Naming Mountains and Ideologies — the Real and the Ideal

Mountains and ideologies are named by people who think they rule, occupy, own or were victorious over them. Ownership changes, as do the names.

Love is an ideal thing, marriage is real. Confusing an ideal with what is real will have unexpected consequences. The confusion of the ideal with the real happens in love and in war, as well as with any other ideal and ideologies.

Ideologies have consequences as soon as someone wishes to turn idealistic pipe dreams that are more or less-well thought out into reality.  Even just trying to get a start at  some of the things that some people wish to get into motion will cost effort and have consequences.  If a halt is put to the attempt, the costs and efforts to bring it as far as it was permitted to go cannot be recovered. The damages should be repaired but often aren’t, because they often cannot be fixed, while the fixing may cost more than the efforts did that caused the damages did.  Some damages will be permanent.

Expanding the scale of the attempt to make ideals into reality to address a nation, an empire or the whole world, and the costs of the efforts required required for that, soon escalate to astronomical dimension, and so do their consequences.  Nothing is perfect, ever, and nothing ever did or will work out as well as it was imagined it should.  History is full of the accounts of spectacular failures on a truly grand scale, often bankrupting nations, devastating them at a cost of at times of hundred of millions of lives, to boot.

Therefore, people who make the decisions and those who have to bear the consequences of those decisions in terms of higher taxes, more miserable lives or even vastly increased risks of losing their lives must be very careful.  The consequences of trying to turn ideologies into reality are always different from expectations, costs are almost always higher, often far higher, the benefits almost smaller that expected, often far smaller, and frequently absent.

If that were not so, we would not, for instance, have escalating taxation and corruption, growing inflation and increasing divorce rates.  No one has ever been able to do anything about that, except for a few proven long term processes and efforts that did result in real improvement of the average quality of life.  Those were not reached throughout the last ten thousand years because of ideological shortcuts, but because of hard work and human ingenuity.  Yet, those things that improved the human condition, the average quality of life, have not been and are not always appreciated.  Consider for example Men and energy, the foundation of modern civilization.  Ideologies have more often been hindrances, at times great obstacles, to progress in making cheap energy universally available to all than they have been  a help, more often like sand in the gears than lubricating the gears driving the wheels of progress.

Someone stated, “Libertarian would be capitalism with no imperialism.”  That is not what the dictionary definition states.

Definition of libertarian
1 : an advocate of the doctrine of free will
2 a : a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action
More at Merriam Webster

Denali, Alaska

Denali, Alaska

Mountains are almost forever, but not quite. They only last for hundreds of millions of years or perhaps, as in the case of Mount Olympus on Mars or the Appalachians in the U.S.A., for more than a billion years.

Ideologies that relate to the way humans live, are supposed to live, or to what they want or other humans want for them can at best or at worst only be as old as humanity. No ideology is older than the circumstances that created them. Therefore the categories right-wing and left-wing are only as old as the first parliaments in which political parties labelled right or left occupied seats that were right or left on the floors of those parliaments.

Mountains and ideologies differ from one another, but the circumstances of their naming are very similar.  That does absolutely nothing to change the respective natures of mountains and ideologies, with the latter being potentially and in absolute terms far more deadly to human life than mountains proved themselves to be.

Mountains and ideologies receive their official names from people who think they rule, occupy, own or were victorious over them.  That is a boon for map makers and their publishers.  Ownership changes, therefore so do names of ideologies and of mountains.

Castle Mountain, Alberta, Canada

Castle Mountain, Alberta, Canada

Name changes for mountains

  • Mount McKinley (Alaska) changed to Denali, a concession to the power of multiculturalism.
  • Castle Mountain (Canada, Alberta): I don’t know what the original inhabitants called it (they had no writing, and no oral traditions of what the name was seem to have survived.  No one appears to have taken the trouble to invent and assert what the name had been in that respect), but when the first Europeans saw it (1858), they called it “Castle Mountain” (the original inhabitants would not have called it that, as virtually none of them knew prior to that what a castle was).
    Castle Mountain had a name change, to Mount Eisenhower, after general Dwight D. Eisenhower, because of the strong alliance Canada had with the U.S.A. during WWII. In 1979 the name was changed back to Castle Mountain. It is debatable who is responsible for the later renaming, but it had without a doubt to do with the lack of pro-American sentiments by the ruling party in power in Ottawa (Liberal Party, on and off headed by Pierre Elliot Trudeau, from 1968 to 1984, a Marxist and a friend of Fidel Castro, which made the politicians south of the border feel the converse), although the Wikipedia article describing the name change does not mention much of or any of that.

Naming of ideologies

No one should assume that names given to ideologies constitute accurate descriptions of categorization of ideologies.  Such an assumption is often a non sequitur and apt to cause confusion.  For example,

  • The Russian Marxists who assumed power from the Tsarist monarchy (by killing the Tzar, his family and by neutralizing, even killing, as many Tsarists as they could) called the Empire they overthrew and ruled, the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). No wonder, they were socialists.
  • The German Marxist faction that assumed power from the Weimar Republic called their party ‘National Socialist German Workers’ Party’ (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP).  No wonder, they were socialists.

Hitler and cohort didn’t like the nickname for their party (the nickname was Nazi – pronounced: nät-sē, constructed from ‘Na’ in National + ‘zi’ in sozialistische, the adverb in their party’s name). The nickname did not fit their taste, as it evoked connotations to the derogatory Bazi – pronounced: bät-sē. That is understandable, and those who insisted on using that nickname were liable to wind up in prison, a concentration camp or on the Russian front, clearing landmines.

1. (South German, Austrian, usually joking) cunning man, rascal, crook
2. (mockingly derogatory) Bavarian
villain, scoundrel, rogue, culprit«

English-language propagandists, being no slouches and not having to fear the NSDAP’s dislike and reaction to their making fun of the people of the Hitler regime, adopted the German practice of ridiculing the NSDAP by substituting Nazi.  The label Nazi became a popular concept (a sign of effective propaganda) that served at the same time to obfuscate the Marxist foundation of the German national socialists’ ideology, that is: the fact that the nature of the differences between German national socialism and Russian socialism was, that one wanted to establish,

  • A world-wide regime that was to be a symbiosis of socialism and capitalism under
    USSR propaganda poster, promoting membership int Pioneers

    Ideologies wecome: e. g.,’All hail the young pioneers – worthy next generation of Lenin-Stalinist Komsomol’ USSR propaganda poster in Latvia

    German totalitarian rule, with people and capitalists under control by the State and that the other wanted to establish

  • A world-wide regime that was to reflect the true perception of Marxism, with people (capitalists were being eradicated, killed by working them to death in labour camps) and the means of production under Russian soviet totalitarian rule, with ownership by capitalists being replaced through ownership by the State.

Hitler’s opponents in the rest of the world picked their poison and formed an alliance with the U.S.S.R..

Earlier, Wall Street financed both, the rise of Bolshevism to power, and then, when that was well on the way, also the rise of Hitler to power – so as to provide some balance. Then it financed the war against one of them, while also still financing the Hitler-

Hitler-Germany —Propaganda poster. promoting, the savings and vacationing program "Strength through Joy"

Ideologies promise: Hitler-Germany —Propaganda poster. promoting, the savings and vacationing program “Strength through Joy”

regime, as otherwise the latter would not have had much to fight with.

That was good seed money. It brought an end to the Depression, full employment, plenty of overtime hours, and great wealth to billions.

Right wing, left wing…it’s immaterial. Nothing succeeds like success. China, Russia and the U.S.A., for example, did well to pursue essentially identical political/economic philosophies, fostering the symbiosis of socialism and capitalism. It was a fundamental change for China and Russia to bring that about.  Their centrally planned and controlled economies proved themselves to be failures of massive proportions.  It is extremely doubtful that Russia or China will return to the shining path of communism.  Once burned, twice shy.

On the other hand, the U.S.A. is declining, while accumulating a mountain of debt of unprecedented proportions, as it shifts towards  more and more socialism, as well as central government restrictions and control of people and methods of production. It is declining into and pursues a political/economic type of regime that had done great harm in both the USSR and in China. There is little comfort in the reality that the U.S.A. is not alone in that amongst the Western developed nations but a powerful voice and leader.  Misery loves company.

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