Louis Althusser's Philosophy And Ideology

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Louis Althusser was a French Marxist philosopher and interpreter of Marxism, whose essay “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” had pioneered the concept of “ideological state apparatuses”, their relationships and their effects on society. His work is still considered very important, when one is trying to describe ideology as an imperative part of the culture. Nevertheless. it is highly questionable if the ideas described in his work are still applicable to the modern society. This essay covers the specific problems of Althusser 's worldview and aims to demonstrate that the general ideas described in Althusser 's “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” are still applicable to the modern pluralistic society, but do require some minor modifications. Althusser differentiated between two types of ISAs that make the capitalist mode of production possible. The first one was called Repressive State Apparatus(RSA) and was comprised of various types of executive state structures and institutions. The RSAs, according to Althusser, are mainly used to maintain a monopoly of power inside of the capitalist society and at the same time to apply that monopoly in order to sustain capitalist class structures. The second one was called Ideological State Apparatus(ISA) and was working not by power or politics but rather by ideological influence. There are many different ISAs: the family, school, diverse religious institutions and religion as a whole. Each of those, according to

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