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Chapter 1: Ideology and Ideologies


Chapter 1: Ideology and Ideologies What is Ideology? Why Study It? * * * * * * * Goals Original meaning of the term ideology Define ideology Identify four ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 1: Ideology and Ideologies

Chapter 1 Ideology and Ideologies
  • What is Ideology?
  • Why Study It?

  • Original meaning of the term ideology
  • Define ideology
  • Identify four functions of ideology
  • Explore connection between ideology and human
  • Discuss link between ideologies and freedom
  • Discuss link between ideology and revolutionary
    political changes

Age of Ideology
  • Age of ideologies (plural, not singular)
  • contrasting and competing ideologies
  • Ferocity of political conflicts
  • wars, civil wars, wars of national liberation,
    and revolutions
  • High degree of ideological conflict and
    increasing sophistication and destructive
    potential of technology make a potent and
    explosive combination
  • Need to appreciate awesome power of technology
    and power of political ideas and ideologies

Ideology, Old and New
  • Originally referred to systematic study of the
    origins or sources of ideas
  • 18TH-century notion did not survive into the
    nineteenth century
  • Ideology came to mean a set of ideas that was
    somehow suspect, and quite probably false
  • Ideology still retains this meaning for many of
  • For us, ideology will have no pejorative or
    unfavorable connotations

Ideology Defined
  • Ideology (see page 4)
  • Set of ideas that tries to link thought with
  • Attempts to shape how people think and act
  • fairly coherent and comprehensive set of ideas
    that explains and evaluates social conditions,
    helps people understand their place in society,
    and provides a program for social and political
  • Performs four functions
  • explanatory, evaluative, orientative, and

What Ideologies Do
  • Explanatory
  • Purports to explain political phenomena
  • Why social, political, and economic conditions
    are as they are
  • Evaluative
  • Offers a basis for evaluating social conditions
  • Whether good, bad, or indifferent
  • Orientative
  • Orients its adherents to the sociopolitical world
  • Gives them a sense of identity, purpose, place
  • Programmatic
  • Provides a program of political action
  • What to do and how to do it

We All Have One
  • Everyone has a political ideology
  • Without one, we would be
  • relatively disoriented
  • unable to account for puzzling political and
    social phenomena
  • lack a basis for moral and political evaluation
  • unsure of what we should be doing, and with (or
    to) whom we should be doing it

Different Strokes For Different Folks
  • Different ideologies fulfill the four functions
    in quite different ways
  • Each supplies its adherents with quite different
  • Explanations
  • Standards of evaluation
  • Social orientations
  • Programs of political action

View of Human Nature
  • Every ideology has at its core a view of human
  • A conception of what human beings are
  • What moves or motivates them
  • What they are capable of achieving
  • How they are (or ought to be) related to others

  • Every ideology harbors a particular view of
    freedom (or liberty)
  • Freedom, for a fascist, means something quite
    different than it does for a feminist, a liberal,
    or a Marxist. How can this be?
  •  Freedom, like democracy, is an essentially
    contested concept a concept whose meaning is
    forever in dispute

Three Features of Freedom
  • Freedom is a three-sided or triadic relation
    (MacCallum 1967)
  • (1) an agent someone who is said to be free (or
    unfree, as the case may be)
  • (2) a goal something at which the agent aims or
    hopes to achieve
  • (3) an obstacle (or obstacles) the actual or
    potential barriers that stand in an agents way
  • A is free an agent (A) is free from an
    obstacle or barrier (B) and is therefore free to
    achieve his or her aims or goals (C)

Liberals and Freedom
  • Agent individual
  • Obstacle other individuals with whom he or she
    is in economic or other competition
  • Goal success in his or her competitive endeavor

Marxists and Freedom
  • Agent the working class
  • Obstacle the capitalists and the economic
    system over which they preside (namely,
  • Goal emancipation of workers in a cooperative,
    classless communist society

Nazis and Freedom
  • Agent racial or ethnic group (a Volk)
  • Obstacle presence, influence, and even ideas of
    Jews and other supposedly inferior races or
    ethnic groups
  • Goal racial purity

Ideologies and Revolution
  • Modern ideologies are alike in being
  • Each seeks to remake the world in its own image
  • Each tries to turn the world upside down
  • Each views the political world in different ways
  • Each ideology
  • offers its own explanation and evaluation of
    otherwise puzzling political and economic events
  • orients its adherents in a distinctive way
  • offers its own political program -- its own
    vision of the good society

Ideas Matter
  • Ideologies predicated on notion that ideas are
  • Ideas do, or can, make a big political difference
  • People die, often quite willingly, in wars and
    revolutions, not merely because they expect to
    enjoy some material or economic advantage
  • They believe strongly and fervently in the
    transforming power of ideas

Why Study Ideologies?
  • Political ideas and ideals have had, and continue
    to have, a profound impact in reshaping the
    political landscape in which we live
  • Behooves us to understand the nature of the
    ideologies that have made a deep and lasting
    impression upon our world

Key Terms
  • Ideologies
  • Ideologue
  • Essentially contested concept
  • Revolution
  • Nationalism
  • Anarchism
  • Empirical
  • Normative
  • Explanatory function
  • Evaluative function
  • Orientative function
  • Programmatic function
  • Triadic model of freedom

Discussion Questions
  1. What four functions do ideologies perform?
    Describe each in turn.
  2. Why is some conception of human nature important
    to a political ideology?
  3. How are political ideologies like revolutionary
  4. In what ways is an ideology similar to, and
    different from, a scientific theory or a
  5. Ball and Dagger maintain nationalism and
    anarchism are not political ideologies. Do you
    agree? Explain.