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Examples Of Ideology And The Reasons They’re The Most Polarizing

If you have an ideology, it is usually quite polarizing as any ideology will consider all opposing ideologies as false ideologies. This article will explain to you the concept of ideology and several lists of examples of ideology across the spectra to include dominant / non-dominant, political, and social.

The ideology terms of ‘left’ and ‘right’ is derived from the French Estates General (1789), chaired by King Louis XVI. Delegates were divided into aristocratic members, who sat at the right hand of the king, and the revolutionary and populist members, who sat to the left. So there are many examples of ideology today as well as in the past.

The Concept of Ideology.

Most of us understand that an ideology is a belief system that underpins a political or economic theory. In today’s world we think of ideology as having a spectrum that goes from a far left to far right. Even though the concept of ideology is a recent phenomenon from a historical perspective, it is more than just a belief system going across one spectrum of left and right. I like Joseph S. Roucek’s viewpoint on the concept of ideology. He says, “… every ideological construct involves the projection of a certain ideal into the future, into the evaluation of the present, and into the past.” He also adds that every ideology “considers all opposing ideologies as false ideologies.”  See Manchester Open Hive’s The role of ideology in politics and society for more details and examples of the concept of ideology and history.

Examples of Dominant Ideologies.

One of the reasons that we think of ideologies in a spectrum is because in a given society there is usually a dominant ideology and a competing, non-dominant ideology.. Several philosophers and sociologists have come forth with the concept of dominant ideology.  Gramsci’s theory focused on “the central role played by the social institution of education in spreading the dominant ideology and maintaining the power of the ruling class.”  Louis Althusser developed his concept of the “ideological state apparatus,” or the ISA. Here several ISAs, notably the media, religion, and education maintains and reproduces the dominant ideology. See Thoughtco’s Theories of Ideology for more on Dominant Ideologies.

Examples of Ideologies – From Theocratic and Dynastic to Liberalism Vs Conservatism.

Ideologies usually fall in a spectrum of two opposing sides such as they do today going from radical left to far right. But that has not always been the case. Across history there are a large variety of ideologies to include liberalism, conservatism, socialism, communism, theocracy, agrarianism, totalitarianism, democracy, colonialism, and globalism. So liberalism versus conservatism is a more recent ideological spectrum. Prior to the 18th Century the most dominant ideologies were oriented around religious (e.g. theocratic) and dynastic (e.g. monarchy) principles. See Helpful Professor for more details. 

Examples of Political Ideologies.

Raging Ideology
Raging Ideology
  • Classical Liberalism. A capitalistic ideology that stands for a limited government with political freedom, civil liberties and laissez-faire economic policies.
  • Social or Modern Liberalism. Emphasizes social justice and economic issues while ensuring both individual freedom and the common good.
  • Conservatism. Emphasizes preserving traditional social institutions and values. This ideology also seeks small, or limited, government.
  • Social Democracy.  Emphasizes representative democracy paired with redistribution of wealth to fund social justice and economic welfare programs.
  • Neoliberalism. Embodies free trade, privatization, deregulation, laissez-faire economic policies, low taxes, and minimal government spending.
  • Marxism. Focused on achieving a classless society. The idea is to eliminate class struggles by emphasizing the common good.
  • Communism. Promotes collective/public ownership of property, with the government maintaining ownership of the means of production and transportation.

Examples of Social Ideologies.

  • Environmentalism. Focused on environmental protection and related activism.
  • Racism. Focused on one race is superior to other races.
  • Feminism. Advocates equality for women economically, socially and politically. This ideology also includes the rights of women, including reproductive rights.
  • Individualism. Focuses on the inherent worth of each individual. It emphasizes acceptance, freedom and self-sufficiency.
  • Anti-intellectualism. Minimizes the importance of facts, data and academic expertise.
  • Equality of Opportunity. Seeks a level playing field where no person’s opportunities in life are limited by prejudice or discrimination.
  • Work Ethic Ideology. A set of beliefs that focus on the moral virtue of diligence with regard to work. The idea is that hard work strengthens character.
  • Religions. Beliefs vary within each one. Some believers strictly follow all the tenets while others may choose the ones they feel are most important.
  • Matriarchal Ideology. Focused on women having most of the power in society, which is female-dominated.
  • Patriarchal Ideology. Focused on a male-dominated society, in which men are the primary holders of power.

See YourDictionary for more details of examples of ideologies.

For more information from Unvarnished Facts, see topics Culture, Politics, and Values.

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