Posts Tagged

Ideology

The Anglo-Saxon understanding of ‘liberalism’ can be contrasted with the continental European understanding of the term, especially the French one. The liberal tradition in the United Kingdom or the United States refers to ‘social-liberalism’. In France, liberalism is often associated with the Anglo-Saxon conception of ‘economic-liberalism’ involving deregulation and a free market economy, which are, to an extent, alien to French views of the state and the economy. But liberalism is more than free market capitalism; it also relates to the role of the state.

What do John Maynard Keynes, Michael Young, Thomas Balogh, Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, Eric Hobsbawm, Anthony Giddens, Phillip Blond, Tim Soutphommasane and Michael Sandel have in common? Apart from them all being intellectual men, they were, at one time or another, recognised, often by everybody except themselves, as ‘gurus’.

Aside from cementing Obama’s tenuous lead (Silver now puts Obama’s chances at above 80%), Mitt Romney’s ‘47% gaffe’ also proved unexpectedly useful, if vexing, for conservatives.

‘Conservatives need to recast the argument about free enterprise for a new age, or risk losing the debate to a tide of anti-market socialisation.’         Elizabeth Truss MP David Cameron’s first major Cabinet reshuffle since becoming Prime Minister in May 2010 was accused or hailed as signifying a ‘shift to the right’. The bruiser of the Tory Left Kenneth Clarke was replaced at the Ministry of Justice by Chris Grayling, a darling of the Tory Right. Matthew Hancock and Michael Fallon, two unabashed Thatcherites, have been installed as Business ministers whose primary purpose is to restrain the egalitarian and regulatory urges of Vince Cable. Other signals that the Coalition has moved to the ideological Right bear witness with …

‘President Obama has said that he wants to transform America. I don’t want to transform America; I want to restore the values of economic freedom, opportunity, and small government that have made this nation the leader it is.’ (4 April 2012, Remarks to the Newspaper Association of America) It is less than a hundred days until the election for the most powerful political office in the world, the President of the United States of America. The November election ‘will be a defining event’. Not said by the usual peddlers of political commentary and punditry, but by the Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney. The US election of 2008 was monumental and arguably constituted a dramatic turning point in the political history …

John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, recently posted a long statement explaining his opposition to same-sex marriage. Some of it appeared in the Guardian and on the Guardian’s CIF Belief blog. In it he referenced an interview he recently gave to the Daily Telegraph, which contains the following statement: We supported Civil Partnerships (the bishops in the House of Lords), because we believe that friendships are good for everybody. Like other religious opponents of same-sex marriage, he goes on to argue that civil partnership is “in every respect in ethical terms an honourable contract of a committed relationship”. Same-sex couples, he therefore says, should not press for marriage. But his factual claim is false. The main Lords debate on the …

The ‘Conservative-led’ Coalition Government, to apply Sir Winston Churchill’s oft-quoted comment on Russia, is nothing short of ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’. Nevertheless, we can can try to decode its behaviour in both ideological terms and its necessary translation into action-oriented public policy positions. It shouldn’t be hard. The Economist recently described the Cameron Government as the ‘West’s most radical government’. The formation of the Coalition, to use the jargon of political science, was potentially an ‘inflection point’ in British politics. It has, even with a limited two-year perspective, the potential to be as seismic a political benchmark as the 1945 landslide victory for Clement Attlee’s programme for democratic socialism or Mrs Thatcher’s 1979 election victory …

Recently retired from Mansfield College, Oxford, Professor Michael Freeden, a political theorist is best known for his work on political ideologies, a subject often maligned as an inferior cousin of political philosophy and political theory. Marx did no favours for the term, of course, and End of Ideology thinkers like Daniel Bell and Seymour Martin Lipset defined ideologies so narrowly and pejoratively that few are inclined to attach their thinking to the moniker – or believe it is worth studying. But scholars interested in the interaction between ideologies and language, like Freeden, and also post-Marxist scholars like Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, have resurrected the study – and the word.  In his landmark book, Ideologies and Political Theory, Freeden argues that …