Force of habit resulting from social ideology

Once an ideology is formed, it will control people’s mind stubbornly, controlling people’s  viewing angle in observation, thinking mode, value orientation and pattern of behavior,thereby controlling everything. If you have been poisoned by a wrong idea, no matter how high your intelligence quotient is or how rich your knowledge is, it will be of no use. When the famous upright and incorruptible official of the Qing Dynasty, Hai Rui, saw his little daughter take some refection to eat from a manservant, he flew into a rage,and forced the small child to fast to death! In today’s view, what a foolish and ruthless conduct it was! But it should have happened to Hai Rui,a saint with rich knowledge, high intelligence and high morality!  A wrong idea is like a devil: Once you have been “hypnotized” by it, any intelligence or morality will vanish completely!

 A person’s wrong ideology may cause a learned wise man to conduct the greatest foolery, then, when a personal wrong ideology becomes the wrong ideology of a group of people, it will form a stubborn habitual ideology and force of habit of the society. It is the most terrible evil force.

 The present time characterized by uncountable technologies and unprecedented revolutions is forcing us to make a choice: What new ideology should we choose to face the new technology? If we still cling to the stale and wrong ideas, we will either lose the chance or become the victim of our own mistake.

women’s footbinding was a custom lasting nearly one thousand years in China. The so-called “three-inch golden lotus” was regarded as a symbol of civilization, education, rules of etiquette and beauty, whereas the natural and strong foot was ridiculed as a symbol of barbarism, ugliness, and breach of morality, thus, women with such feet could find no husband, and they felt too ashamed to live in the world as well. Abolishing the footbinding was “harder than going to Heaven”! “The footbinding process was so terrible: the child was crying for pain, but the mother beat her daughter cruelly, forcing the tearful daughter to bear the great suffering. Even on-lookers could not help feeling sorry for it, but the parents were dead to all feelings, showing no pity at all”! As the saying goes, “A pair of little feet,a vat of tears”, and such a suffering lasted a thousand years! Nevertheless, at that time, millions of people showed no objection to such a “self-hurting” foolery, supporting it one hundred percent! Did this ugly conduct that might let modern people feel deeply ashamed result from a low intelligence or low education? No! It only resulted from the ideology. Not only a social ideology can tear those trying to challenge it into pieces,but the people themselves also often judge any thought violating the society ideology as evil.

 Before the force of habit resulting from social ideology, even the emperor holding the highest power had to put his hands up. When the famous general Zuo Zongtang returned to the court in triumph, the emperor was very happy, and issued an order to call him in. Zuo Zongtang received a warm welcome on his way. But he was detained by the gatekeeper. It turned out that, in the Qing Dynasty, any official coming from outside to the court must give some gift to the gatekeeper for entrance according to the custom;According to Zuo Zongtang’s status,the gift money was as high as 80,000 liang silver. But Zuo Zongtang did not have so much money, so he could not enter and had to settle down outside the gate for the time being. When the emperor knew that, he praised Zuo Zongtang’s incorruptness, but also felt very puzzled, as it was the “routine of the court”. Finally, the empress took the lead in offering a half amount of the money. As for the rest, Zuo Zongtang’s followers raised the money by all means, thus, they got the enough gate gift at last. Zuo Zongtang’s illustrious battle achievements (he had just cracked down the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom rebellion) and the emperor’s invincible might could not even resist a small gatekeeper. The gatekeeper had no special ability,and what he based himself was just the rule “This is the routine of our court, and no one can be excused from it”. How great the force of habit formed by ideology was! Such a habitual ideology has put mankind into a very absurd mind-set:So long as it is a habitual thing,it will be regarded as natural, without need for explanation or argument, it is right of course, no matter how absurd or ridiculous, it cannot be changed.

 A person’s wrong thinking may result in a personal tragedy,a nation’s wrong thinking may lead to a national tragedy,and mankind’s wrong thinking may cause mankind’s tragedy. Mankind may pay a disastrous price for its wrong ideas, but at the same time, may also go to great happiness because of its correct ideas.

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