2 Ideology DefinedIdeology is a set of basic beliefs about life, culture, government, and society.Politics – Process by which people decided which members of society get certain benefits or privileges and which do notStruggle for power or influence within institutions or organizations (govt is an institution)A political ideology provides the framework for looking at government and public policy.Closely linked set of beliefs about politics
3 IdeologyMost Americans don’t follow a strict ideology, but rather decide their position on an issue by issue basis.Inconsistency – Many people might favor lower taxes AND better schools and services.Its never good to make generalizations about what a certain “group” thinks
5 Liberal – “Left-ist”A person with liberal ideology believes that the national government should be active in helping individuals and communities and improving the welfare of individuals.Respect civil/individual liberties/rights.Every segment of society gets a fair deal.Traditionally viewed as the group that favors change and new ideasGovt should take action to reduce poverty and regulate the economy
6 Conservative – “Right-ist” A conservative believes the role of government in society should be very limited.Individuals should be responsible for their own well-being.Government should not solve social problems, but private institutions should (they are more effective/efficient).Traditionally viewed as the group that avoided changeSupport for traditional valuesStrong sense of patriotism
7 ModeratesModerate’s opinions fall somewhere between liberal and conservative.40% of Americans claim to be moderate.
8 Some Comparisons Death Penalty Defense/Military Spending Minimum Wage Liberals – against itConservatives – for itDefense/Military SpendingLiberals -- decrease or maintain amountConservatives – increase amountMinimum WageLiberals – increase itConservative – lower or eliminate it
9 Radical – Far LeftBelieve society exploits people and want to drastically change society in order to change it.Example group – anarchists, Earth First
10 Reactionary – Far Right Strongly conservativeSmall minority of peopleSolve society’s problems by going back to an earlier time or use religious based solutions
12 Libertarians Center-Right side of spectrum Believe in a very small government whose role is limited to defense and resolving disputesDo not want any gov. involvement in economics or society
13 Communism and Fascism Neither fit in the traditional spectrum Communism – revolutionary variant of socialism that favors a dictatorship, govt control of all enterprise and a centrally planned economyFacism – 20th c. ideology that exalts the national collective united behind an absolute ruler. Fascism rejects liberalism, glorifies war, and favors elitism.