatic on certain issues while we pride ourselves when we discover our convictions to be a liberal on few other issues.

The debate rises to a crescendo with high pitched simultaneous conversations between multiple minds. Nobody seems to mind the cacophony, and no one appears to be aiming for a consensus. At times, it seems close to veer to one, only to be pulled apart by one or the other still alert participants. Compassion for the few getting ready to ‘pack up’ or the burden of standing out for too long finally enables a rational climax, albeit in cooler tones. A tired conversation ensues to first agree upon a common definition for, what is ‘liberalism’😊

Isn’t that the climax for most natural debates in a social setting, not the televised ones. Arguments flying across a room aimed at self-appointed adversaries. Everybody trying her or his best to be heard by someone around angling for acknowledgement of their views. At the end most accept that they have vented out what they wanted to say on the topic and wish to call it a day. The few unsatiated or with deeper convictions finally agree to have the bases checked out. The so far obscured blue-blooded tries to join the fading debate and offer his self-practiced definition only to realise that no one has the energy to listen anymore. The tired matadors on all the sides just wish to have a consensus (a chilled beer) and not a sharp divide as life never offered a great experience to most, when one slipped into a solitary but sharply defined position. To be in such a position is quite troublesome. One is left with no other option but to be silent or scream. That is not just why one should not be a dogmatist or a liberalist.

Most of us want to be part of a conversation. Most of us desire the company of others and to be somewhere around the median. It is simply more human to be social, more comforting and a happy place to be.

So what, if we are labelled as confused or non-determinant?

So what, if we have not found the truth yet?

Is life not an eternal search for the truth?

If we were to find it that early, what would we do for the rest of the time we live or do not die.  



About amitbeyondex

Amit practices as a Change | Growth Facilitator for Individuals, Managers & Organisations. He draws upon over two decades of practical experience in building up people, teams and businesses in Indo - German companies. ‘Beyond Expectations’ (www.beyondex.in) is a growth facilitation service to help Companies & Managers uncover their own positives, priorities, real options and arrive at their own decisions through their own convictions & resolutions. Amit facilitates you to come up with your own definition for Growth, Success and Happiness. He is neither a teacher nor a consultant. He is a practitioner, who dives deep into what is natural and facilitates the discovery of potentials. Amit specialises in mentoring German companies that need to develop their Organisations & Businesses in India. He facilitates the entire process; from Strategy Creation - Change Management - to Execution. He facilitates the Selection & Grooming of Top Management teams; helps the Management to develop appropriate Organisation Design, Structure, Roles & Performance management. He is always available to your Managers as a bouncing board for their ideas and uses question techniques to help people discover Options and make Choices! Amit has been a Guest Faculty at IIM, Bangalore & AIT Business School, Bangkok on Leadership & Change Management. He does workshops on invitation on Growth Management and has conducted such sessions with companies like Lufthansa, Ansell Inc., Cognizant Technologies, WeP Peripherals, Biological E, Magene Biotech, SLN Technologies, DOZCO, etc.


2 thoughts on “Dogmatism vs. Liberalism

  1. Amit, I shall be frank and thus brief. The topic chosen by you is too dour and a much-trampled one. The nature of the subject itself, I feel, probably did not leave you much room to be your normal creative self. Additionally, I missed the subtly laced humour that mere mortals like me have come to habitually expect in your articles. The text though was, as usual, exquisite. You do have a PGWoodhouseque way of framing your sentences. Do please keep on indulging us. With Best Regards.

    Posted by Suranjan Sinharoy | December 31, 2018, 1:25 pm

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