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This essay is aimed to discuss the meaning of ideology and it different uses and abuses to which it may be put in a politics

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Introduction

This essay is aimed to discuss the meaning of ideology and it different uses and abuses to which it may be put in a politics. The term ideology has to do with legitimating the power of dominant social group or class. A dominant power which legitimate itself by promoting beliefs and values congenial to it naturalizing and universalising. This belief are to render them self evident and apparently inevitable (T. Eagleton 1991 p5). Ideology is the name given to any comprehensive and mutually consistent set of ideas by which a social group makes sense of the world. (Iain Mclean 1996 p233). When ideology is employed in the use of government it affect not only those who already conform to the ideology but those citizens who do not. Ideology is a body of ideas that reflect the beliefs of nation political system and which is called political ideology. Marx defined ideology as major instruments in the hands of ruling class, used to deceive subordinate classes about true nature of capitalism and to perpetuate its own dominion. (Godwin 1992 p20). An ideology may be seen not simply as social interest but as rationalising them. This means when try to defend something indefensible and cloaking some disreputable motive in high-sounding ethical terms( T. Eagleton1991 p51). In other words, ideology would be seem to make reference not only to belief systems, but to question of power, for example, the main opposition party in Britain, (Conservatives) pointed out some lapses by the ruling party (Labour) ...read more.

Middle

Alternatively if the individual is encouraged to 'stand on his own feet' then he enjoys dignity and become a productive member of society. The Thatcher and Major government subscribed to this view and they attacked the dependency culture, which has developed through the welfare state, thus they advocated 'Roll back the state'. (A. Heywood, 1992 pp54-55). Modern Liberalism on the other hand outline the modern basis of equal opportunity and defend the case for welfares, if particular individual are socially disadvantaged, then the state possesses a social responsibility to reduce or remove this disadvantages. Ideologies provide a preferred picture of the world. (Rush 1992 p183). This idea reflected on the development of welfare state. Such as the right to work and the to decent housing. So the distinction between the traditional and modern liberal ideology is that Traditional liberals believe that the only rights to which the citizen is entitled is 'Negative' rights whereas the Modern liberals believe that the citizen are entitled to positive rights. (A. Heywood, 1992 pp58-59). Conservatism idea can also be broken down into two traditions, which address the issue of social inequality namely: Paternalistic conservatism and libertarian conservatism. The Paternalistic conservative tradition can be related to the UK Prime Minister Benjamin Disraili who emphasised the traditional conservative belief that society is held together by an acceptance of duty and obligations. He believes that society is socially unequal and shoulder the burden of docile responsibility, These ideas came to be known as 'one nation conservatism' and when the welfare state was introduced in Britain it was accepted in the ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to labour ideology background any change in welfare state is arguable the welfare state in unsafe hand. This was underlined when Blair appointed Frank Field to ''think the unthinkable'' for example, the abolishment of the welfare state or an alternative system such as Means Testing. Welfare reform has been highlighted by Blair is correct in gauging that a 1945 deal is not pragmatic for the 2000 era. Other ideas introduced by labour to safeguard the welfare state are: - NHS trusts where the health service has been transformed from a bureaucratic system to a value based system, and various proposal regarding benefits to end the dependency culture of the 1980'ssuch as means testing, and redirecting money to those who need it most (Child Tax Credits). Finally, if we look at each perspective response to the inequality we can see that a traditional Liberalism, libertarian conservatism and Marxists, all believed in restricted role of the state. Whereas modern liberalism, paternalistic conservatism and social democrats all seek expansion of the welfare state exists, even though they all claim to be from different ideologies and claim to have rationale for their belief Conclusion, in my view as long as ideology exists there can never be a consensus among all as how people should live and view the world. Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism are notable example of major ideologies in this world that employed by those who posses power. Due to the way the political process works, ideology can affect many areas of life, social equality is one of such area, which falls victim of changing perspectives and ideologies of those who posses power. ...read more.

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