"Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism." - Carl Jung
An idealism machine is a metaphorical part of some people's minds, through which they run all of their reality processes
. People with a very strict idealism machine are often highly unsatisfied with themselves and with the world, expecting the world to live up to their ideals, and constantly disappointed when it naturally does not.
Not surprisingly, many religions and political parties do a great job of installing various types of Idealism Machines in people's minds. Like many scientists, these groups demand perfection, and any deviation from this is ridiculed by the ideological masters. It is the fear of ridicule that gives idealism machines their power.
Evolutionary origins of idealism machines
Early in the evolution of human beings, just around the time they were starting to become Domesticated Primates, an individual's participation and cooperation in group needs was absolutely essential to the survival of the group.
If you consider an early tribe of hunters and gatherers, the men would go out and hunt and the women would stay close to camp to look after the children and to pick nuts and berries. Any abberation from this survival mechanism could literally put the lives of all group members at stake. In fact, there is a part of the brain devoted to encouraging social cooperation.
At times, these tribes required the strength of a good leader. It was essential for this leader to be able to live up to his promises, for if he did not the entire group would suffer. If Caveman Oog claims to be a wonderful General, then runs when confronted with the enemy, the group will be wiped out. Caveman Oog must live up to the ideal he has portrayed for the group, if he falters there arises a contradiction between his words and actions. Given that such hypocricy could be devastating for the tribe, ideal violation was discouraged by humiliating the offenders.
Another example that I call contract and conspiracy involves the relations between early men and women. Following his planetary imperative, Caveman Oog would desire sexual relations with Cavegirl Ugga. The implication was that Caveman Oog was making a contract with Cavegirl Ugga that he would be there to provide support for the child (the ideal). Cavegirl Ugga had the fear that Caveman Oog would renege on the contract and fail to help support the child before the tribe could raise it jointly (conspiracy).
From these beginnings, humiliation avoidance has become a powerful force in the modern world, even when there is no legitimate reason why a particular group member must behave according the ideal presented. The presence of unwarranted idealism machines in humans is a powerful means of social control which is exploited by groups wishing to further their agendas.
Humiliation avoidance and the Idealism Machine in a contemporary world
When was the last time you saw a group of townsfolk with pitchforks surrounding somebody, laughing at them and humiliating them? A long time ago, I'm sure. It is very hard to be humiliated in this society, and yet the humiliation avoidance resulting from the existence of the idealism machine in the minds of men and women continues to enjoy all of the power formerly reserved for groups whose survival depended upon it.
At the top of the food chain, humans have not evolved significantly for a very long time. It has become apparent that one of the reasons for this is the continuation of the humiliation avoidance factor. This must be weakened before humans can reach their full potential as evolving beings.