IDEOLOGY (from Greek ιδεολογία) is a comprehensive set of normative beliefs , conscious and unconscious ideas, that an individual, group or society has.
An ideology is narrower in ambit than the ideas expressed in concepts such as worldview , imaginary and ontology .
In the Althusserian sense, ideology is "the imaginary relation to the real conditions of existence".
* 1 Etymology and history
* 2 Analysis
* 3.1 Government ideology
ETYMOLOGY AND HISTORY
The term "ideology" was born during the Great Terror of French Revolution , and acquired several other meanings thereafter.
The word, and the system of ideas associated with it, was coined by Antoine Destutt de Tracy in 1796, while he was in prison pending trial during the Terror. The coup that overthrew Maximilien Robespierre allowed Tracy to pursue his work. assembling the words idea , from Greek ἰδέα (near to the Lockean sense) and -logy , from -λογία.
Tracy reacted to the terroristic phase of the revolution by trying to work out a rational system of ideas to oppose the irrational mob impulses that had nearly destroyed him. He devised the term to refer to a "science of ideas" which he hoped would form a secure foundation for the moral and political sciences by examining two things: 1) sensations people experienced as they interact with the material world; and 2) the ideas that formed in their minds due to those sensations. He conceived of "Ideology" a liberal philosophy which provided a powerful defense of individual liberty, property, free markets , and constitutional limits on state power. He argues that among these aspects ideology is the most generic term, because the science of ideas also contains the study of their expression and deduction.
Tracy worked this out during the Napoleonic regime, and Napoleon
Bonaparte came to view 'Ideology' a term of abuse which he often
hurled against his liberal foes in Tracy's Institut National .
Tracy's major book, The Elements of
In the century after Tracy, the term ideology moved back and forth between positive and negative connotations.
(Perhaps the most accessible source for the near-original meaning of
The term "ideology" has dropped some of its pejorative sting , and
has become a neutral term in the analysis of differing political
opinions and views of social groups. While
There has been considerable analysis of different ideological patterns. This kind of analysis has been described by some as meta-ideology – the study of the structure, form, and manifestation of ideologies. Recent analysis tends to posit that ideology is a coherent system of ideas, relying upon a few basic assumptions about reality that may or may not have any factual basis. Ideas become ideologies (that is, become coherent, repeated patterns) through the subjective ongoing choices that people make, serving as the seed around which further thought grows. According to most recent analysis, ideologies are neither necessarily right nor wrong. Believers in ideology range from passive acceptance through fervent advocacy to true belief. An excessive need for certitude lurks at fundamentalist levels in politics and religions.
This accords with definitions such as given by Manfred Steger and Paul James which emphasize both the issue of patterning and contingent claims to truth:
“ Ideologies are patterned clusters of normatively imbued ideas and concepts, including particular representations of power relations. These conceptual maps help people navigate the complexity of their political universe and carry claims to social truth. ”
The works of George Walford and Harold Walsby, done under the heading of systematic ideology , are attempts to explore the relationships between ideology and social systems. Charles Blattberg has offered an account which distinguishes political ideologies from political philosophies.
David W. Minar describes six different ways in which the word "ideology" has been used:
* As a collection of certain ideas with certain kinds of content, usually normative; * As the form or internal logical structure that ideas have within a set; * By the role in which ideas play in human-social interaction; * By the role that ideas play in the structure of an organization; * As meaning, whose purpose is persuasion; and * As the locus of social interaction.
For Willard A. Mullins an ideology should be contrasted with the related (but different) issues of utopia and historical myth. An ideology is composed of four basic characteristics:
* it must have power over cognition * it must be capable of guiding one's evaluations; * it must provide guidance towards action; and * it must be logically coherent.
Terry Eagleton outlines (more or less in no particular order) some definitions of ideology:
* the process of production of meanings, signs and values in social life; * a body of ideas characteristic of a particular social group or class; * ideas which help to legitimate a dominant political power; * false ideas which help to legitimate a dominant political power; * systematically distorted communication; * that which offers a position for a subject; * forms of thought motivated by social interests; * identity thinking; * socially necessary illusion; * the conjuncture of discourse and power; * the medium in which conscious social actors make sense of their world; * action-oriented sets of beliefs; * the confusion of linguistic and phenomenal reality; * semiotic closure; * the indispensable medium in which individuals live out their relations to a social structure; * the process whereby social life is converted to a natural reality.
The German philosopher Christian Duncker called for a "critical reflection of the ideology concept" (2006). In his work, he strove to bring the concept of ideology into the foreground, as well as the closely connected concerns of epistemology and history. In this work, the term ideology is defined in terms of a system of presentations that explicitly or implicitly claim to absolute truth.
Though the word "ideology" is most often found in political discourse, there are many different kinds of ideology: political , social , epistemological , ethical , etc.
In the Marxist economic base and superstructure model of society, base denotes the relations of production and modes of production , and superstructure denotes the dominant ideology (religious, legal, political systems). The economic base of production determines the political superstructure of a society. Ruling class-interests determine the superstructure and the nature of the justifying ideology—actions feasible because the ruling class control the means of production. For example, in a feudal mode of production , religious ideology is the most prominent aspect of the superstructure, while in capitalist formations, ideologies such as liberalism and social democracy dominate. Hence the great importance of the ideology justifying a society; it politically confuses the alienated groups of society via false consciousness .
Some explanations have been presented.
Marxist formulation of "ideology as an instrument of social
reproduction" is conceptually important to the sociology of knowledge
LOUIS ALTHUSSER\'S IDEOLOGICAL STATE APPARATUSES
Louis Althusser proposed both spiritual and materialistic conception of ideology, which made use of a special type of discourse: the lacunar discourse . A number of propositions, which are never untrue, suggest a number of other propositions, which are. In this way, the essence of the lacunar discourse is what is not told (but is suggested).
For example, the statement "All are equal before the law", which is a theoretical groundwork of current legal systems, suggests that all people may be of equal worth or have equal "opportunities". This is not true, for the concept of private property and power over the means of production results in some people being able to own more (much more) than others. This power disparity contradicts the claim that all share both practical worth and future opportunity equally; for example, the rich can afford better legal representation, which practically privileges them before the law.
Althusser also proffered the concept of the Ideological State Apparatus to explain his theory of ideology. His first thesis was "ideology has no history": while individual ideologies have histories, interleaved with the general class struggle of society, the general form of ideology is external to history.
For Althusser, beliefs and ideas are the products of social practices, not the reverse. His thesis that "ideas are material" is illustrated by the "scandalous advice" of Pascal toward unbelievers: "kneel and pray, and then you will believe". What is ultimately ideological for Althusser are not the subjective beliefs held in the conscious "minds" of human individuals, but rather discourses that produce these beliefs, the material institutions and rituals that individuals take part in without submitting it to conscious examination and critical thinking .
IDEOLOGY AND THE COMMODITY IN THE WORKS OF GUY DEBORD
The French Marxist theorist Guy Debord , founding member of the Situationist International , argued that when the commodity becomes the "essential category" of society, i.e. when the process of commodification has been consummated to its fullest extent, the image of society propagated by the commodity (as it describes all of life as constituted by notions and objects deriving their value only as commodities tradeable in terms of exchange value ), colonizes all of life and reduces society to a mere representation, The Society of the Spectacle .
SILVIO VIETTA: IDEOLOGY AND RATIONALITY
This section's FACTUAL ACCURACY IS DISPUTED . Relevant discussion
may be found on Talk:
The German cultural historian Silvio Vietta described the development and expansion of Western rationality from ancient times onwards as often accompanied by and shaped by ideologies like that of the "just war", the "true religion", racism, nationalism, or the vision of future history as a kind of heaven on earth in communism. He said that ideas like these became ideologies by giving hegemonic political actions an idealistic veneer and equipping their leaders with a higher and, in the "political religions " ( Eric Voegelin ), nearly God-like power, so that they became masters over the lives (and the deaths) of millions of people. He considered that ideologies therefore contributed to power politics irrational shields of ideas beneath which they could operate as manifestations of idealism.
See also: List of political ideologies
In social studies , a political ideology is a certain ethical set of
ideals , principles, doctrines , myths , or symbols of a social
movement , institution , class , or large group that explains how
society should work, and offers some political and cultural blueprint
for a certain social order.
* Goals: how society should work * Methods: the most appropriate ways to achieve the ideal arrangement
There are many proposed methods for the classification of political ideologies, each of these different methods generate a specific political spectrum . Ideologies also identify themselves by their position on the political spectrum (such as the left , the center or the right ), though precision in this respect can very often become controversial. Finally, ideologies can be distinguished from political strategies (e.g., populism ) and from single issues that a party may be built around (e.g. legalization of marijuana ). Philosopher Michael Oakeshott provides a good definition of ideology as "the formalized abridgment of the supposed sub-stratum of the rational truth contained in the tradition".
A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to what ends power should be used. Some parties follow a certain ideology very closely, while others may take broad inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them. Each political ideology contains certain ideas on what it considers to be the best form of government (e.g. democracy , demagogy , theocracy , caliphate etc.), and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism , socialism , etc.). Sometimes the same word is used to identify both an ideology and one of its main ideas. For instance, "socialism" may refer to an economic system, or it may refer to an ideology which supports that economic system.
Studies of the concept of ideology itself (rather than specific ideologies) have been carried out under the name of systematic ideology .
Post 1991, many commentators claim that we are living in a post-ideological age, in which redemptive, all-encompassing ideologies have failed, and this view is often associated with Francis Fukuyama 's writings on "the end of history". On the other hand, Nienhueser sees research (in the field of human resource management ) as ongoingly "generating ideology".
Slavoj Zizek has pointed out how the very notion of post-ideology can enable the deepest, blindest form of ideology. A sort of false consciousness or false cynicism, engaged in for the purpose of lending one's point of view the respect of being objective, pretending neutral cynicism, without truly being so. Rather than help avoiding ideology, this lapse only deepens the commitment to an existing one. Zizek calls this "a post-modernist trap". Peter Sloterdijk advanced the same idea already in 1988.
There are several studies that show that affinity to a specific political ideology is heritable.
When a political ideology becomes a dominantly pervasive component within a government, one can speak of an ideocracy . Different forms of government utilize ideology in various ways, not always restricted to politics and society. Certain ideas and schools of thought become favored, or rejected, over others, depending on their compatibility with or use for the reigning social order.
Even when the challenging of existing beliefs is encouraged, as in scientific theories, the dominant paradigm or mindset can prevent certain challenges, theories, or experiments from being advanced.
A special case of science adopted as ideology is that of ecology,
which studies the relationships among living things on Earth.
James J. Gibson believed that human perception
of ecological relationships was the basis of self-awareness and
cognition itself. Linguist
Some accuse ecological economics of likewise turning scientific theory into political economy , although theses in that science can often be tested. The modern practice of green economics fuses both approaches and seems to be part science, part ideology.
This is far from the only theory of economics to be raised to ideology status—some notable economically based ideologies include neoliberalism , monetarism , mercantilism , mixed economy , social Darwinism , communism , laissez-faire economics , and free trade . There are also current theories of safe trade and fair trade which can be seen as ideologies.
Psychological research increasingly suggests that ideologies reflect (unconscious) motivational processes, as opposed to the view that political convictions always reflect independent and unbiased thinking. Jost, Ledgerwood and Hardin proposed in 2008 that ideologies may function as prepackaged units of interpretation that spread because of basic human motives to understand the world, avoid existential threat, and maintain valued interpersonal relationships. These authors conclude that such motives may lead disproportionately to the adoption of system-justifying worldviews. Psychologists have generally found that personality traits , individual difference variables, needs, and ideological beliefs seem to have a common thread.
IDEOLOGY AND SEMIOTIC THEORY
According to the semiotician Bob Hodge , ideology "identifies a unitary object that incorporates complex sets of meanings with the social agents and processes that produced them. No other term captures this object as well as 'ideology'. Foucault 's 'episteme ' is too narrow and abstract, not social enough. His 'discourse', popular because it covers some of ideology's terrain with less baggage, is too confined to verbal systems. 'Worldview' is too metaphysical, 'propaganda' too loaded. Despite or because of its contradictions, 'ideology' still plays a key role in semiotics oriented to social, political life." Authors such as Michael Freeden have also recently incorporated a semantic analysis to the study of ideologies.
* ^ Steger, Manfred B.; James, Paul (2013). "Levels of Subjective
Globalization: Ideologies, Imaginaries, Ontologies". Perspectives on
Global Development and Technology. 12 (1–2.).
* ^ Kennedy, Emmet (Jul–Sep 1979). ""Ideology" from Destutt De
Tracy to Marx". Journal of the
* Althusser, Louis (1971) '