The development of civilization is only meaningful when examined relative to the past. Without technology, which is easily quantifiable and can only increase since all past technology belongs to it as well, advances are limited to societal refinements. These are quasi-quantifiable. Ceremony validates social structure. It creates a social identity. Ideological structure is a prerequisite to stability. Ceremony, aesthetics, social rules, provide ideology with an exoskeleton. Societal rigidity is an artifice separating civilization from animal associations and ideology provides common objectives required for the success of society, generally, and nationalism, specifically.
The change in the nature of society is paralleled by the development of technology. Ceremonious social events were stiffly structured by rules governing behavior. Civilization was defined by social rules. Ceremony and aesthetics are manifestations of those rules. The proliferation of technology seems to be inversely proportional to the (declining) importance of these social characteristics. Technology now defines civilization and behavior limiting rules are no longer required to fill that role.
Althusser expands Lacanian theory by asserting ideology’s authority as essentially “The Law of the Father.” The transfer of the signifier is the interpolation of the subject. Lacan’s subject is composed of language. Althusser’s subject is corrupted by ideology. The assurance of the West’s political stability is based on this concept. Stabilizing ideologies have been rigorously installed and although radical viewpoints may effect change, their influence can only be minimal and therefore they are tolerated. Political instability can be explained by an unstable, a lack of, an ineffectual, or a de stabilized Ideology. Technology de stabilizes traditional macro ideologies and replaces them with consumerism. Entrepreneurial capitalism is replaced by multi national capitalism and the individual is replaced by the functional unit and the egocentric myth of the individual is not exposed, only forgotten.