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Lecture 14

POLS 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Homo Economicus, Hydroelectricity, Power (Social And Political)

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1000
Martin Breaugh

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What is Ideology?
(Week 2 Jan 17)
Ideologies provide meaning and identity in a world that does not provide the answers to
the meaning of life and the direction that society has taken
o This is why ideology seems inescapable from modern secular societies
Religion no longer structures society does not mean there is no
religious belief
o Religio reais the ojet of oe’s persoal hoie ad does ot struture
Theological, political nexus needed to emerge from the secular world????
Role, Function, and Risks
Social political function: To guide a judgement and action
o Acts like a guidepost for political action and thought
Adhering to an ideology promotes particular behaviours and thoughts
Offering an individual and clear identity
o Stating you are a socialist (ex) you are acquiring a pre-determined identity that
will entail beliefs and behaviours
The identity function provides relationships of solidarity with others who share the
same identity (or ideology)
o Ex. Comrade (how Marxists identify one another)
o Demonstrates the bonds of people within the same viewpoint
Ideologies ill e a eessar opoet for oder politial life despite it’s
proclaimed death
3 risks associated with ideological thinking:
1. Ideologies deform reality, therefore we need critical analysis
o To critically look at statements and be able to see what is behind these
statements to understand what he ideological basis of these statements are
o The critical analysis is necessary to unmask the social power relations contained
within ideological strains
o We need to know who benefits from these statements
E. What’s good for ford, is good for Aeria
o Identifying this statement reinforces our mind?
o Therefore, there is a need to critical thinking skills that allow us to identify
ideologies (to accept or reject them)
2. Ideologies offer moral comfort and a sense of security in an increasingly complex and
opaque world
o Ideologies can deceive the mind
o Can make us less open to questioning
o Less open to interrogating our assumptions and certitudes
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o They offer predetermined answers to the question, they can ruin the possibility
of critical thought
o Ideology vs. critical thinking
o Ideologies are presented as being the Truth
They offer universal and necessary truths
o True believers, this Truth must be imposed on others because it is the Truth!!!
o All ideologies will seek to be imposed on others and upheld as being the Truth
o Contained within each ideology there is a totalitarian identity (totalize our
understanding of things and impose with violence, if necessary, this truth on
o True believers of ideologies = true believers of religion
The will to impose the Truth on others
Ideologies and the desire to impose itself as the Truth with violence
o Ideologies will be used and be put to the most despicable ends because they are
justified to be the truth
Ex. The creation of soviet death camps
All in the name of science and national socialists
Liberal ideology = the set of principles elaborated by modern thinkers
o Theoretical (actual ideas) and historical (principles are implemented)
Liberal politician = favour of the free market
o Liberal us = not a free market but government intervention into it
o Canadian liberalism = favour of welfare distribution
Capitalism = economic theory of liberalism
Political, culture, economic approach to liberalism and liberal ideology
Liberal is the first of the major ideologies to appear
o Furnishes the elements of the other two ideologies that it competes against
(conservatism and socialism)
Socialism takes elements of liberalism and maximises and minimises certain aspects (ex.
o Without liberalism, there would be no socialism
o Socialism is the legitimate child of liberal thought
Historically, liberalism was invented/created/developed as a substitute for the religious
outlook/teachings of its teachings
o Liberalism is what breaks the theological political nexus
o King vs. church breaks the divine theory of kingship
Refuses any type of return to the ancients (the renaissance)
o Against the ides developed during this time
Liberalism begins by rejecting the status quo
o The middle ages were a time of religious mystification
o Antiquity (greek and roman civilization) ores haits of the heart?
encouraged war
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