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Ideology and Ideologies
The role of ideas
As some view politics as nothing but a naked struggle for power, there have been a number
of theorists who have rejected the importance of ideas, viewing them merely as a means of
`window dressing' propaganda to garnish votes or support while concealing…

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and personal assumptions. Due to the fact that politics permeates all areas of life, everyone,
in the way they think and act, subscribes either knowingly or unknowingly to a set of political
beliefs even describing yourself as simply apathetic or even `antipolitics' are themselves
different political stances. Given that ideologies…

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On the one hand the study of ideology is to consider it as a particularly form of political
thought, separate from others such as political philosophy or political science, and studying it
revolves around questioning the nature and significance of this strand of thought in
comparison to others ­ questions…

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the interests of the ruling class, who are not only unwilling to acknowledge themselves as
humanity's oppressors but also use it to conceal from the oppressed the nature of their
exploitation, which in turn props up the system of unequal class power. An obvious
example of this is the concept…

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The German sociologist Karl Mannheim put forward the first major attempt at a
nonMarxist account of ideology in his essay Ideology and Utopia. In this he
argued that ideologies exist as systems of thought that seek to support or uphold a
particular social order and express the political interest of…

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order.' In this sense ideology is considered to be neither true nor false, liberating nor
oppressive ­ it can, dependent on its aims be all of these.
The significant advantage of this approach is that unlike negative conceptions of
ideology it is far less restrictive. However, in ridding itself of…

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ideology as common sense, we condemn other people's beliefs as ideological while
refusing any claim that our own are.

Fusing thought and action

In wholly grasping the analysis of ideology as a concept, the synthesis of thought and
action is as equally significant to that of understanding and commitment. Seliger,…

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who `thick furniture', such as liberalism and conservatism, and those that have `thin
furniture', like anarchism and nationalism, that intrinsically have crosscutting
ideological concepts, some of which are adopted from other traditions.

Ideology, truth and power

The relationship between ideology and truth for Marx was one of hostility. Given

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New ideologies for old?
With the emphasis on political rationalism that accompanied it, ideology as a school
of thought can be arguably said to date back to the French Revolution in 1789.
However, replicating the changes in social and historical circumstance, which of
course ideologies played a major role in,…

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coupled with increased support for `new' ideologies such as feminism. These
changes have occurred due to three main reasons the collapse of Soviet
communism as a powerful ideological force and therefore the need to redraw global
ideological battle lines, the shift away from traditional industrial societies and the
heightened popularity…


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