Theory And Political Ideology - Assignment Example

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The essay "Theory And Political Ideology" describes undoubtedly, for a layman, both theory and ideology could mean the same thing. In fact, they are used synonymously and interchangeably in our everyday language. Try going around your neighborhood and ask about their theories and ideologies…
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Theory and Political Ideology Undeniably, to a layman, both theory and ideology could mean the same thing. They are in fact used synonymously and interchangeably in our everyday language. After all, they both refer to that set of abstract ideas which we use to explain almost everything. However, I would say that in terms of practical usage, theory is more popular than ideology. Try going around your neighborhood and ask about their theories and ideologies. Not everyone will admit to having a specific ideology, political or otherwise. But almost everyone will have a theory on something, especially our favorite conspiracy theories.
This paper shall try to answer the questions on theory and ideology within the context of its popular understanding and practical use. It is fairly easy to discuss about these concepts as they are defined in our books. But to see them in light of the real-world perspective is a different matter.
As aforementioned, everyone has a theory in mind. However, not everyone has access to the works of celebrated theorists and their philosophical definition of these concepts. Hence, I shall be relying on the ubiquitous dictionary for their simple definitions. Mr. Webster defines theory as “the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another” while ideology is a “visionary theorizing or a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture.”
Theory, therefore, is our attempt to put order into our world. We try to analyze the myriad of things and events and organize them into different boxes called theories. But then again, we may have cleaned up the mess but we end up with a maze of piles of boxes. Despite proper labeling, it still is difficult to find what you need without first going through all of them. So, we organized them further into different categories which we also apply to other aspects of our lives. These are now what we wall ideologies.
Ideology is not a study of ideas like biology is the study of life. Rather, ideology refers to the body of ideas itself. We may not be consciously aware of it but even the most politically neutral person is guided by a specific political ideology, in this case, that of political neutrality. This political neutrality could be based on the theory that it is much safer to not take sides at all. In other words, our ideologies are composed of and the result of the different theories that we believe in. Our theories on politics, conspiracy or otherwise, determine the ideology that we adhere to.
To possess an ideology is one thing but to pro-actively promote this ideology unto others earns the proponent the name Ideologue. These are the type of people do not just believe that their ideology is better than the others; they believe that it is the only true and good one. They are like zealous religious preachers who believe that theirs is the only true path to righteousness and the rest who do not go with them will perish. For this reason, an ideologue is committed to expound on his philosophy in order to convince others to believe the same.
People have theories and ideologies, and there will always be ideologues. Throughout history and up to the present, wars are fought in the name of an ideology. I just wonder if we will ever have peace. As Mark Hendrickson has said, “The problem is not that people are ideologues, but that we have different and opposing ideologies.”
Works Cited:
Hendrickson, Mark. Who’s an “Ideologue”? American Thinker. June 2, 2011. Available at
"ideology." Merriam-Webster, 2011.
Web. June 4, 2011
"theory." Merriam-Webster, 2011.
Web. June 4, 2011 Read More
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