Politics and ideology, Ideology and ideology - Political psychology

Politics and ideology

As a result of studying this chapter, the student must:


• what is the relationship between politics and ideology;

• what is the "criticism of ideology";

be able to

• Analyze different approaches to ideology;


• the skills of identifying the irrational in politics.

And the authorities hurry up soon

All those who ceased to be a pawn

In the tour turn, or in horses.

Alexander Block

Ideology and ideology

Ideology is a system of views and ideas in which people's attitudes to reality and to each other are realized and evaluated. Ideology expresses the interests and values ​​of a particular society or its part (class, social group, country, nation, party, movement, large social communities).

The first person in Europe to consistently develop and think through issues related to the disclosure of the social essence of ideology, we can consider Machiavelli. In his main work, "Sovereign" Serious thoughts were voiced about the role of ideas in political clashes. In Bacon's works some cognitive features of the theory of ideology are considered. The criticism of religion as a form of ideological consciousness in the writings of Claude Helvetius and Paul Holbach was of great importance for the formation of the concept of ideology. Since the XVIII century. Criticism of ideology had a predominantly moral character. The ideology, according to the enlighteners, should expose political institutions as a means of spiritual impact on people, reveal the essence of religion as a means of justifying unjust social relations.

The very word ideology first used the French scientist Antoine Destutt de Tracy in 1796. At the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries. later enlighteners turned the doctrine of ideas into moral and political doctrine, emphasizing the active character and practical significance of ideology. Actors of that time tried to understand theoretically how philosophical ideas influence politics. In particular, Pierre Cabanis believed that it was the ideas that had the greatest impact on public morality, which he considered as a source of political passions.

It was during this period that a group of French economists, philosophers, naturalists (A. Destutt de Tracy, P. Cabanis, E. Condillac, K. Volney, J. Tara) used the new word "ideology" to denote a theoretical discipline designed to study the genesis and functioning of ideas. The term "ideology", thus, originally meant the science of ideas. These thinkers intended to create a special philosophical discipline, designed to study the methodological foundations of all sciences. Ideology as an independent science was, according to Kabanis, to have in the present or future a direct application to the researches and works of a thinker, moralist and legislator.

A. Destet de Tracy saw his task as revealing the origins of human cognition, its boundaries and the degree of reliability, so he considered the science of ideas to be the most fundamental, considering it as the basis for all other disciplines. In his multi-volume work "Elements of ideology", the first volume of which was published in 1801, ideology was interpreted as a kind of standard, as the cognition of universal laws based on the rational functioning of the human mind.

A. Destet de Tracy believed that a genuine understanding of the essence of things would allow us to build a just and reasonable public order. Thus, the ideology in the interpretation of the French researcher was the theoretical basis of the social order. The scientist considered that it is possible to achieve an effective scientific analysis of public consciousness by eliminating various heresies, false authorities and traditions, errors and deliberate lies.

The limited views of de Tracy consisted in the fact that he thought that a person originally strives for harmony, an order that can be achieved without the transformation of the social system, only on the basis of enlightenment. He and his supporters even outlined a program of public education, which, they thought, would in itself serve to improve the bourgeois state and its consolidation. As we see, originally the term ideology had a positive meaning, meant the doctrine of ideas, which, cleansed of religious and scientific prejudices, will become the basis for a comprehensive enlightenment of people.

Thinkers of the late XVIII - early XIX century. already included in the notion of ideology the concept of false consciousness, i.e. various prejudices, idols, which could become the object of theoretical analysis. Negative meaning of the word ideology Napoleon, who since 1797 was a member of the National Institute, shared the thoughts of the Enlightenment, but after they condemned his despotic actions, he sharply broke up with them. Napoleon accused his recent associates of doctrinaire and romantic idealism, of a lack of understanding of the real political practices and interests that the French society was concerned about. He began to call them contemptuously "ideologues". Since that time the semantic transformation of the concept "ideology" has begun. It began to make negative sense.

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