Introduction to Ideologies Assignment

Introduction to Ideologies Assignment Words: 2211

Do the assignments in as much detail as you find necessary to learn the material. Keep your notes for study purposes. Outcomes: 1 . To appreciate various perspectives regarding identity and ideology and the relationship between individualism and the common good. 2. To explore factors that many influence individual and collective beliefs and values (culture, language, media, relationship to land, environment, gender, religion( spirituality, ideology). 3. To examine expressions of individualism and collectivism and the dynamic between individualism and the common go( contemporary societies. . To examine characteristics of ideology (interpretations of history, beliefs about human nature, beliefs about the Truckee of society, visions for the future); the themes of ideologies (nation’ class, relationship to land, environment, religion, progressivism); and the relationship between worldviews and ideology. 5. To analyze individualism and the common good as foundations of ideology. II. Learning Activities Students will complete 7 Learning activities using this learning guide, the textbook Perspectives on Ideology; and a number of Internet websites.

The course textbook Perspectives on Ideology is available in the Library. Ill. Evaluation Spoon completion of this learning guide students will write a test in the Test Centre consisting of 25 multiple-choice items. Activity l: Consider the following with reference to pages 7 – 18, 23 – 24 and 49 – 50 01 Perspectives on Ideology 1 . Briefly identify different beliefs about human nature, nature of society, interpretations of history and visions of the future 2. Explain what is meant by individualism and collectivism. 3. Explain the role of values in influencing personal identity and collective goals. 4.

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Identify the factors that influence beliefs and values. 5. Compare and contrast the views Of Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau on human nature. 6. Consider “the source” on page 13. To what extent are the distinctly European ideas of Locke and Hobbes based on similar values? 7. Describe the meaning and role of ideology in human affairs. FOUNDATIONS OF IDEOLOGY The popular 17th C scientific approach to understanding natural phenomenon – isolating, reducing, dissecting, and separating – was adapted for use a social instrument, a “political spectrum” – in the hopes of revealing the constituent parts of political belief.

A political spectrum is a way of comparing or visualizing political beliefs by placing them on an axis. The spectrum places conservatism on the right, verbalism centre-left and socialism left of that. Communism and Fascism occupy positions on the extreme left and right respectively. While the spectrum is an inaccurate measure of belief, the following characteristics are generally accepted: An emphasis on equality is considered left-wing and emphasis on liberty is right-wing Government economic interventionism is leftist; limited government is right-wing. Readiness to change is left-wing; support for tradition and the status quo is right-wing.

The Political Spectrum Political ideas are often classified according to their position on a political Spectrum. The political spectrum first came into use shortly after the French Revolution in 1789. (Those who sat on the left side of the chamber wanted significant change in government; those on the right wanted little or no change. ) The Political Spectrum: as an expression of peoples’ readiness to accept change: NOTE: The expression “status quo” means “the current system” or “the way things are now. ” If you desire change, then that means changing the status quo. If you leave things the way they are, then you are maintaining the status quo. The status quo) Radical Moderate Reactionary Radical: An extremist of the political left. Radicals want change to the status quo that is immediate and sweeping and are prepared to use violence to achieve their revolutionary goals. Moderate: Someone who is generally satisfied with the status quo. Moderates include both liberals who support progress and accept change as a means of improving conditions for individuals and society, and conservatives who resist change believing that traditions, privilege and law and order are essential to maintaining a civilized society. Reactionary: An extremist of the political right.

Reactionaries reject hang and favor a return to traditional values, institutions and the real or imagined glories of the past. Ideological Belief and the Political Spectrum: In the 20th Century, radical Communists believed an international worker’s revolution would result in collective ownership and a classless society. Moderate socialists sought equality through democratic means. Liberals searched for broader individual rights in a just society. Conservatives defended privilege and individualism. Fascists were reactionaries who opposed equality, promoted uniformity and supported a return to national glory and empire.

Communism Socialism verbalism Conservatism Fascism Note: On the spectrum, change moves to the left; consequently, over time, values that once seemed more radical gradually become accepted and eventually may represent the status quo. Liberals in the 1 9th century supported limited government, individual rights but not universal suffrage (it was accepted that certain groups, women for example, should not have the right to vote). Ironically, in contemporary society, it is conservatism that argues for limited government and liberalism that believes government has a meaningful role to play in creating a more egalitarian society.

Conservatism, as always, aims to preserve the status quo and its inherent traditions and privileges. A spectrum representing the extent of Government Control Political and economic systems can also be classified according to how much control the government has over its citizens. The extreme right and left of the spectrum favor total government control to achieve their objectives. Socialists believe that government has a significant role in controlling vital industries and agencies. Liberals believe government has a role in shaping a better society.

Conservatives believe the role Of government should be limited. Anarchists are so distrustful of the power of government that they believe it should be abolished. These views can be represented in a number of ways: Anarchism No Government (Anarchy) Limited Government (Democracy) Total Government (Dictatorship) Government Control Freedom _ Liberalism Individual TOTALITARIANISM MODERATES ANARCHISM Totalitarianism: A totalitarian state is ruled by a single leader and party. The executive has total control over all functions of the state and citizens are expected to give their full allegiance to their government.

Such a state could be Communist or Fascist (also termed authoritarian, absolutist, autocratic, actuarial, one-party state). Moderates: Moderates balance individual freedom with the common good. Moderate states promote pluralism which recognizes the natural rights of a diverse population to actively participate in the governing of the country. The power of the government is limited by the constitution and rule of law. A separation of powers helps ensure that no branch of government can wield extraordinary power without the consent of the governed.

Anarchism: Anarchists believe that all government authority is self-serving, potentially corrupt and unjust, and that individuals should be ere from external agencies. Viewed from all other positions on the spectrum, anarchism is rejected as a system that would result in anarchy (chaos); but, this reflects the perspective of those who support government a an institution. EXPLORING THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM The Spectrum as a Grid The difficulty of placing complex beliefs on a left-right spectrum led to the us’ of a grid system.

In this way, an ideology that valued economic freedom but civil restraint could be differentiated from one that preached both economic and political freedom. Economic Freedom Political Freedom Fascists reject political freedoms in a state that glorifies leadership and national objectives. They protect private ownership but control economic decision-making. Communists reject political and economic freedoms in order to create a new communist state. Theoretically government control ends when a classless society is achieved. Libertarians reject government intrusion in the lives of citizens.

Libertarians believe individuals should be free to do anything they want, so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. They reject collective values and are suspicious of government intrusion in their lives. Socialists use the democratic powers of government to achieve egalitarian objectives. The following example of a two-axis grid shows that it is possible for a person to be one of four combinations of Liberal/Conservative. For instance, someone could be a fiscal conservative On economic issues (i. E. Believes in free markets, limited government, low taxes) and a social liberal on issues such as minority rights.

Spectrums are useful in that they provide a visual means of contrasting beliefs on a continuum – but because they simplify information they have limited use in pinpointing complex political and economic ideas. Activity 2: Consider the following with reference to what you have just read about The political Spectrum. You might also consider online sources such as: http://www. Policewoman’s. Org http://www. Learnable. Ca/content/espies/index. HTML http://en. Wisped. Org/wick/political_spectrum 1 . Briefly identify the characteristics and beliefs of radicals, liberals, moderates, conservatives, and reactionaries in the 20th century. . On the issue of promoting change in social conditions, briefly describe the position of anarchists, communists, socialists, liberals, conservatives, and fascists. 3. On the issue of government intervention in the economy, briefly describe the position of anarchists, communists, socialists, liberals, conservatives, and fascists. 4. Compare and contrast the position Of communists and fascists in theory. 5. Explain why the radical theory of communism and the reactionary theory of fascism, although opposites, are justifiably placed on the same point on a spectrum depicting the power of government in society.

Canadians are generally uncomfortable with extremism. As a democracy Canada is noted for its tolerance and acceptance of a wide range of political beliefs; its governments have never varied from he center stage of conservative and liberal philosophy. The same cannot be said for other countries. Many European nations are hotbeds of political activism. Parties of the far left and far right vie for political power in an proper contest that pits Communist against Fascist, radical against reactionary. Activity 3: Consider the following questions with reference to pages 9- 18 and 105 – 1 1: in Perspectives on Ideology: 1 .

What kind of government and political system would be necessary if one viewed human beings in the same way as Thomas Hobbes, that is, as selfish, nominative, and prone to evil? 2. Why would an authoritarian style Of government be advocated by someone who places the highest value on unity, order, and military strength? 3. Use the DEL glossary to explain the following terms: authoritarianism, autocracy, despotism, dictatorship, divine-right, monarchy, plutocracy, theocracy 4. What would the nature of government tend to be like if one viewed human beings as cooperative, rational, and essentially good, as was the case with John Locke and J. J.

Rousseau? 5. Explain how the ideas Of Locke, Nonentities, Smith and Mill challenged the status quo. 6. With reference to page 18 of Perspectives on Ideology: Contrast Rousseau views of “man in nature’ with “man in society’. To what structures and forces within society did he attribute these differences? 7. Compare Rousseau position with Hobbler’s. What could account for Ethel different conclusions about the state of man in nature? 8. Explain how the concept of the social contract is reflected in the ideas of Hobbes and Locke. 9. Explain how the social contract might serve as the basis of both individualist and collectivist ideologies. 0. Explain how the differing views of Hobbes and Locke result in significantly efferent ways of organizing society. 1 1. Where are power, authority and decision-making best placed in society? Why? To what extent does your position reflect a Hobnails or Locked perspective? 12. J. S. Mill analyzed the dynamic relationship between the individual and society. Explain how this dynamic results in both preservations of and restrictions to individual liberty. Activity 4 Complete the following with reference to pages 23 and 31 -47 and 50-51 of Perspectives on Ideology: 1.

Identity could be said to be influenced by genetic, historic, cultural and current factors. Can one’s “personal identity’ be separated from one’s “collective identity”? 2. Briefly identify what you consider to be the most critical factors that influence identity. To what extent do these factors represent underlying “themes” that characterize ideological belief? Activity 5: Complete the following with reference to pages 62 – 70 in Perspectives on Ideology: 1 . Briefly explain the importance of collectivist and individualist principles in human history. Activity 6: Complete the following with reference to pages 80 – 85 in Perspectives on 1.

Briefly summarize the principles of collectivism. To what extent do they complement rather than oppose the principles Of individualism. Activity 7: Complete the following with reference to pages 44 -47 in Perspectives on 1. Explain Marshall Macaulay’s concept that the “medium is the message”. To what extent is media’s impact reflected in high tech advertising? 2. Explain how Chomsky and Herdsman’s concern with the potential of media to establish hegemonic control might negatively impact the ability of citizens to participate in a democracy. It is important to realize that individualism and collectivism do not represent an either/or proposition.

Social issues are complex and should not be reduced to a simple choice. Political rhetoric often characterizes controversial matters in black and white terms creating a “popularization” that unfairly demotions the opposition. Recognizing this, Social Studies emphasize the importance of critical thinking; making decisions that are supported by evidence and guided by reason. Historical thinking and geographic thinking are important skills in this process. Neither is based entirely on “known truths” but rather on facts, accepted beliefs and critical interpretations that recognize the influence of a did variety of factors.

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