PSCI 1100 Lecture Notes - Social Liberalism, Limited Government, Neoliberalism

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Lecture No. 8 Ideologies Friday, March 8th, 2013
What is an ideology?
Ideology in world politics is the politics beyond the state/institutions. Structural ideology is the
dissimulation of “real” circumstances. Religion is the opium of the people according to Marx. Religion
masks the real circumstances of society by suggesting of our sources of happiness and misery comes
from a high power. Instrumental ideology is the articulation of ideas to pursue a goal. The ruling class
formulates ideas to expand and maintain power. Ideology is defined as a system of ideas about existing
order, visiting for future order, and how to move from to the latter. The key features of ideology are
porous boundaries, action-oriented, rationalizing/universalizing, legitimizing, and naturalizing.
Modern Ideologies
Liberalism has origins in social contract theory (Hobbes, and Locke), and political economy (Smith). Main
variants are classical liberalism, social liberalism, and neo liberalism. Main tenets/commitments are
(negative) liberty (freedom from …), equality (before the law; of opportunity), individualism (incl.
capacity for rational choices), and tolerance. Corollaries of liberal tenets for politics are human rights of
individuals, limited government, regulation through markets, and a weak sense of community.
Liberalism has constantly evolved throughout history from classical liberalism (19th cent.) to social
liberalism (late 19th c. to 1970s) to neoliberalism (since 1980s). An example of neo-liberal “shock
therapy” began in Chicago to Chile (1973), post-communist Poland and Russia (1989-), post-apartheid
South Africa (1993-), post-invasion Iraq (2003-), and post-tsunami Asia (2005-). “Take away”: non-state
and state dimensions of spreading ideology, and neoliberalism and coercion/authoritarianism.
Socialism has origins in the Industrial Revolution (early 19th c.) + Marx. Multiple variants are “utopian,”
Marxist, Leninist, democratic, and etc. Main tenets are human nature is malleable, equality
(substantive/of outcomes), freedom (self-realization through labor), and the possibility of cooperation
and community. Socialism
throughout history started from
transnational social movement (First
Int’l) to “superpower” state
ideology (Russian Rev. 1917). It
excesses and spread of Soviet
communism. Reaction against post-
WWII rise of social democracy in
Western Europe. Centrist turn of
social
democracy
since 1990s.
Conservatism has origins as a reaction to the French Rev. (Burke); nostalgia for traditional (religious)
authority or classical virtues (L. Strauss). Main tenets are the rejection of rationalism, respect for
Figure 1 Socialism vs. Social Democracy
experience → only gradual change, limitations of human reason; human inequality→ need for hierarchy,
and the respect for traditional institutions (family, religion) and “law and order” (but suspicion of state
authority. It evolved from the defense of aristocratic privilege; religious revival; cultural retreat from
politics (first half of 19th c.). The social reform (e.g. in reaction to socialism); “alliance” with nationalism
(late 19th c.). Christian-democratic parties; “alliance” with neo-liberalism (post-WWII; late 20th 21st c.).
An example of neo-conservatism is the GW Bush presidency. Social/cultural conservatism is a
“muscular” Wilsonianism (vs. traditional conservatism).
Figure 2 Perennialism vs. Modernism
Nationalism is based on a general will
and natural habitat (Rousseau).
Xenophobia/discrimination vs.
solidarity/liberation? → external and
internal exclusions. Quest for statehood.
Developed after the French Revolution
and Napoleonic wars. Belated nations”
(Italy, Germany). Post-WWI “self-
determination. WWII, postcolonial, and post-Cold War nationalism.

Document Summary

Ideology in world politics is the politics beyond the state/institutions. Structural ideology is the dissimulation of real circumstances. Religion is the opium of the people according to marx. Religion masks the real circumstances of society by suggesting of our sources of happiness and misery comes from a high power. Instrumental ideology is the articulation of ideas to pursue a goal. The ruling class formulates ideas to expand and maintain power. Ideology is defined as a system of ideas about existing order, visiting for future order, and how to move from to the latter. The key features of ideology are porous boundaries, action-oriented, rationalizing/universalizing, legitimizing, and naturalizing. Liberalism has origins in social contract theory (hobbes, and locke), and political economy (smith). Main variants are classical liberalism, social liberalism, and neo liberalism. Main tenets/commitments are (negative) liberty (freedom from ), equality (before the law; of opportunity), individualism (incl. capacity for rational choices), and tolerance.