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H114 Meeting 9: What is an Ideology
 

H114 Meeting 9: What is an Ideology

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    H114 Meeting 9: What is an Ideology H114 Meeting 9: What is an Ideology Presentation Transcript

    • HISTORY OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION: 1648 TO PRESENT LECTURE 9: WHAT IS IDEOLOGY?
    • What is an Ideology? An ideology is a systematic set of ideas and/or beliefs 1)used to explain how the world should be and 2)used to justify actions to make or keep it that way.
    • As Michael Freeden has argued, Ideologies . . . map the political and social worlds for us. We simply cannot do without them because we cannot act without making sense of the worlds we inhabit. Making sense, let it be said, does not always mean making good or right sense. But ideologies will often contain a lot of common sense. At any rate, political facts never speak for themselves. Through our diverse ideologies, we provide competing interpretations of what the facts might mean. Every interpretation, each ideology, is one such instance of imposing a pattern -- some form of structure or organization -- on how we read (and misread) political facts, events, occurrences, actions, on how we see images and hear voices. Ideological maps do not represent an objective, external reality. The patterns we impose, or adopt from others, do not have to be sophisticated, but without patter we remain clueless and uncomprehending, on the receiving end of ostensibly random bits of information without rhyme or reason. [Ideology: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 2-3.
    • We might also add that because ideologies are human fabrications in an attempt to impose order on the world, they are also the product of historical change. Thus, they are not stable or unchanging. To understand them, we have to examine them in their historical context. Likewise, there is a difference between an ideology that guides thought and an ideology that acts as an infallible dogmatism.
    • Is Modern Science an Ideology? • is it trying to shape the world to its system, or is it trying to shape its system to the world?
    • THE “ISMS” OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 1815 Congress of Vienna and the “Balance of Power” 1820 Revolutions in Italy and Spain War of Greek Independence (1821-1832) Decembrist Revolt in Russia (1825) July Revolution in France (1830) Reform Acts in England (1832) Chartism (1832-1848) 1848 Revolutions Communist Manifesto On the Origin of the Species (1859) Descent of Man (1871) On the Interpretation of Dreams (1900) Nationalism Conservatism Liberalism Socialism Marxism Romanticism Realism Impressionism Unification of Italy (1870) and Unification of Germany (1871) Paris Commune (1871) Feminism Congress of Berlin (1878) Scramble for Africa (1882-1887)
    • Conservatism Edmund Burke Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) “It is with infinite caution that any man ought to venture upon pulling down an edifice, which has answered in any tolerable degree for the ages the common purposes of society, or on building it up again, without having models and patterns of approved utility before his eyes.”
    • Conservatism Klemens von Metternich Political Confession of Faith (1820) Let [the Governments] in these troublous times be more than usually cautious in attempting real ameliorations … Let them be just, but strong; beneficent, but strict. Let them maintain religious principles in all their purity, and not allow the faith to be attacked and morality interpreted according to the social contract or the visions of foolish sectarians. In short, let the great monarchs strengthen their union, and prove to the world that if it exists, it is beneficent, and ensures the political peace of Europe …
    • Conservatism 1. Attack on revolutionary principles that led to the French Revolution and the Terror 2. Attack on excessive reliance on abstract reason 3. Emphasis on tradition and practical experience in politics 4. Emphasized the importance of the community over the individual
    • Classical Liberalism Liberalism Political Economic • Freedom of speech/press/assembly • Equality before law/freedom from arbitrary government • Desire to see government represent the “people” • rights of the individual
    • Olympe de Gouge, Declaration of the Rights of Women, 1791 Woman, wake up; the tocsin of reason is being heard throughout the whole universe; discover your rights. The powerful empire of nature is no longer surrounded by prejudice, fanaticism, superstition, and lies. The flame of truth has dispersed all the clouds of folly and usurpation. Enslaved man has multiplied his strength and needs recourse to yours to break his chains. Having become free, he has become unjust to his companion. Oh, women, women! When will you cease to be blind? What advantage have you received from the Revolution? A more pronounced scorn, a more marked disdain. In the centuries of corruption you ruled only over the weakness of men. The reclamation of your patrimony, based on the wise decrees of nature-what have you to dread from such a fine undertaking? . . . Do you fear that our French legislators, correctors of that morality, long ensnared by political practices now out of date, will only say again to you: women, what is there in common between you and us? Everything, you will have to answer. If they persist in their weakness in putting this non sequitur in contradiction to their principles, courageously oppose the force of reason to the empty pretentions of superiority; unite yourselves beneath the standards of philosophy; deploy all the energy of your character, and you will soon see these haughty men, not groveling at your feet as servile adorers, but proud to share with you the treasures of the Supreme Being. Regardless of what barriers confront you, it is in your power to free yourselves; you have only to want to....
    • Liberalism Liberalism Political Economic • Government responsible to maintain laissez-faire economy • Self interest of individual contributed to the public good