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Ideologies – an introduction

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Ideologies – an introduction

  1. 1. IDEOLOGIES – an introduction Information sourced from Heywood, A. (1998), Political Ideologies: An introduction. Palgrave Macmillan: Hampshire.
  2. 2. ON TARGET Outline of Unit What is ideology? Core themes of different ideologies The political spectrum
  4. 4. ON TARGET ISM’s! We are basically going to be looking at many of the words ending in –ism, such as liberalism, conservatis m, socialism, communi sm, religious fundamentalism, femi nism, totalitarianism etc.
  5. 5. ON TARGET What is ideology? • First thing to be clear on is that there really is no clear and agreed upon definition of ideology. It is a difficult term to really define properly.
  6. 6. ON TARGET Some attempted definitions of ‘ideology’ 1 •A political belief system • An action-orientated set of political ideas • The ideas of the ruling class • The world view of a particular social class or social group • Political ideas that embody or articulate class or social interests • Ideas that propagate false consciousness amongst the exploited or oppressed
  7. 7. ON TARGET Some attempted definitions of ‘ideology’ 2 • Ideas that situate the individual within a social context and generate a sense of collective belonging • An officially sanctioned set of ideas used to legitimise a political system or regime • An all-embracing political doctrine that claims a monopoly of truth • An abstract and highly systematic set of political ideas
  8. 8. ON TARGET Origin of the term •The term was created during the French Revolution by Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754- 1836), and first used in public in 1796 • For de Tracy, idéologie referred to a new „science of ideas‟, or an idea-ology, like in biology, or psychology.
  9. 9. ON TARGET Origin of the term The use of ideology as a “The ideas of the ruling class are in political term has a lot to do every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. with the work of Karl Marx the class which is the ruling (1818-1883) material force of society, is at the same time the ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it” Marx and Engels, The German Ideology
  10. 10. ON TARGET The definition we will use in our class: An ideology is a more or less coherent set of ideas that provides the basis for organised political action, whether this is intended to preserve, modify or overthrow the existing system of power. All ideologies therefore have the following features: a) They offer an account of the existing order, usually in the form of a „world view‟ b) They advance a model of a desired future, a vision of the „good society‟ c) They explain how political change can and should be brought about – how to get from (a) to (b) Heywood, A (2007). Political Ideologies – An Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan: New York.
  11. 11. ON TARGET Take note! It‟s important to realise that ideology is not just something that is important to politics or politicians. Ideology influences all of our lives, but it works in such a way that we are often unaware of its influence!
  12. 12. ON TARGET Think of ideology as a pair of goggles! Whichever pair of goggles you put on, changes the way which you see the world. It allows you to interpret the world and to make decisions! Now you must work out, which ideology has already influenced your way of thinking and looking at the world!
  13. 13. ON TARGET Core themes LIBERALISM
  14. 14. ON TARGET This ideology is in a sense the ideology of the ‘industrialised West’ It has a focus on a particular set of values: the individual, freedom, reason, justice, toleration
  15. 15. ON TARGET Liberalism: The Individual Liberalism emphasises the importance of the individual, both the uniqueness of each individual and at the same time the equality of all individuals.
  16. 16. ON TARGET Liberalism: The Individual Thus, liberalism emphasises a commitment to individual freedom. This does not mean though, that an individual is free to do whatever they like. There are still constraints on what you are actually allowed to do, one constraint being that you are not allowed to hurt another individual.
  17. 17. ON TARGET Liberalism: Faith in reason Having faith in reason, or the ability to use one‟s intellect in taking action in the world, is also a central component
  18. 18. ON TARGET Liberalism: Justice and tolerance • Liberalslook at justice in that each person should be given what they are „due‟. • Because individual rights are central, this means that liberalism believes in tolerance and pluralism, or the idea that different moral, cultural and political cultures can exist together.
  19. 19. ON TARGET Where can I see evidence of liberalism today? Everywhere! Have a look around, and you will see that the ideas of liberalism are central to our lives. What examples of liberalism can you find just by looking at your school?
  20. 20. ON TARGET Core themes CONSERVATISM
  21. 21. ON TARGET Conservatism: Core themes Central beliefs of conservatism are based around the ideas of: • tradition • human imperfection • organic society • hierarchy and authority • property
  22. 22. ON TARGET Conservatism: Tradition • Conservatives argue for the preservation of „tradition‟, in particular with regards to values, practices and institutions • They see tradition as being one of the foundations of society; without it, they believe society would crumble.
  23. 23. ON TARGET Conservatism: Humans are imperfect Conservatives argue that human beings are imperfect and not perfectible, thus they will need stability and security in their lives, which the government can provide
  24. 24. ON TARGET Conservatism: Organic society Conservatives believe that human beings cannot exist outside of society, or the social groups that nurture him/her, such as family, friends, colleagues, local community, and the nation
  25. 25. ON TARGET Conservatism: Hierarchy and authority Believe that society is hierarchical, and that authority (who is on top or in charge) develops naturally
  26. 26. ON TARGET Conservatism: Property • Conservatives have a firm belief in the importance of owning property, and encourage private savings and investment in property; property is seen to be a way of creating a stable world. • People are less likely to damage someone else‟s property if they also own property.
  27. 27. ON TARGET Liberalism vs. Conservatism This is one of the oldest ideological divisions. Watch the above video to identify some stereotypical liberal and conservative traits.
  28. 28. ON TARGET Liberalism vs. Conservatism Can you make a list of the differences between liberalism and conservatism? Why would they be opposed to one another?
  29. 29. ON TARGET Core themes SOCIALISM
  30. 30. ON TARGET Core Themes • Community • Cooperation • Equality • Class politics • Common ownership
  31. 31. ON TARGET Community • Human beings are tied to one another by the bonds of a common humanity • „We are all brothers and sisters‟
  32. 32. ON TARGET View on human nature • Belief in the plasticity of human nature, or that humans can change and be moulded by life experience • Firm belief that humans are not predestined, but have the capacity to become something greater than what they are
  33. 33. ON TARGET Cooperation not competition Socialists believe that the natural relationship among humans is one of cooperation rather than competition
  34. 34. ON TARGET Equality Socialists are committed to equality
  35. 35. ON TARGET Social Class Emphasis is on social class as the determining factor of society What do you notice about the boys in this picture?
  36. 36. ON TARGET Common ownership • Disagree with the idea of private property, as they see this as one of the causes of competition and therefore social inequality. • Thus, have a view that all property should be communal • „From each according to his ability, to each according to his need‟ – Karl Marx
  37. 37. ON TARGET Socialism vs. Communism • These two ideologies are often confused with one another • The similarities and differences are quite difficult to define • Communism is thought to be a classless society, where there is no hierarchy or authority. It has been argued by Marxists to be the end point of human development • Socialism is seen to be a middle point between capitalism and communism, where the state attempts to re-direct society towards its communist ideal
  38. 38. ON TARGET Pause: Comparing the three we have looked at so far View Liberalism Conservatism Socialism Human nature Inherently good Inherently Inherently good imperfect and selfish Of individual Free to pursue Individual is to Supports the individual goals obey the power common good structures Of society Made up of Hierarchical – Society more individuals, divisions are important than working together natural the individual Private property Used for Necessary for The cause of personal benefit stability inequality
  39. 39. ON TARGET Core themes FASCISM
  40. 40. ON TARGET Origin Whilst liberalism, conservatism and socialism are ideas that have their roots in the 19th Century, fascism was born in the period between the first world wars, and emerged most dramatically in Italy and Germany.
  41. 41. ON TARGET Italian Fascism Benito Mussolini and his Fascist Party came to power in Italy in the 1920s and lasted until the second World War, upon which he was executed by the Italian partisans and hung by his feet in a square in Milano
  42. 42. ON TARGET German Fascism Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party came to power in the 1930s and lasted until the Second World War, until the defeat of Germany by the Allies.
  43. 43. ON TARGET Features of fascism It is a difficult ideology to define, but some of its common themes include: • A reaction against rationalism, or the use of reason to make sense of the world • A belief that life is struggle, and that the strongest survive (influenced by Darwin‟s idea of natural selection) • Does not believe in equality; instead believes in elitism, or that some people are born leaders • An extreme embrace of nationalism; incorporating a belief that certain nations are superior to others.
  44. 44. ON TARGET Core themes CAPITALISM
  45. 45. ON TARGET Capitalism • Is an economic system that is focussed on profit, and the major part of production is privately owned • Goods and services are created in order to generate profit
  46. 46. ON TARGET The ‘Market’ The market is seen to be the defining mechanism in ordering society. In this sense, „the market‟ refers to the procedure of selling and buying goods in general (and anywhere), not necessarily a physical market like Preston Market! The market procedure is a way where people bring their goods to sell to consumers, and it is thought that through trade society‟s order is maintained. In economics talk, „supply‟ and „demand‟ are terms used to describe this process.
  47. 47. ON TARGET Supply and Demand
  48. 48. ON TARGET Economic Growth Belief in the idea of economic growth, so that all people increase their material wealth (best seen in the pie example below) and become better off, no matter their position in the economy. If all people are concerned with increasing their wealth, this will maintain order in society
  50. 50. ON TARGET Totalitarianism • Is a political system where the state (in the hands of perhaps one person or a small group/party) controls almost everything in its territory. All freedom is removed, and all subjects are under control of the authority. It is a ‘total system’ of control. • It establishes its rule by ideological manipulation (controlling the minds of its subjects), terror and brutality.
  51. 51. ON TARGET Core themes ANARCHISM
  52. 52. ON TARGET Anarchism • The defining feature of anarchism is its opposition to the state and the institutions of government and law • Their main argument against authority is that they see authority as being an offence against the principles of freedom and equality • They believe in a natural goodness of humans, and that without a state governing humans would naturally fall into a state of cooperation with one another.
  54. 54. ON TARGET Religious Fundamentalism Rejects the distinction between politics and religion; for fundamentalists, „politics is religion‟ (Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979)
  55. 55. ON TARGET Religious Fundamentalism • Maintains a commitment to ideas and values that are seen as basic or fundamental • Most often turns its back on modernity, or the modern world we live in. Modernity is seen to be the root of decay in our world, where values are lacking and moral social fabric has disintegrated. • Very often it is a militaristic ideology, and the use of violence to achieve its aims is common
  56. 56. ON TARGET Some funny stereotypes
  57. 57. ON TARGET Core themes NATIONALISM
  58. 58. ON TARGET Nationalism A firm belief in the idea that the „nation‟ should be the central principle of political organisation
  60. 60. ON TARGET Environmentalism A belief that nature is the most important focus of social organisation
  62. 62. ON TARGET Feminism Important ideology that changed the focus of ideology from looking at the public to the private sphere. That is, rather than looking at the politics of the state level, they started to look at the politics of the individual. Key to this was looking at the power relationship that exists between men and women.
  63. 63. ON TARGET Feminism • Use of the concept of „patriarchy‟ to describe the power relationship between men and women • Made a distinction between the idea of „sex‟ and „gender‟: sex is a biological term defined by birth, whereas gender is a cultural term which incorporates learning how to be female or male
  65. 65. ON TARGET Globalisation • This term describes the process through which economies, societies and cultures become further integrated through a global network of political ideas through communication, transportation and trade. • Whether the term is an ideology or not is debatable, but it is an idea that more and more comes to influence the way we see the world.
  67. 67. ON TARGET The Political Spectrum • You may have heard at various times terms used like „political left‟ and „political right‟ • This is quite a confusing and misleading area in understanding political science •The origin of the terms dates back to the French Revolution and the seating arrangements adopted by different groups in parliament.
  68. 68. ON TARGET The Political Spectrum Traditionally, the political spectrum looked like this:
  69. 69. ON TARGET Meanings of ‘left’ and ‘right’ LEFT RIGHT A broad ideological disposition A broad ideological disposition that is characterised by that is characterised by sympathy for principles such as sympathy for principles such as liberty, equality, fraternity and authority, order, hierarchy and progress. It is also associated duty with preference for equality and common ownership.
  70. 70. ON TARGET
  71. 71. ON TARGET Other models of the spectrum This linear version of left and right, however, is a simplistic division. Over the years, other models have come to expand the idea of a political spectrum into a second dimension. The below horseshoe example became quite popular in the 1950s and 1960s.
  72. 72. ON TARGET The Political Compass The below diagram is of a very interesting way to describe the political spectrum and one which takes into account both economic and social factors.
  73. 73. ON TARGET Positioning of contemporary international leaders
  74. 74. ON TARGET Traditional international leaders
  75. 75. ON TARGET 2010 Australian Election
  76. 76. ON TARGET Where do you stand on the political compass? Go to to take the test and find out if you are a communist, fascist, budding dictator or more of a middle man!