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Thread: Ideology

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    Default Ideology

    An ideology is an emotional attachment to an individual or institution.

    I read that today, or something similar too it, its not a direct quote, in a book by someone called Daniel Bell called the cultural contradictions of capitalism. Would you concur or disagree with that idea or conceptualisation of ideology?

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    I would disagree, as it can just as well be called an intellectual attachment as an emotional one.

    When it really gets down to it, it can often be difficult to distinguish between the two...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I would disagree, as it can just as well be called an intellectual attachment as an emotional one.

    When it really gets down to it, it can often be difficult to distinguish between the two...
    You mean intellectual or emotional, like hard to distinguish between them?

    I'm not sure because I know that the ideologies which have interested me are associated with various persons or institutions at various times and other times neither but values and precepts instead, I think there's a normative dimension to most ideolgies and people adopt or defend what's culturally most fitting or valued.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    You mean intellectual or emotional, like hard to distinguish between them?
    Yes, and similarly, between thoughts and feelings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm not sure because I know that the ideologies which have interested me are associated with various persons or institutions at various times and other times neither but values and precepts instead, I think there's a normative dimension to most ideolgies and people adopt or defend what's culturally most fitting or valued.
    Looking at the proposed definition again, I would add that I take issue with ideologies only being considered attachments to institutions or persons; I think they can be attachments to ideas, values, and beliefs, as well.
    Last edited by Zarathustra; 12-30-2010 at 02:24 PM.

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    Actually, taking a look at it a third time, I'd question whether the ideology is necessarily even the attachment.

    To act ideologically is to act with said attachment, and to be ideological is to possess such attachments in one's character, but I don't know how accurate it is to say that ideology itself is the attachment...
    Last edited by Zarathustra; 12-30-2010 at 02:25 PM.

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    All in all, I'd say the definition needs reworking.

    And this is probably the case because the author is attempting to define the word to fit his own personal ideology.

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    Maybe, although it read a little like a throw away but catchy sentence. Which was sort of what caught my attention. You know when an author is constructing a complex or thoughtful argument about something else but tosses in a sort of "BTW..." in a kind of "everyone knows this" or "anybody knows this" kind of way, that always alerts me in a kind of "Wait a minute..." way.

    I hate it when people deploy that in conversation or other sorts of dialogue too, kind of makes me want to mention something random which they couldnt possibly be knowledgeable about in return with some hope of provoking some reflection on what the hell they just did but anyway, different topic, I digress.

    The topic of ideology is interesting, people often think more of the specific ideologies, such as liberalism, socialism, conservatism, variations on a theme, than the thing itself, Andrew Vincent's book on modern political ideologies is where I got any knowledge I have on the topic from and he traces the terminology back to the enlightenment and french revolution and some guy who wanted to create a school for the scientific study of ideas.

    For my part I do think they can involve attachment to persons or institutions but that cant be over riding factor surely? At least it isnt in my experience, I would describe my own ideological inclinations as involving attachment to values, norms and culture, at least in so far as those are continuous and consistent more than persons or institutions.

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    An ideology, as I understand the term, is a (more or less) coherent explanatory model. It is usually based on assumptions that can be neither proven nor disproven. In other words a bundle of ideas. Those ideas have usually been first expressed or introduced by specific individuals (whose charisma can contribute to the models attractiveness). It is impossible not to have an ideology of some sorts in that the moment you observe the world and try to make sense of it, you start to develope an explanatory model that fulfills the prerequesites of an ideology. What we consider the social norm in modern western democratic societies IS as much an ideology as the alternative systems. That in itself doesn't say anything about its value.

    With time certain individuals or institutions can be associated with an ideology, but it would be a mistake to equate them. So I'll agree with Zarathustra.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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    On the other hand could you have Nazism without Hitler?

    I always thought that Nazism would have had a greater problem with continuity between figure heads than Communism or other dictatorships, the more I read about the Furherpritsch (spelling) the more I'm inclined to believe so, then again only one or two authors that I can recall reading ever refered to Hitlerism rather than Nazism, unlike those which refered to Stalinism rather than communism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    On the other hand could you have Nazism without Hitler?

    I always thought that Nazism would have had a greater problem with continuity between figure heads than Communism or other dictatorships, the more I read about the Furherpritsch (spelling) the more I'm inclined to believe so, then again only one or two authors that I can recall reading ever refered to Hitlerism rather than Nazism, unlike those which refered to Stalinism rather than communism.
    German nazism is a form of fascism. A strong figure head is part of the fascist idea. So if you are attached to gthe fascist idea, you will want a strong leader. That person can persuade followers,of course, but I don't think it proves the statement in the OP. There are personality cults. But they can be considered a byproduct of totalitarianism, an idea. Stalinism is not the same as communism. This is a case where a collective ideology,that has no inherent need for a figure head, got corrupted by cult of personality that was used for a totalitarian implementation of that idea. A strong ruler with a supporting oligarchy runs against everything that idea of collectivism stands for. I'm not a follower of that model, just saying because this often gets thrown into the same pot.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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