Political Ideologies: A Comparative Approach

By Mostafa Rejai | Go to book overview
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the civil rights movement, the student movement, the peace (anti-Vietnam and antinuclear) movements, the feminist movement, "stagflation," and the ascendancy of the Reaganites and the Moral Majority. Insofar as they bear on ideologies, however, there is nothing surprising about these occurrences.

More specifically, the charged environment of the 1960s gave rise to a variety of "radical" ideologies associated with the Students for a Democratic Society, the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, and similar groups. By contrast, the flaccid environment of the 1980s produced a group of "neoconservatives" who sought to reestablish the old social, political, military, and religious values and traditions.

In short, as the economic, industrial, and technological conditions that gave rise to ideologies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries underwent transformation, so did the ideologies to which they had given rise. As these conditions transformed and stabilized, the ideologies in question underwent corresponding modification and modulation. By the same token, new conditions set the stage for the emergence of new and appropriate ideologies.

As with many other aspects of human life, ideologies are always in a state of flux, never remaining constant for long periods of time. Insofar as they constitute "normal" societal phenomena, ideologies will always remain with us. Understandably, "good times" tend to coincide with moderate and flexible ideologies; "bad times," with more militant and rigid ones.

Selected Bibliography

Aron, Raymond. The Opium of the Intellectuals. New York: Norton, 1962.

Bell, Daniel. The End of Ideology. New York: Free Press, 1960.

Benda, Julien. The Betrayal of the Intellectuals. Boston: Beacon Press, 1955.

Cox, Richard H., ed. Ideology, Politics, and Political Theory. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1969.

Lipset, Seymour M. Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics. New York: Doubleday, 1960.

Rejai, Mostafa, ed. Decline of Ideology. New York: Atherton Press, 1971. (This book contains an extensive bibliography on the subject.)

Shils, Edward. "The End of Ideology?" Encounter 5 ( November 1955): 52-58.

Waxman, Chaim I., ed. The End of Ideology Debate. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1968.

Young, James P. The Politics of Affluence. San Francisco: Chandler, 1968.


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Political Ideologies: A Comparative Approach


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