POLS 1000 Lecture Notes - Bourgeoisie, Middle Ages, Humanitarianism

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Political Science
Course
POLS 1000
Ideology: Global system of thought based on the critique of the status quo that opens up to a view
of the picture and that offers a precise program of action; employ propaganda to convince the
many as such they both deform and magnify aspects of reality
Ideologies will offer meaning and identity in a world that has no meaning
Ideologies seem inescapable for modern secular societies (societies not organized by religion)
o Religion is not eliminated but privatized
o Nor do political leaders because their power comes from God
Two problematic consequences or dangers of ideologies
o Intellectual laziness because all questions are already answered; no reason to question
direction of society
o Present particular interests as universal interests and for those who truly believe in
ideologies, these can be seen as ultimate answers; others who don't believe, must be
convinced into believing in these ideologies
Liberalism is not only capitalism, but also made up of cultural, intellectual and philosophical aspects
that wericin must explore
Liberalism is the first of ideologies and will actually furnish the elements that make up the other
ideologies
There is a founding resemblance between the major ideologies (spec. Liberalism and socialism)
o Socialism can rightly be seen as the legitimate child of liberalism
o Principles of socialism stem from liberalism but will distinguish itself from it
o Conservatism is the opposite
Historically speaking, liberalism was developed as a replacement to the Christian middle ages
Also critical of the renaissance
Renaissance says lets return to traditional practices
o But liberalism does not believe we can return to antiquity
Liberals will refuse the middle ages and the ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans
o Middle ages is refused because it is a period of religious mystification
o Greeks and Romans should also be rejected because they had mores (a habit of the heart;
spiritual disposition)
Mores that were violent; good citizen had to be prepared to die
Liberals believe we must replace war with commerce and trade
Liberal ideology, like all ideologies, will be the expression of a particular social class (cannot have an
ideology without a corresponding social class)
o Merchant class; Bourgeoisie
o Liberal ideology will be the justification of the dominant status of the Bourgeoisie
o Understanding liberalism is a way to understand who we are
Continued identification of the good with the useful
Liberalism is a complex ideology and as such we cannot reduce it to a single variable
Seven basic ideas/tenets of Liberalism
Nature, both the physical (outside world; forest, animals ect.) and human (inside world;
spiritual) are governed by laws of nature.
Humans must obey these laws of nature if they wish to flourish and develop and obtain
the greatest happiness possible.
Nature is abundant and generous and can be found in human nature. More specifically,
happiness can be found in the full consumption and use of physical nature.
If it's natural it is universal; can be applied to everyone, everywhere, any era
Reason is the fundamental manifestation of nature in human beings
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Document Summary

Ideologies will offer meaning and identity in a world that has no meaning. Ideologies seem inescapable for modern secular societies (societies not organized by religion: religion is not eliminated but privatized, nor do political leaders because their power comes from god. Two problematic consequences or dangers of ideologies. Liberalism is not only capitalism, but also made up of cultural, intellectual and philosophical aspects that wericin must explore. Liberalism is the first of ideologies and will actually furnish the elements that make up the other ideologies. There is a founding resemblance between the major ideologies (spec. Liberalism and socialism: socialism can rightly be seen as the legitimate child of liberalism, principles of socialism stem from liberalism but will distinguish itself from it, conservatism is the opposite. Historically speaking, liberalism was developed as a replacement to the christian middle ages. Renaissance says lets return to traditional practices: but liberalism does not believe we can return to antiquity.

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