“….It is dedicated to the principles that have historically sustained the Party: individual freedom, responsibility and human dignity in the framework of a just society, and political freedom in the framework of meaningful participation by all persons”.
Progressive Conservative Party
Web Page: www.pcparty.ca
“….a belief in the… supremacy of democratic parliamentary institutions and the rule of law… A belief in the equality of all Canadians… in the freedom of the individual…
New Democratic Party (NDP)
Web page: www.ndp.ca
Mission Statement:…“New Democrats seek fundamental change. We will apply the resources of government and the strength of cooperation and community to advance our society toward the goals of equality, social justice and democracy.
Web Page: www.canadianalliance.ca
Declaration of Policy:
“To satisfy Canadians’ broad aspirations in a world that is changing ever more rapidly requires striking a careful balance. A balance between particular and common interests; freedom and responsibility; self-reliance and a clearly defined role for government; respect for diversity and the need for common values; limited government and social needs; preservation of our natural heritage and careful use of our resources; individual rights and the common good.”
Communist Party of Canada
Web page: http://www.communist-party.ca/
The Party Constitution:
The Communist Party of Canada is the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class dedicated to the cause of socialism. It is a voluntary organization of like-minded people which strives to unite in its ranks the most politically advanced and active members of the working class and of other sections of the people exploited by monopoly who are prepared to work for the achievement of working class state power and the building of a socialist Canada. The Communist Party of Canada has no interests separate and apart from those of the working class from which it springs.
What do These Concepts Mean?
We employ terms like “liberal”, “socialist” and “conservative” to describe political parties, as well as the policies they advocate and implement.
Ideologies comprise a “political vocabulary” which we use to interpret and discuss political issues.
“Ideology is one of the most elusive concepts in the social sciences.” (McLellan, 1986; 1)
Term first coined by Enlightenment French philosopher Destutt de Tracy (1796) referred to a science of the study of ideas. (literally idea –ology)
“Ideologues” were later blamed by Napoleon for spreading false and subversive ideas.
“Ideology” as Political Weapon
Often the term ideology has been used as a political weapon condemning or criticizing a rival set of views or ideas.
Marx argued that his own approach was “scientific” rather than “ideological”
Conservatives would argue that their approach is “pragmatic” rather than ideological
Various Definitions of Ideology
The ideas of the ruling class which propagate false interests among the suppressed classes (Marx)
All embracing doctrines that claim a monopoly of truth and suppresses opposition in totalitarian regimes (Arendt, Popper)
Sets of ideas that distort political reality by attempting to simplify and explain politics. (Oakeshott)
In order to engage in a systematic analysis of ideologies, we need a definition that is both inclusive and neutral.
“An ideology is a more or less coherent set of ideas that provides the basis for political action, whether this is intended to preserve, modify or overthrow the existing system of power.
What people think and believe about society, power, rights, etc., determines their actions
Two main concepts about the role of ideas in politics
Functions of Ideology
People need an ideology – a coherent set of ideas for purposeful action
Offer an account of the existing social order,
Provide the model of a desired future, a vision of the “good society”
Provide people with programs of political action
To uphold the existing power structure (portraying it as fair, natural etc.) or
To challenge it by pointing out its flaws
Four Key Functions of Ideology
Explaining how the world Works
Deciding whether things are good or bad
Supplying the holder with a sense of identity
Telling people what to do and how to do it
Political ideologies, through opposition, competition, fusion, mixing, etc.–exist in constant interaction with each other
Together, they form a political spectrum
It is a useful tool of political analysis
Political Spectrum: The Standard Linear Model
Political Spectrum: ATwo-dimensional Model
Ideology and Hegemony
Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937)
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer and revolutionary
Arrested in 1926, kept in prison 1928 – 1937, where he wrote the Prison Notebook.
He wondered why working class revolutions failed; why the working classes were not inclined to revolt, especially in the Western World (America and Europe)
Definition of Hegemony
Gramsci’s answer is hegemony—working classes aspire to (want) what the middle class has, but the middle class keeps the lower classes in check through media persuasion
Hegemony is the way in which one ideology comes to dominate others; it is a form of social control, a means of symbolic coercion
Control by consent
Resistance to hegemony is also important
Control by Consent
"...Dominant groups in society, including fundamentally but not exclusively the ruling class, maintain their dominance by securing the 'spontaneous consent' of subordinate groups, including the working class, through the negotiated construction of a political and ideological consensus which incorporates both dominant and dominated groups." (Strinati, 1995: 165)
The ruling class dominates symbolic production through control over the ideological sectors of society (culture, religion, education, the media).
This explains the institutional basis of false-consciousness.
Awareness of this can only be achieved with the help of an external agent.
Althusser: Ideological State Apparatuses
Capital-owning classes needed to reproduce the means of production, which includes a compliant labour force trained in ‘proper’ attitudes.
The ‘ideological state apparatuses’: organised religion, formal education, the family, the legal system, the media, cultural production
Video show: “Manufacturing Consent,” Part I “Thought Control in a Democratic Society”
“When you can't control people by force, you have to control what people think, and the standard way to do this is via propaganda (manufacture of consent, creation of necessary illusions), marginalizing the general public or reducing them to apathy of some fashion. — Noam Chomsky
The Evolution of Ideologies
Changing Ideological Landscape
Ideologies are not static or set in stone.
They respond to political events, as much as they affect political events.
The earliest ideologies were religions.
Many of the earliest rulers in history were priests.
In the Modern Age, political ideologies become increasingly secular (non-religious, some anti-religious), but religions continue to serve as important sources for ideologies to this day
Examples: Christian democracy, Christian socialism, Protestant fundamentalism, Islamic radicalism
Development of Modern Ideologies
Classical liberalism rose in the Enlightenment.
John Stuart Mill
Conservative thought arose in response to the excesses of the French Revolution of 1789.
Important thinker: Edmund Burke.
In the U.S., conservative thought also blended with classical liberalism.
In the 19th century, socialism, communism and anarchism were responses to the economic distresses brought by industrial capitalism.
Fascism and its most extreme form, Nazism, developed in the early 20th century as a reaction against the perceived failings of liberalism, conservatism, socialism and communism.
New ideologies emerge in response to new needs.
Developing out of (and in reaction to) liberalism in late 20th century were:
Class and Ideology
Each major ideology has its main roots in the interests of a certain class, or a section of a class, or several aligned classes
For instance, in 19th century Europe:
Conservative ideologies were rooted in the interests of landed aristocracy and clergy – classes losing power as a result of modernization
Liberalism was rooted in the interests of the rising bourgeoisie
Socialism was rooted in the interests of the working classes
The special role of the intellectuals in the production of ideas
Crisis and Ideology
Crises create powerful demand for new ideas
A catastrophe (major war, economic collapse, ecological disaster, famine)
Major deterioration of social conditions
Breakdown of a state
A revolution or a counterrevolution
During the time of crisis, people commit themselves to ideas much more strongly (become more ideological) than in normal times
We cover four ideologies that have dominated modern political life and thought
Programs for promoting individual liberty (classical) and opportunity (welfare)
Focused on conserving existing social order
Custom and tradition as ‘latent wisdom’
Organic view of society
Acceptance of inequality
Freedom and order
Developed as a reaction againstthe excesses of the French Revolution.
Conservatives blamed the bloodbath on the Enlightenment idea that human beings could consciously create political society.
Founder of Traditional Conservative Ideology
Edmund Burke (1729-97)
British writer & member of Parliament in late 18th century
Reflections on the Revolution in France (published in 1790)
The origin of political society.
Conservatism argues that political society develops gradually over time out of custom and human experience.
Human nature is not rational.
People’s ability to reason is severely limited.
Therefore, efforts to improve a society will likely have terrible unanticipated consequences.
Not opposed to all change, but it is should be gradual, a slow evolution
Inequality is the natural order of things.
Politically, people should defer to elites to govern.
Socially, people need to accept problems like poverty, which society cannot solve.
Inequality is unavoidable
“Believe me, Sir, those who attempt to level, never equalize…Burke, Reflections
Inequality is also beneficial to all
Making everyone equal would result in everyone having less.
The acceptance of authority.
Members of political society need to accept their roles in order for the whole society to be healthy and strong.
Challenging authority is destabilizing.
The purpose of government.
Government should be strong in law & order, to control the unruly elements in society.
Government’s goal is to provide for human needs, especially the needs for order, stability and control.
The lack of order destroys people more than tyranny.
Government is not formed to protect rights.
No guarantee against tyranny [similar to Plato]
Traditional & Contemporary Varieties
Opposed to free market capitalism because it broke down old social roles.
No fear of an active large government becoming tyrannous because the elite would be the governors.
Conservative thought in the U.S. (the Republican Party) different from Burke’s because it grew out of classical liberalism.
Support for capitalism
Suspicious of government power
See justice as equal opportunity, not equal outcome
Conservatism’s ‘Four Functions’
Social conditions are the result of human imperfections
Success is a question of social order and harmony
Each of us is part of a greater whole, and we should act with interest of society (not just self) in mind
Slow and cautious change
Fascism & Nazism
An ideology opposed to liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and communism, because they brought economic depression, political betrayal, national weakness, and moral decline.
Roots of Fascist Thinking
The work of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) influenced fascists, particularly the view expressed here:
Man does not search for happiness.
Only the English liberal does that.
Fascist ideology & Mussolini
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) coined the term in 1919,
Fascism refers to the Roman symbol for “power through unity” – a bundle of reeds called “fasces,” individually weak but collectively strong.
Ideas of Mussolini
Mussolini argued that citizens were empowered when they were subordinated to the state.
By blindly obeying the state, they helped the state thrive, which benefited them.
To Mussolini, this distinguished the fascist state from repressive authoritarian governments, which sought to crush people, & not empower them.
Organic view of society (society over individual)
Mussolini Slogan: Believe, obey, fight
Rejection of democracy
Elitism (cult of the “superman”)
Racism and militant nationalism
Fascism taken to its extreme form.
Racist and anti-Semitic elements that did not appear in Italian fascism.
Nazi racial theory-Three races:
Aryans (Germanic) – culture creating
Jews – culture destroying
Middle – culture maintaining
At various levels of hierarchy between Aryans and Jews.
Other fascist regimes
Spain under Franco
Portugal under Salazar
Regimes with fascist elements
KMT under Jiang Jieshi (1931-1936)
Argentina under Juan Peron (1946-55)
Chile under Pinochet (1973-1990)
South Africa apartheid regime for Blacks (1945-1990)
Generalissimo Jiang Jieshi
Jiang title, "Generalissimo", was used only by one other major world leader, Francisco Franco of Spain, who also had close ties with the Nazi military in the 1930s.
Such were Jiang’s ties to the Axis powers that he sent his son to train in the Nazi military and take part in the Austrian annexation of 1938.
Jiang’s Son in Nazi Uniform
Jiang’s son, Jiang Weiguo (Chiang Weikuo), joined the Nazi Army for the 1938 Austrian Anschluss, was later Secretary General of the Council of National Security of Taiwan.
After Nazi connections publicized in recent years, suddenly he is "not really Jiang's son" and disowned post-mortem to "save a face".
Jiang Weiguo (Chiang Weikuo)
Military Advisers from Nazi Germany
Fascism’s ‘Four Functions’
Problems from ‘enemies of the nation or people’ (scapegoats)
Strength and unity of the nation or people
Define yourself as part of nation/people (not as individual)
Believe, obey, fight (elites in complete control)
Origins of Socialism
Ancient roots – Judeo-Christian belief in the common good, which takes precedence over individual desires
Term “socialism” coined in 1827 by British socialist Robert Owen to describe his view of a cooperative new society.
Early Socialists Owen 欧文
Early Socialist: Charles Fourier 傅立叶
Early Socialist: Saint-Simon 圣西门
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, often referred to as Henri de Saint-Simon (1760 –1825), the founder of French socialism
The Communist Manifesto
SocialistsTake Exception to Each of the Three Tenets of Liberalism
Individual freedom—Freedom to accumulate and dispose of property is glorified way of saying that the state and law protects ability of the few to exploit the many.
Limited government—prevents masses from using the state and law to level inequality.
In genuine democracy, government constituted by people.
Public-private split—there is no final distinction between a public sphere (political society) and a private sphere (economy or civil society).
Inequality in one means inequality in the other.
Liberal political parties in 19th century Europe failed to address the desperate needs of working people.
Flaws of Liberalism
Individualism or social class
Restriction of political power, but not economic power
Classical liberalism views poverty as an individual choice or failure, not the result of social structures.
In England, socialism became a political movement in 1884, with the creation of the Fabians, who provided the basis for the new Labor Party.
Socialism provides a different conception of individual responsibility & of government.
Socialism is an ideology arguing that citizens are best served by policies focused on meeting the basic needs of the entire society rather than on serving the needs of individuals as individuals.
Humankind will be unified and cooperative, once wealth is owned and used for the common good (social ownership).
Capitalism exploits the very people who create society’s wealth.
The equality of outcome as opposed to the equality of opportunity
Two Directions of Socialism
Major division between revolutionary socialists (Communists) and reformist socialists (Social Democrats)
Based on Marxism-Leninism:
Proletarian revolution seen as inevitable given the inherent exploitation of the capitalist system.
Revolution will eliminate private property—the means for some to exploit others.
Bourgeoisie will fight, so revolution will be violent.
A dictatorship of the proletariat will follow to weed out remaining capitalist elements.
Socialization of industry and agriculture under Stalin.
In the end, a classless society with no more oppression or internal contradictions.
Eventually, the contribution principle is replaced with the motto “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.
People will be free to choose how they labor, and can be creatively productive. They will be able to live to their fullest potential.
“...while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, cowherd, or critic” (German Ideology).
A variation on socialism that argues that socialism and democracy can work together.
A compromise approach which accepts private ownership and the market but seeks to redistribute wealth according to communal/moral principles.
Change comes through peaceful democratic processes like elections.
Democratic governments should promote economic as well as political freedom & equality.
What are the Similarities and Differences between Communism and Social Democracy?
Social Democracy in Practice
Socialist political parties compete and win office in every western democracy except the United States.
Argentina Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Netherland, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Venezuela.
Why might this be so? What’s different about the U.S.?
Social conditions determined by economic and class relations
Sharpness of class divisions (exploitive?) determines health of society
People should think of themselves in terms of their class position
Policies must be put into place to advance economic equality (which is a prerequisite for ‘true’ political equality)
The End of Ideology?
Daniel Bell (1960)
Daniel Bell (1960) The End of Ideology: On the exhaustion of political ideas
Argued that in post WWII Western countries, managed capitalism was no longer debated, rather debates were technocratic in nature, concerning optimum methods for delivering affluence.
Francis Fukuyama (1989)
Francis Fukuyama (1989) argued that we have reached “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of government…the victory of liberalism” (page 4)
Argued that in the impending collapse of the USSR represented the triumph of Western Liberalism over competing ideologies.
The End of Ideology?
However, Bell’s argument was undermined by the emergence of the New Right in the US and UK – current climate of highly polarized competition between Republicans and Democrats.
Fukuyama’s approach has been challenged by Islamic fundamentalist groups (such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda) who oppose Western, liberal values.