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Lecture

Ideology

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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Charles Jones
Semester
Summer

Description
May 26, 2008 Ideology Ideology • Value or belief system accepted as truth by a group or by an individual • Is a world view o German; weltanschauung o “Political Ideology”  Beliefs about governmental/political activity • Mostly normative in nature • Can be simple or complex • Can be founded on knowledge o What can be proven to be true] • Can be founded on opinions o What may be true but is not proven • Usually an organized and logical set of beliefs • Most people do not really have an ideology according to the above criteria o Their beliefs are too fragmental and are logically inconsistent and their belief systems are easily destroyed when closely examined o However, many people do not hold genuine ideologies Ideologies: Liberalism • A majority of the Western world has adopted this ideology Liberal • Latin: liber = free, freedom, giving • First used in a political sense during the Napoleonic period Philosophical background • John Locke (1637 – 1704) • Adam Smith (1723 – 1790) • American Founding Fathers • John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873) Main Ideas • Humans are responsible by nature o Basically good • Personal freedom o To do anything so long as it does not directly hurt anyone else • Limited government • Equality of right • Consent of the governed o Popular sovereignty Before Liberalism (Europe: 500-1700s) • Conservatism o Hierarchy o Elitism o Paternalism o Strong Order  Moral codes • Economic o Feudalism o Protect honour Classical Liberalism (Locke, Smith) • Freedom as the absence of coercion o Negative liberty “freedom FROM” • Private property o Laissez-faire economies • Minimal state o “Night watchman state” • All are equal under the law • Popular sovereignty o Although universal suffrage is not necessary o A property-based franchise is enough • Historical reasons for classical liberalism o Opposition to absolute monarchy o The need for religious tolerance
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