Illusions of Ideological Aspirations - Book Report/Review Example

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The very notion of the existence of an ideology pinpoints a strong set of values and conviction attached to it. These are perhaps the rules that govern an individual's everyday life, helping to give his existence meaning and, consequently, something for him to strive for…
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Illusions of Ideological Aspirations
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Download file to see previous pages Put in simpler terms, an ideology is a system of thought that most often finds itself applied to politics and governance. The ideology projects an image of what the person viewing it would see as an ideal society. From the point when the person recognizes this, his actions will be guided by the beliefs and notions of a better world that he perceives to be possible.
However, we sometimes fail to realize that ideology has fully integrated itself into our concept of a model society and government. This occurs even without us even fully comprehending the sometimes unrealistic goals it sets and the many impossible promises it makes. While there are many views on this topic, Ernesto Laclau was not afraid nor hesitant to express his own views and assessment.
Laclau's essay, with its complicated composition and elaborate sentences, argues that there is an illusion of closure in ideology. He seeks to prove this by enumerating the various ways in which ideology is twisted or misrepresented. Primarily, he refers to an inflation of the significance of ideology, as well as its true nature. He explains this throughout the essay, believing that "all analytical precision is lost" (297) because of the aforementioned inflation.
Furthermore, he sends the message that this inflation prevents us from stepping back and offering a more solid critique and unclouded judgment towards ideology (297). Ideology thus becomes a hollow concept that clouds our judgment and senses. It eventually turns into something larger than it actually is. The ideology that motivates people becomes the primary focus rather than the means towards achieving their goals.
Laclau hints in his essay that there is a crisis in the notion of ideology brought about by two interconnected processes. One, according to him, is "the decline of social objectivism", and the other is the disability to see through the distortion in the fabric of ideology (319). Laclau believes that from the first point of view "ideology" has been considered as a level of the social whole, in accordance with what he calls the Marxist trinity of the economic, the political and the ideological (320).
This balance was upset, however, when people began to think that the concept of ideology served as the foundation of the political and economic levels of society. This led to an inflation of the concept of ideology and its subsequent abandonment, when it was perceived to have lost, as mentioned above, all analytic value (320).
In his essay, Laclau differentiates a utopia from a myth. According to him, utopia is an "intellectual construction." A utopia, Laclau writes, can be considered as the "blueprints" of a model - perhaps even perfect - society. On the other hand, a myth is a construction of images that stir the minds and hearts of masses into action because of their perceived message (318). This myth is, in turn, what motivates the people to act towards achieving a society and government founded on the ideology they abide by.
He also mentions in his essay that there is a distortion in the reality of ideology (301). According to him, this distortion is what projects the illusion of completeness and fullness. Thus, this distortion does not merely modify what is already there, it also hides what is incomplete and what would show cracks in the dimension of closure that such an ideology would lack. The illusion of closure is thus created through this deception. Such closure shows us the end goal - where the ideology ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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