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Activism is an ideology

Whenever you bump into an idea that people seem to accept without knowing why and, in fact, bristle when it is questioned, you have uncovered ideology. Ideology is not always bad, but it is always worth investigating.

Among American liberals today, there is a certain idea of what it means to be politically engaged: constant engagement with the news (reading news, watching news, doom-scrolling social media1), contacting legislators, attending protests, and voting (this latter takes on the quality of a sacrament and to question its efficacy is heresy). This is to say that for American liberals, to be politically engaged is to be an activist. It is worth noticing that this is an ideology. And, again, this is not all bad, though certain parts of it are, in my opinion.

Is it true that this is the only way to be a responsible, engaged citizen? Of course not. You can begin to see the underlying assumptions of this ideology when you start questioning it. That is always worth doing, even if you come out on the other side still holding similar beliefs.

1 Twitter is “a fandom app for current events

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