Towards a better approach to ideology and development

    16-Jun-2022
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Dr L Krishnamangol Singh
There has been changes in thinking on the concept of ideology that applies  to the social and economic development of a country. In fact, some countries opt for capitalism or modern capitalism while some other countries follow the path to communism or modern communism. Thus different ideologies and economic policies shape social and economic development according to the contemporary situation of the country and different states in the country follow or adjust to the national framework of economic policies for development. It is in this context that the present article seeks to bring out in brief the changing relationship between the concept of ideology and development that may apply to the changing society of any country or state.
To begin with, we may briefly set out the changing concept of ideology. In fact,  it is generally accepted that the concept of ideology implies or sets out the way of thinking on any view or on any question of economic, political, social, historical and other systems. Thus, it is the science or the systematic ways of thinking on ideas for economic, political and social systems. In fact, the concept of ideology seeks to achieve economic, political and social development through generation or evolution of better and efficient ideas for the purpose of the formulation of economic and public policies of a country or a state. Today, ideology refers to the better or best ideas that can be the basis for efficient functioning of the economic, political and social system. Thus the concept of ideology relates to an efficient system of ideas and principles that form the basis for economic, political and social development of a country or state.
Another essential aspect of the concept or theory of ideology relates to metaphysics, which is the branch of the study of philosophy or the branch of philosophy that investigates the nature of existence  of creatures or the human being.  It also seeks to  find out the truth and knowledge of the existence of “human creatures or the beings”. Thus, metaphysics is the science or the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of human existence, truth and knowledge. In short, it described as the science of being, which is also abstract and philosophical in its entire form of investigation. Thus, the concept of metaphysics is related to the concept of ideology, which is also the “science of ideas”.
While ideology is a broad concept, the concept of metaphysics is also used to investigate or deal with the first principles of nature in abstract form (i.e. transcending the physical matter or things) Thus, before we examine the relationship between ideology and development, we may briefly touch on the difference between epistemology, metaphysics in order to understand how they explain the process of civilization and development.
Here, it can be pointed out the while epistemology is the “Theory of Knowing” or the theory of knowledge, metaphysics or ontology is the theory of existence or the theory of being. In fact, the former enquiries into the unknown thing or things (i.e. those things in abstract forms) while the later deals with the theory of being or reality e.g. the reality of human life / human being or the reality of the world as a whole and the reality of thought or the knowledge etc.) Thus, it is found that, in philosophy, epistemology and metaphysics are interrelated and that they are almost the same. It is further found that, in tracing the genesis of a better ideology, it is essential to focus on “values” or “value judgment “. In fact, the term “value” or “value judgment” is subjective. And the individual preferences or choices determine the “value” or “value judgment”. Thus, the value judgment is both subjective and objective. In fact, the value judgment requires appreciation of the qualities of the objects. Thus, the value judgment requires personal freedom and choice of the individuals. In fact, there can be no development without freedom. Thus, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen has redefined “development as freedom” of the people. And the concept of freedom cannot be interpreted as wrong freedom. Thus, in determining better ideologies or ideas for political economic and social systems, all wrongful activities that affect development need to be removed in order to create adequate opportunities for public and personal development within the constitutional and  democratic framework. Indeed, it is now high time to evolve better ideologies or a better set of ideas in terms of economic and public policies for a strong “New India” including Manipur, which is now showing steady signs of development in many respects although there are many critical areas of development. Further, it can be pointed out that the concept of better ideologies for development need not be conceptualised in terms of retrogradation and that the process of development needs to be moved in an upward direction.
Indeed, there can be conflicting ideologies as there are different modes of ideologies. But, a better ideology needs to be conceptualised in terms of positive thinking or positive thoughts. In this context, the individual-level ideological model needs to be considered in order to promote a better political, economic and social system. Thus, in searching for the goals of better ideologies for development, there is the need to encourage the participatory model of development with the State taking the active role. This will resolve the conflicting ideologies and go a long way in promoting a better path to sustainable civilization and development in the country including Manipur. Finally, there is now the need for sorting out the technical and economic policy requirements for achieving quick economic changes and development in the State.
The writer is economist, author and founder General Secretary of Economic Development Research Group, Manipur