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Ideology: this short article explains Ideology in a practical way. Next to what it is, this article also highlights the political ideologies, ideology or responding to false consciousness and tips. Enjoy reading!

Ideology: this short article explains Ideology in a practical way. Next to what it is, this article also highlights the political ideologies, ideology or responding to false consciousness and tips. Enjoy reading!

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, like altruism

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.

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