Feminism, Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Conservatism, Nationalism, Patriotism, Anarchism, Racism, Supremacism, Imperialism, Libertarianism, Liberalism, Capitalism, National Socialism, Marxism, Cultural Marxism, Secularism.
What a difference a suffix makes!
All these ideologies claim to have ‘the answer.’ They intend to use whatever means necessary to grab the well-oiled architecture of the State. They need opponents. They will fail to deliver what they promised. They will exit stage right for another -ism. They will re-invent themselves after having a crisis of faith. They will look different tomorrow than they did today.
But they all require factional-ism. The supreme -ism!
The funny thing, however, about the -isms is this: if they de-ismize themselves they really don’t look that bad. Loving your nation is no bad thing. On some matters its good to be a conservative, on others its good to be a liberal. Socialists mostly flock to union membership and unions are a valuable asset for a society. Just about everyone (even Communists) believe in Capitalism. Anarchism upholds the rights of the individual, Fascism said valid things about the corrupting influence of corporations exercising too much power on government. Even feminists make many valid points.
Diversity is no bad thing but all of these ideologies politicize natural differences and tendencies that people possess. That is essentially the problem with the -ismatics. The problem seems to be one of rightful authority. When Europe was ruled by strong monarchs who adopted largely neutral positions, the non-political elements of these -isms were manifested. In an Empire like Austria-Hungary there was all the range of views that would later become seeds for the -isms. A map of Austria-Hungary actually seems like a perfect example of anarchism, if anything. However, there was no State that intervened everywhere (into education, welfare, health, etc…) as such and hence no prize to be grabbed if a social movement politicized itself.
Now, it is natural and healthy for people to feel differences, physiologically, historically, and psychologically. The most common forms are those of religion, nationality, culture, status, and gender. -Isms, however, say that their ism is the supreme -ism that will gloriously display its majesty if only allowed sufficient funds and power to work its spell.
Then, once the -ism gets stronger it has a tendency to want to destroy all differences. From a natural starting-point, a humane starting point, -isms want everyone to think like they do, dress like they do, conform to their standards, etc… As an example, let’s take the iron grip of States like France on a common national identity. While France is in reality formed from many disparate nations, e.g. the Bretons and Occitanians (this is why de Gaulle joked about governing a country with 246 different varieties of cheese), it has been the determined work of France to subsume all these various nationalities under one banner .
Increasingly, to this author at any rate, it seems as if the old monarchical rulerships facilitated differences and tendencies between people and that the new dispensation eventually leads to an erasing of all differences between religions, cultures, nations, and genders. Key to this evolution is the State and the gifts it showers or withholds on whomsoever is either a favourite son or black sheep of the State. In the long run, one -ism does seem particularly strong in engendering unity and higher purpose and it is that of Nationalism. So, in this long run, the fate of the State and all other -isms seem to tend to that of some form of National Socialism.