Ideology from a Philosophical Standpoint and a Personal Reflection

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Ideology Pages: 5 (1598 words) Published: June 30, 2013
Ideology from a philosophical standpoint and a Personal Reflection

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents
Ideology from a philosophical standpoint and a Personal Reflection3 Introduction3
What is Political Ideology?3
Philosophy of Ideology3
A Personal Reflection on Ideologies4
My Liberal Ideological Thought6
Conclusion8
References9

Introduction
All people are political thinkers. Whether they know it or not, people use political ideas and concepts whenever they express their opinions or speak their mind(Heywood, 2003). The ideas that we think of, come up with and try to use in everyday life can be summed up as ideologies. In the political phase, ideas are important vehicles for progress and development. What is Political Ideology?

Ideology has been dubbed “the most elusive concept in the whole of social science”(McLellan , 1986). Few political terms have been the subject of such deep and impassioned controversy. However, ideology can be described to mean the following; a political belief system, an action-oriented set of political ideas, the ideas of the ruling class, the world view of a particular social class or social group. One of the meanings that struck me the most was that an ideology can mean ideas that situate the individual within a social context and generate a sense of collective belonging. This meaning can best explain the source of one’s traditional belief system, thought process and character placing. It is a result of this that one can place himself in an established political system or what we term as polity in the political science discipline. Philosophy of Ideology

The word ideology was coined during the French Revolution by Antoine Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836), and was first used in public in 1796(Heywood, 2003). For de Tracy, ideology referred to a new ‘science of ideas’, literally an idea-ology. Karl Marx made the term gained political currency over time. Marx’s use of the term, and the interest shown in it by later generations of Marxist thinkers, largely explains the prominence ideology enjoys in modern social and political thought. An ideology begins with the belief that things can be better; it is a plan to improve society. In politics, ideology cements together movements, parties and revolutionary groups. To fight and endure sacrifices, people need ideological motivation, something to believe in. Ideology is a pattern of beliefs and concepts (both factual and normative) which purport to explain complex social phenomena with a view to directing and simplifying socio-political choices facing individuals and groups. This definition of ideology appears to be too broad in its denotation. In fact, it hides a long history of changes in the descriptive use of the term "ideology", and, like all definitions, it subsumes the varied attempts that have been made to analyze the theoretical connotations of the concept. We have seen that it was Marx that gave the term more political currency. Although Marx had been nurtured in the Hegelian philosophical tradition, he, with other "left Hegelians", had reacted against its substance because of what he perceived to be its profound religiosity. Hegel had conceived of his philosophy as an indictment of the Kantian synthesis-of Cartesian dualism and Lockean empiricism(Locke, 1924). A Personal Reflection on Ideologies

Since the late twentieth century a series of political, social and cultural upheavals has refashioned the world in which we live, creating the impression that history is speeding up. With this, we have reformulated our political thought with each era. The most significant of these changes have been the changing of the world order, postmodernity and the advent of capitalist. The changing world order has been significantly changed as a result of the end of the Cold War, brought about by the collapse of communism in the eastern European revolutions of 1989-91, and more recently by the advent of terrorism. The Cold War era was...
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