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Ideology

What is ideology?
An ideology is a set of political or social beliefs and expectations about how the world should function. In these beliefs, practical elements are just as common as theoretical elements. Ideologies are mainly applied to:

What is ideology?
An ideology is a set of political or social beliefs and expectations about how the world should function. In these beliefs, practical elements are just as common as theoretical elements. Ideologies are mainly applied to:

  • Religion
  • Economic policy
  • Political policy
  • Social manners

The term was coined by the French aristocrat and philosopher Antoine Destutt de Tracy. This Enlightenment philosopher defined the term as the science of ideas.

The challenge was to develop from these ideas a rational system of ideas that counteracts the irrational impulses of the crowd. In politics, the term is used to denote political belief systems.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels began to use the term in a more judgmental way. It is also known as a pejorative.

Capitalism, communism, socialism, conservatism and feminism are all ideologies.

Political ideologies

Within social studies, a political ideology is a set of ideals, principles, symbols, myths, or doctrines of a movement, group, or class that describes how society should work. It can also be summarized as a political, social and cultural blueprint for societies.

Political ideologies are concerned with various aspects of a society, including:

  • Education
  • Economy
  • Healthcare
  • Labor law
  • Criminal law
  • Social security
  • Social well-being
  • Immigration
  • Trade
  • Deployment of defence
  • Religion

Typically, a political ideologies encompasses two dimensions:

  1. Goals
  2. Methods

The goals describe how a society should function and the methods include how this society is achieved.

Difference Between Political Ideology and Political Strategy

Ideologies can be distinguished from political strategies. An example of a political strategy is populism. This example is also different from a series of individual issues around which a political party can build a vision, such as the legalization of marijuana.

A political ideology is mainly about how power should be allocated and what power may be used for. Some political parties follow an ideology very strictly. Other parties combine elements from different ideologies.

Nearly every item elaborates on:

  • What is the best form of government (democracy / theocracy, caliphate, etc.)
  • What is the scope of a government (liberalism, federalism, conservatism)
  • What is the best economic system (capitalism, socialism)

Socialism can point to both an economic system and a political ideology.

Ideology or responding to false consciousness?

The word takes on a special meaning in philosophies derived from Marxism and Hegelian philosophy. Ideology is also called false consciousness by these philosophers. Hegel argues that humans are instruments of history, assigned roles by forces that most people do not understand. Only philosophers could explain things as they were.

This view of interpreting reality has been rejected and condemned by critics as an attempt to explain the status quo with limited resources. In addition, there would be little point in trying to improve political conditions if people had no influence on those external forces.

Karl Marx, among others, took up this criticism. He argued that ideology is a set of beliefs by which people deceive themselves. It is a theory that expresses what they think as opposed to what is true. This is also called a false consciousness.

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Tips and tricks

The articles linked to the ideology tag deal with various ideologies and related topics, such as political strategies and concepts such as conservatism. Are you missing certain articles on topics you want to know more about? Let us know in the comments below an article or send an email. We are happy to help you learn about new topics.

Liberalism

September 29th, 2022

Liberalism: This article explains liberalism in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful political and social movement. What is Liberalism? Liberalism is a moral and political movement and philosophy based on individual rights, liberty,…

Populism

September 21st, 2022

Populism: This article explains populism in a practical way. After reading it, you will understand the basics of this very powerful political movement. What is Populism? Populism encompasses a range of political views and views that emphasize the idea of…

Conservatism

September 16th, 2022

Conservatism: This article explains conservatism in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this social and political philosophy. What is conservatism? Conservatism is a cultural, political and social philosophy. Its purpose is to promote and preserve…

Fascism

September 8th, 2022

Fascism: This article explains fascism in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this political ideology. What is fascism? Fascism is a far-right political ideology within political movements, characterized by authoritarian ultranationalism (extreme nationalism), dictatorial power…

Communism

June 20th, 2022

Communism: This article explains communism in a practical way. After reading it you will understand the basics of this powerful socio-economic system. What is communism? Communism is a socio-economic, philosophical, political and social ideology with the aim of establishing a…

Capitalism

June 20th, 2022

Capitalism: This article explains capitalism in a practical way. After reading it you will understand the basics of this powerful socio-economic system. What is Capitalism? Capitalism is an economic system in which individuals (citizens or corporations) own and manage capital…

Functionalism

March 15th, 2022

Functionalism: this article explains Functionalism in a practical way. After reading it you will understand the basics of this powerful sociology tool. What is Functionalism? Functionalism is a theory developed in the social sciences. The theory assumes that all aspects…

Feminism

February 10th, 2022

Feminism: in this article you will find a practical explanation on the topic of feminism, a political and social movement that seeks equal rights for women. After reading, you will understand this movement led by women. What is feminism? Feminism…
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