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I think that the discussion would be more informed - or at least more intelligible - if we could agree on what an ideology actually is.

Currently, it is used variously in the sense of party program, quasi-religious dogma, the opposite of Compulsive Centrist Disorder, a generic term of abuse and an investigation into the coherence of a set of (political?) principles. Having the central term under discussion subjected to such a wide variety of definitions strikes me as a recipe for misunderstandings, sidetracks and an all-round low signal-to-noise ratio.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:48:56 AM EST
Speaking which...

The Wikipedia page on ideology need SERIOUS clean up and work.  It's atrocious.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 10:51:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow!  I suspect this is the worst writing I have ever read!  I encourage everyone to read it for shock value alone.  I don't know what is scarier, that people are out there writing like this, or that these people consider themselves capable to writing a Wikipedia entry!  This is the literary equivalent to those B movies in MST3000.  I think I'll print it out for posterity.  Never have I read something with so many words but so little attempt to make them carry any meaning.  Not to mention the frightening grammar and parentheses fetish.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 11:11:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru, was that you?  I didn't even get a chance to print it out.  :(

Leave

The word "ideology" was coined long before the Russians coined "intelligentsia", or before the adjective "intellectual" referred to a sort of person (see substantive), i.e. an intellectual. Thus these words were not around when the hard-headed, driven Napoleon Bonaparte took the word "ideologues" to ridicule his intellectual opponents. Gradually, however, the term "ideology" has dropped some of its pejorative sting, and has become a neutral term in the analysis of differing political opinions.[citation needed] Ideological references are important to many people throughout the world. Karl Marx used the term in his own context often throughout his works.
for a bit.  I want to savor it.  Ideological references are important to many people throughout the world.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 11:44:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I shall not touch that article.

I had enough of the debates over http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism years ago.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 11:52:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia keeps old versions. Go to the History tab. It seems the only edit today was the revision of a troll's work.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 12:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Several misspellings and typos have been corrected since I posted the original comment.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 12:12:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
univesity inparticulor

Yeah, that was a troll edit. Lasted 3,5 hours before user Lachambre undid it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 06:18:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there's little dispute that
in general, an ideology is a coherent collection of beliefs, a view of the world
while in every day life, what we mean by ideology is a set of political principles defining a way to organize the society.

As to Wikipedia, I for one rather liked this excerpt here:

The philosopher Michel Foucault wrote about the concept of apparent ideological neutrality. Ideology is not the same thing as philosophy. Philosophy is a way of living life, while ideology is an almost ideal way of life for society. Some attribute to ideology positive characteristics like vigor and fervor, or negative features like excessive certitude and fundamentalist rigor.



Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 02:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
an ideology is a coherent collection of beliefs, a view of the world

Um, no. This would make ideologies no different to mythologies.

It's probably not possible to agree about this, but I'd suggest an ideology is a moral system of political philosophy which is justified in ways which make it appear politically plausible, or even inevitable.

Ideologies include explicit and implicit elements. The implicit elements are the true moral aims of the ideology. These may not be stated explicitly, and may not even be conscious. (E.g. authoritarian conservatives rarely understand what their own motivations actually are.)

The explicit formulation is the cluster of narratives which promotes and evangelises the true aim.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:57:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What interests me is the word "political". Are ideologies by definition political?
Art world is filled with aesthetical ideologies (like Beyus'), cultural or subcultural ones (like the alternative culture ideology), ethnic ones (like Hitler's race ideology, or the Hindu one in India), scientifism, and in general any set of ideas identified as consistent and coherent.
Could one argue that they all are political ideologies in the end ? I confess I don't know enough about art ideologies to argue here.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:32:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two words are missing from the phrase above, sorry. It should be:

Art world is filled with aesthetical ideologies (like Beyus'), cultural or subcultural ones (like the alternative culture ideology), then there are ethnic ones (like Hitler's race ideology, or the Hindu one in India), scientifism, and in general any set of ideas identified as consistent and coherent.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 03:23:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Um, no. This would make ideologies no different to mythologies.
Who's to say they aren't? ;)

   "All right," said Susan, "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need ... fantasies to make life bearable."

No. Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers?"

Yes. As practice. You have to start out learning to believe the little lies.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

Yes. Justice. Mercy. Duty. That sort of thing.

"They're not the same at all!"

Take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through with the finest sieve and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet you act as if there were some sort of rightness in the universe by which it may be judged.

"Yes. But people have got to believe that or what's the point -- "
    My point exactly.



Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 02:16:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does your description of what an ideology is support "ideologies are not mythologies"?

I'm beginning to suspect frames, mythologies, narratives and ideologies are different terms for the same elephant, described by differently blind academic disciplines.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 02:28:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's better to review the various ways in which the word "ideology" has been used - as he has done. Disagreements often occur because people are using the word in different ways without being aware of it. There is no agreed definition, and the reasons for the different uses often themselves have ideological roots.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 01:59:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everybody more or less agrees that ideology is a system of ideas.
The qualifications then differ, but are quite complementary: an action-oriented system of ideas, a socially conditioned one, a populist one, a misleading utopia meant to conserve the existing social order, the enemy of historical materialism (and of science).
Everybody rushed to explain when ideology arises, why, what is its purpose, how it relates to 'reality' (the summit of ideological hypocrisy, this one), how it is undistinguishable from reality and so on.

Religion is one. Religion begins with the inner man, with  spirituality, goes on to morals, then to a particular view of the world, and ends organizing the society. Ideologies start with a view of the world and how to best organize it, consequently generate a moral system and end up shaping the man.
My claim is that there is no fundamental difference of category between spirituality and ideology.

The last article I quoted makes the assumption that ideologies would be mere products of human spirituality, even when they won't look that way.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 03:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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