The more I read the Althusser reading assignment the more that I saw as an ideology. Then I read that science and other subjects could be described as subject-less. How is this possible? There is only a subject of science in an ideology of science according to the reading. So to be a subject does something have to be an ideology? If so then to be a subject something must also have its believers which is interesting because although it seems obvious it is good to know that any subject being dealt with will have it’s followers, except some historical subjects whose followers may have existed in the past. In this case if the subject is still studied yet not practiced, say in the case of a dead religion, is it still a subject? A subject of study, practiced or not, is till a subject in my opinion.

 

(This comic shows how ideologies allude to a reality but also branch out into different interpretations and perspectives of it.)

The idea that to be subjects people freely subject themselves to an ideology brings up another question over the definition of the word subject. If people are brainwashed into believe something are they the subjects of an ideology? In a way the answer could be no because by being brainwashed the person is not really “themselves” anymore therefore they cannot be subjects of an ideology.

In the beginning of the text Althusser  describes “world outlooks” as largely imaginary leaving the unanswered question of what world outlook is not imaginary if ideology truly equals illusion.

Another interesting interpretation of ideology that is given is that ideology is an imaginary relation to real relations. The fact that ideology can be an escape from real relations is one of its appeals and purposes. Reality can be either too hard or too painful to understand sometimes and if having a certain belief or faith helps keep hope and a positive spirit alive then that is a good thing. The problem with some beliefs is that some deviances of reality that can be harmful to others such as religious texts calling for the death penalty for homosexuality or even thievery. It is our moral obligation as human beings to do whats positive for ourselves and each other as a whole to advance forward.

With religion it is common to find people who bend the rules of their ideology which religions usually describe as a sinful act. However, following a religion word for word can be hard because many of the old practices are … well old. Outdated beliefs are symbolic but can sometimes seem ridiculous. Someone who says they follow in the bible word for word for example may be stumped when pressed on whether they eat shellfish or believe in the keeping of slaves as long as they’re from neighboring nations. Try it when the chance arises.

Just as a belief can be good or bad the state apparatus pushing the belief can have good or bad intentions. One of the negatives about ideologies and their subjects is when the outdated or harmful beliefs are forced upon others by organized groups. The practices of subjects should allow for freedom of positive improvement.

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