The Importance Of Ideology In Politics

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The term ideology was born in highly controversial philosophical and political debate and fights of the French Revolution and acquired several other meanings from the early days of the First French Empire to the present. The word was coined by Antoine Destutt de Tracy in 1796. He used it to refer to one aspect of his science of ideas that would be concerned about the systematic study of how people think. “The term quickly acquired negative connotations when Napoleon Bonaparte, military ruler of the French republic used it to accuse the philosophers of disseminating ideas that were undermining French society” (Fourie 2007). In the nineteenth century German philosopher Karl Marx took the concept of ideology with negative connotations and developed it to the present form. “When we use ideological terms such as liberalism and conservatism, we imply reasonably integrated sets of values and beliefs that are fairly consistent in the application of these values and beliefs in public affairs”, (Thomas and Dye, 1997:283).
The analysis of political ideology
There has been considerable analysis of different ideological patterns. This kind of analysis has been described by some philosophers as meta-ideology the study of the structure, form and manifestation of ideologies, according to African National Congress (ANC) manifesto “ the result of a wide consultation process with our allies, involving communities and key sectors of society including workers, business, religious, youth and
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