Ideology and politics - Political psychology

Ideology and politics

After the publication of the Ideology and Utopia Manheim's theme of ideology in the social and political sciences has not been developed for many years. In the opinion of Martin Seliger, a prominent Israeli political scientist and professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, this situation was due to the fact that a narrow understanding of ideology as a form of false consciousness, which was first encountered in Marx, was established in the scientific community. Rejection of the scientific study of ideology seriously impoverished the theoretical and practical potential of political science, led to the formation of significant gaps in knowledge about the motivations of political activity. To fill these gaps and revive interest in this problem, Seliger tried in the book published in 1972. "Ideology and politics."

By this time the author has already gained sufficient popularity in the West as a specialist in the history of political doctrines. In addition to works in Hebrew, he published monographs in the United States and England "John Locke's Liberal Policy" and the "Marxian concept of ideology". As a teacher of political science, Seliger was invited to work at Manchester University and the London School of Economics.

The relationship between ideology, political culture and practical politics is the central problem of Seliger's work. Understanding any system of political beliefs under ideology, the scientist points out that the bearer of ideology needs political means for its implementation, while the practical policy for obtaining public recognition of its activities must be appealed to the moral values ​​constituting the core of ideological views.

The political coloring of ideology can be revealed through its correlation with the prevailing culture in society. Conservative ideology requires the preservation of the existing political culture, moderate - advocates for individual transformations, and radical - requires the creation of a fundamentally new political culture. Thus, emphasizes Seliger, the same ideological system in different socio-cultural contexts can act both as a radical and as a conservative one.

Ideology is a set of ideas that includes elements of scientific knowledge, ethical and religious values, assessments, obligations to achieve certain goals in practical activities, resort to certain means for achieving them. Super Objective any ideological system is the organization of joint actions by large groups of people aimed at preserving, changing or destroying existing forms of socioeconomic and political structure.

M. Seliger draws a clear distinction between ideology and political philosophy, which some researchers consider unimportant. According to the scientist, within the framework of political psychology, the principles that serve as the basis for an ideological system can be developed. In this sense, ideology turns philosophical doctrine into a means of mobilizing the masses and elites for joint social action. However, from an epistemological point of view, the same principles in the framework of ideology and political philosophy are expected by a different fate. The philosopher must constantly prove the reliability of these principles, comparing them with reality and the requirements of logic. The ideologist, however, operates them as sacred objects that can not be questioned.

The structure of ideology, according to Seliger, is determined by the nature of the judgments contained in it: descriptive, analytical, moral and technical; prescriptions, statements about the means of translating ideology into reality, denial. According to the researcher, the prevalence of one or another type of judgments in the ideological system characterizes the cultural and psychological characteristics of its supporters.

In practical application in the ideological complex, two parts are distinguished, which are not always in accordance with each other: "fundamental ideology" and operational ideology & quot ;. The center of the first are moral precepts, covering the accepted in this cultural context the worship of good and evil. The core of the "operative ideology" there are technical prescriptions that indicate the means of conducting a specific policy.

Highlighting the three types of ideology - communist, liberal and fascist - Seliger argued that the greatest gap between fundamental principles and operational ideology was characteristic of the communist regime, and the smallest - for the fascist. So, terror, in his opinion, was peculiar to both regimes, but if terrorist methods organically flowed from fascist morality, the common-humanitarian ideology was in contradiction with them.

M. Seliger believed that in the conditions of Western democracy the similarity of the "operative ideologies" often becomes the basis for a coalition of political forces that adhere to fundamental values. The history of the two world wars gave many examples of how existing at the level of "operational ideology" elements of nationalism rallied in a single block the hostile parties. In peaceful conditions, the existence of common problems for the whole country also forces politicians to forget about their fundamental principles, an example of which could be the one proposed by the Italian Communist Party "historical compromise".

Approximation of "operational ideologies" and the creation on this basis of the system of "consociative democracy," as Seliger emphasizes, is not the result of the stability and reliability of the Western political system. On the contrary, its reliability and stability are largely due to the above factors. In this regard, Seliger believes that the leaders of developing countries should pay high priority to this feature of Western society in modeling their own political development.

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