The Power of Ideology essay sample

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The Power of Ideology


Andrew Heywood (2007) defines ideology from different perspectives. From the Conservative view, an ideology is an abstract and highly systematic set of political ideals. The primary goal of this thinking is to offer transformation to a nation, and loyalty to a set of standards where conformity previously exists through a nominative thoughtful development. It grows from a blue state as a trial to the prevailing social arrangement.

Functions of Ideology

Ideologies play a fundamental role in providing a way through which people understand the world. Ideologies shape people’s perspectives and views of the world. For instance, the British political philosopher Michael Oakeshott brought about the right concept that views the world as a highly complex entity that the human mind cannot understand. Conservatives have since taken this view of life.Andrew Heywood (2007) states that ideologies entail values and principles that shape the nature of political systems. Conservatives believe in retaining tradition. To them, tradition is the source of practices that propel good governance, stability, and prosperity. Finally, the unifying values and beliefs of ideologies act as a social cement for the members.

For instance, Conservatism is associated with landed aristocracy. The ideals involved in an ideology create a sense of shared interest, aspirations, and experiences hence creating a sense of common belonging and solidarity of the social group.

The Influence of Ideology on Social Stratification

Ideology has profound implications on social stratification. During the Cold War era, capitalism and communism had remarkably different ideologies. Social status, class, and power seemed to separate individuals according to the Capitalist ideology. Capitalism believed in individuality while Communism based its beliefs on societal values of equality (Heywood, 2007). Capitalists faced social exclusion during the Soviet Union because they did not subscribe to communist ideologies.

Anyone during the Cold War era who tries to adopt capitalism would face merciless execution since communism did not allow capitalistic ideas. The ideology of the War on TerrorThe War on Terror started by the US aims at fighting terrorist attacks mainly by the Islamic terrorists. It has since become a retaliatory game. The War on Terror has liberal democratic ideologies regarding US foreign policy that aims to change rather conservative and authoritarian Islamic states.

The Islamist terrorists view US foreign policy as a bother to their Islamic beliefs. The conflict in their ideologies is in return, causing more havoc to the world than peace. The Islamic State (ISIS) claims to follow Islamic doctrines and ideologies that to the world around them seem psychopathic. The group pledges allegiance to following the teachings and footsteps of their prophet and forefather, Muhammad (Allawi, 2009). Their belief in the Day of Judgment is contradictory to the conventional Christian belief. They follow the takfiri doctrine where they claim to purify the world by killing many people. Their ideologies seem to guide them into killing as in their latest attack where they attacked a mall in Baghdad and killed 18 people.


As Andrew Heywood puts it, the power of ideologies is in the way it guides people's belief …

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