In our society, ideas function as capital in much the same way money does. Individuals who can get others to “buy in” to their ideas obtain a disproportionate amount of control over their surroundings; large conglomerates… can come to rule large parts of the world this way, just as corporations do — indeed, there can be no entrenched political or financial power without ideological capital to back it up. Little “start-up companies” of competing ideas can enter the market to contest such monopolies, and sometimes one unseats the reigning creed to become the new dominant paradigm; but as in any capitalist system, power tends to flow upward to the top of a hierarchy, from which the masters, the ones qualified to employ it, decide matters for everyone else … and, just as in financial capitalism, ultimately it is not even the ruling class but competition itself that is in control. In this environment, anyone with a value or viewpoint has to rush to sell it to others before being run out of business.
It’s hard to imagine from here what a world free from this war of ideologies would be like. Obviously, it would have to be a world free from analogous wars (for money, power, selfhood), too, for it’s foolish to insist that “one can think however one wants” when some ways of conceptualizing the cosmos are punished by exclusion or embargo. Those of us who fight for freedom from the power of gods and masters would do well to contest the dictatorships of ideology — any ideology — which always accompany and enable them.