Chapter 2: Political Ideas and Ideologies
The purpose of this assignment is to help you hone your ability to develop your active reading skills. Note taking helps you process what you are reading, maintain your focus when reading, think critically about what you are reading, identify important ideas, retain important information, be prepared for the class and study for your exams.
Taking notes does not mean copying information from the text. Copying loads of information takes too much time and does not help you further your understanding of what you are reading. Rather, you have to synthesize the content of the readings in your own words, making decisions about what is relevant, what is unclear and requires clarification, how what you are reading is connected to other readings and/or your background knowledge of the topic, etc.
There is no recipe for taking good notes. The best ways may vary from person to person and finding your own style takes practice. As a general rule, previewing the chapter before you start reading it can help you get a general idea of what the author is saying, how the argument flows, how different subtopics are connected, etc. Pay attention to the introduction, the headings, the introductory sentences of each section, the conclusion and highlighted information.
Try reading sections of the chapter and try to make a few notes about what you remember from it to get the general idea rather than getting caught up in details. You can fill in the details afterwards.
Please do Heywood, A. (2019). Politics. Chapter 2. “Political ideas and ideologies”.
Chapter 2: Political Ideas and Ideologies
Important Information from the Chapter
From my analysis, the important information I have found in the Chapter is the question on if politics can exist without ideology. This is because ideology is one of the controversial concepts that is encountered in political analysis. For instance, ideology is viewed as an intellectual framework that politicians, parties and other political actors use to make sense of the world in which they live. Also, the information seems to be most significant because it makes us understand political ideology as an of beliefs, ideas, and values that compete deliberately to provide plans of action for public policymaking so that to change social-political arrangements. It is clear that this Chapter examines political ideas from the traditional ideological perspective, with the main focus being on classical ideologies such as socialism, conservatism and liberalism. To show how important the information is, social scientists have indicated that ideology is a controversial concept encountered in political analysis most of the time. From the view of social scientists, I have found information important because it has helped me know the time ideology was first used in the political world. For instance, ideology before used in the political world view as a weapon to condemn and criticize rival creeds Destutt de Tracy coined in 1796 mainly focused on referring to a new science of ideas. It has been shown that ideology is a controversial political term that links political theory with political practice. This is an implication that on one level, the ideologies can resemble political philosophers and, on the other hand, can take the form of a political movement, thus being articulated through activities of political groups and leaders. In fact, from the information I have learned, politics cannot exist without ideology because ideology carries pejorative implications that are expressed through predictions of its imminent demise.
Also, the information seems important to me because it has allowed me to learn that great thinkers have developed ideology. From the information, I have been able to know that ideology has little place in the modern democratic systems to the logic of electoral competition. But even though things have changed in the current democratic perspective, political ideology has refused to die, thus indicating that ideological forms of politics seem to be enduring features of world history. It is clear that ideology has been important to politicians and other political actors for a long time because it provided them with an intellectual framework that helps them make sense of the current world in which they live. The fact is that ideology still survives and continues to be relevant because of being flexible. As old ideologies fade, a new one emerges, helping to preserve the relevance of political ideology. Therefore, in any case, politics will exist without ideology; it will lead to the existence of age without hope and vision.
Unclear factors in the Chapter
If there is something in the Chapter that seems unclear to me is how political ideology has stubbornly refused to die. Given that particular ideologies may fall or rise, political ideology seems to be an enduring feature of the world. This has made a clear view on whether politics is intrinsically linked to ideology or the politics will be able to emerge from shadow cast by ideological beliefs in the future. Thus, the change in political dynamics always leads to the view about the relationship between ideology and politics by specifically explaining if politics can exist without ideology. It can be argued that ideologies have become irreverent due to western societies' parties competing on the promise of economic growth. Although the Chapter has significantly explained the reason for political exitance today, it has not clearly explained why the ideology will not die anytime soon. The unclear information about the political ideology has made to inquire finding information from sources about political ideology. For instance, in social studies, it is indicated that political ideology is not falling down anytime soon because a certain set of ethical principles, ideals, and doctrines explains how society should work. This is the reason when you look at liberalism view it is significant explain the earliest political ideology developed as a contrasting attempt to shape emerging industrial society. From this factor, it can be concluded that the central theme in the ideological debate was created by the battle between two rival economic philosophies, which are socialism and capitalism. Political ideologies, in most instances, start with liberalism because liberalism is, in effect ideology of the industrialized West, which sometimes was portrayed as a meta-ideology. It is clear that early liberalism compared to the modern one was significantly a reflection of the rising industrial middle class and linked closely with capitalism. Although it is not clear why political ideology has stubbornly refused to die, the reading in the Chapter, compared to other parts, has only focused on showing the ideas behind the existence of ideology from classical ideological traditions to other ideological traditions. From different articles and books, I have found significant information that has helped me know that political ideology will still exist because it helps individuals understand why the current situation exists within the society and how it can be solved.
From the chapter argument, I have been able to end up with different findings, which are important in clarifying the topic of discussion. As I have been able to find that by no means liberalism, socialism and conservatism could exhaust the field of ideological politics. Also, from the late nineteenth century onwards, social liberalism emerged, which looked more favorable on welfare reform and economic intervention. Given the importance of liberalism in political ideology, it was divided into two liberalism that includes classical liberalism and modern liberalism. Due to the emergence of other ideological traditions; they have attempted to challenge and overturn the core features of western political tradition itself. Although socialism, liberalism and conservatism were political ideologies of the nineteenth century, fascism is a child of the twentieth century. For that case, most people could argue that specifically interwar phenomenon because they were fused together and shaped by world war I and its aftermath. In recent days fascism has resurfaced in two forms which include neo-Nazism and neofascism, by taking advantage of economic crises and political instability experienced after the collapse of communism to emerge. Another unusual political ideology is anarchism, which has never succeeded as a movement in winning power for many years. But even though the movement was not strong, that does not mean it was not a powerful movement because their idea continued to fertilize political debate by challenging the law and government. The central mean of anarchy was the belief that political authority was both evil and unnecessary in all its forms. Thus, unlike liberals and individualist anarchists, they believed that free and rational human beings could manage affairs peacefully.
In addition, feminism has been an important ideological inspiration in societies dating back to ancient China, although it was not underpinned by developed political theory. Until the emergence of the women's suffrage movement in the 1840s, feminist ideas reached a wider range of audiences, thus helping women get their rights in society. The doctrine and theories of feminism have been a diverse desire of unifying feature to enhance women's liberations in the society. From a feminist perspective, the current society has been characterized by gender inequality; thus, male power can be overturned. However, from a traditional point of view, the idea of feminism has been analyzed in terms of the division between socialist and liberal schools of thought. Therefore, it is clear that ideology links political theory with political practice. Since the twentieth century, the ideological landscape has been transforming by the emergence of so-called new ideologies such as feminism, thus growing recognition of the importance of political ideology in the current society. After the fall of communism in the 1980s, further revisionism was processed within social democracy. The ideological change was experienced because of class structure and professional and clerical occupation growth that focused on bringing social-democratic policies around the modern market. Also, having compared the information in the Chapter with others, it is true that the information about political ideology is the same. For instance, the information in the first Chapter indicates that politics is understood differently by different thinkers, indicating that it depends on an individual's ideology.
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