The dialectical hedgehog
OK. So we talked about the fact that the world seems to be divided into hedgehogs, who attempt to explain everything as the workings of a grand system, and the foxes that don't really try to come up with a Grand Unified Theory, but focus on reality and reacting to the "facts on the ground".
We talked about the fact that in the sphere of politics and ideology, a hedgehog can really cause a lot of death and destruction in the service of an (often flawed) idea. See Communism, Fascism, and many other -isms that have arisen in history. In my heart I feel like not only are these manifestations of political fanaticism dangerous, they are often misguided or corrupt. This is especially evident in retrospect.
However, without trying to sound like a hypocrite, I do think that there is one process that seems to be a pattern in history, almost a system that I would subscribe to as being the most likely to recurr. It is kind of a variation of the Dialectic. Except, whereas in a more traditional understanding of the dialectical process, the anti-thesis is an external force, in my version it comes from within. It is more of a corruption of the original idea.
In other words, whatever idea some hedgehog comes up with, if it gains enough steam to become popular, it will attract enough people that either don't really understand it, or think they understand it but really understand it completely differently than it was meant to be understood, or lastly, and more nefariously, people that twist the idea to serve their own ends. And ultimately, the idea, even if it had merit, becomes a twisted and corrupted reflection of itself.