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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ideology and Society

Society is founded upon a worldview. A “worldview is … an interpretation of all things, an opinion concerning the best means for removing uneasiness as much as possible.”(Mises) World views are the primary ends of an ideology which are “doctrines concerning our individual conduct and social relations.” An ideology is an idea of how society should be shaped in order to achieve a world view.

By society it is meant to mean a group of interacting individuals who cooperate in complex network of cooperation and neutrality. Only individuals can have ideologies. “Society is a collective concept and nothing else... [Society] conveys the idea of a purpose or point of contact in which each individual, while retaining, his identity and pursuing his private concerns”(Chodorov) form a collective group which is held together for various purposes which are only known to the individual.

Worldviews, weather its peace, prosperity, freedom or religion, is the end goal of an ideology. All society is formed by various ideologies and is guided by various worldviews. Ideologies act as a means for attaining an individual's worldview. Conflict is the result of an ideological struggle. However, unlike the Marxist concept of an ideological struggle, ideology comes before economic considerations. The Industrial Revolution came with a set of ideological planning that made it possible. Basically, the concept of Capitalism did not come after the Industrial Revolution, but preceded it and made it possible.

An ideological struggle refers to conflict in society as to the direction that it should move to achieve a goal. It is here that both Marxists and Libertarians agree. After all, both Marxists and Libertarians believe in the well being of people, but their means of attaining that well-being differs. A society cannot both have property rights and revoke them entirely. Intervention is also not a middle ground but an ideological struggle that pushes and pulls at the two poles of the ideological spectrum either towards or away from economic freedom. Eventually, as Ludwig von Mises pointed out, society must choose one way or the other.

Quotations are from

Frank Chordorov “The Rise and Fall of Society”

Ludwig von Mises “”Human Action”

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