The Structure of Ideologies
What was called the world outlook (Weltanschauung) or belief system affects and is affected by our practical knowledge of the environment, our knowledge of skills as well as experience, which we have called the pragmatic system. The belief system encompasses the normative-ideological area, whereas the pragmatic deals with the basic needs, production and consumption, territory we dwell in-- in a word, the basic conditions of our existence. In order to survive, man must perceive his environment in a way he could be able to cope with. There are of course elements of choice and various degrees of objective perception of the reality. Whatever our debates about objective truth in perception, the fact remains that with total disregard for the realities of our environment, man could not survive. He perceives fire in terms of its dangers and utility.
An animal deals with the environment by means of its sensors or perceptors and effectors. The way an animal perceives the environment affects its relationship to the latter. Again, a condition of its life is perceiving by means of whatever apparatus of perception it is endowed with as well as affecting physically the environment by its apparatus of effectors. By means of the latter, it moves as well as builds shelter or secures food. Man develops skills and tools, extends his perceptors and effectors. The pragmatic imperatives affect in various ways the normative ideological system.
Our perceptions, thoughtways, and actions may be visualized in the form of an arc (see figure 3.1) A section of this arc is pragmatic (P); on the other pole, another section is normative (N)--affected by our idea system. In the middle, we may identify a marginal section (M), affected by both the normative-pragmatic and the pragmatic-normative. The former is the ideological affected by pragmatic considerations; the latter, pragmatic affected by ideological considerations. The size of the middle section varies in various cultures.