Section One: Reading Comprehem.;ion
The term "ideology" is used in different ways. In its most informal, everyday usage,
ideology frequently means little more than a person's general political orientation.
When people say, "Ideologically, I'm a Republican" or "feminism is my ideology",
they often mean simply that they identify with the Republican party or feminist
causes in a general way, without necessarily subscribing to a carefully elaborated
theory of politics or point-by-point programmatic guide to political action. This
generic meaning of the word tends to be used in ordinary political discourse by
most average citizens. But politicians, activists, political scientists, and others who
take a more avid interest in politics usually have a more formal understanding of
ideology. In its formal definition, ideology is a coherent set of ideas that typically
1. A theory about political relationships and the role of the state;
2. A notion of what constitutes political legitimacy and the highest
Political values; and
3. An action program indicating the goals, ideals, policies and tactics to
Be pursued by the state, political elite, and the masses.
This second definition involves a more systematically thought-out
Ideological orientation than the first definition does.
Although ideologies are created by sophisticated thinkers and are grasped in
their entirety by very few people, they can exert a profound
impact on mass political behavior. Political elites are often quite successful at attracting
large followings by getting a few key points of their ideologies across to the masses.
Most people living in established democracies have not read the works of John Locke
or James Madison, but they have learned in the course of their political socialization
that democracy entails the right to vote and various other rights and freedoms.
Throughout history, there have been relatively few political orientations
sufficiently coherent to be regarded as ideologies. In the last century, which is often
called "the century of ideologies", four doctrines which really deserve to be called
ideologies especially nourished: liberalism. Socialism. Fascism and Islam. The sharp
differences among these ideological orientations have fueled some of the most bitter
conflicts in human history. People have fought and died over ideological beliefs by the:
lens of millions.
All these four ideologies have variants. Sometimes these variations are very
similar to one another. Liberals and conservatives in the contemporary United States,
for example, are in basic agreement on the Constitution, on the nature of the economy
as a mixture of private enterprise and state intervention. But in other cases the diverse
tendencies within an ideology can be so disparate as to constitute distinctive ideologies
in their own right. At times these internal variants have sparked intense conflicts
between there adherents, resulting in prolonged debates and in some cases bloody
feuds over the ideology's "correct" interpretation. The socialist tradition, for example,
produced two fundamentally different strains: Soviet-type communism and Western-
oriented social democracy. Islam has produced several competing doctrinal and
political orientations as well.
In the twenty-first century, liberalism essentially means democracy in its oldest and
broadest definition; however, liberalism refers to (1 system of government that
guarantees liberty. This was the original meaning of the
term as it emerged in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in
England and as it developed over the course of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and
early twentieth centuries, particularly in Britain, America, and France. In its earliest
manifestation, liberalism posed a direct challenge to government by absolute
monarchs and aristocracies, expressing the basic idea that the power of the state
should be limited and that certain freedoms should be granted to the people by
law. From the outset, it opposed tyrannical state power and regarded citizenry, not
God, as the source of a state's legitimacy.
For its earliest theoreticians, like John Locke, Madison, and Thomas Jefferson,
liberalism did not imply mass democracy based on universal suffrage. The early
liberals espoused a highly elitist concept of liberalism based on the view that only a
small segment of the people, consisting predominantly of wealthy, educated white
males, was sufficiently enlightened to govern society and ensure the
implementation of basic civil rights and liberties. Economic liberalism stressed the
notion that the state should strictly limit its role in the economy, leaving the bulk of
the nation's economic activities in the hands of private individuals and companies.
Early economic liberalism championed free-enterprise economy.
The liberal doctrine evolved over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries, and the notion that a liberal political order requires mass democratic
participation gradually asserted itself. Universal adult suffrage finally became a
reality during and after World War I as women gained the right to vote in Britain
(1918), Germany (1919), and the United States (1920). As a consequence,
liberalism as a political ideology is now, in the twenty-first century, synonymous
with modern democracy.
The concept of economic liberalism also changed over time, especially during
the second half of the twentieth century. Since World War II most proponents of
private enterprise have accepted the view that governments should playa
significant role in national economic life. Instead of advocating
a completely free-enterprise economic system, they accept a partially free enterprise system. Today's
economic liberals acknowledge that governments must raise taxes, regulate banks and stock markets,
promote economic growth, and provide various social welfare measures for the population such as
education, unemployment, insurance, and pensions. Most economic liberals today accept a far greater
degree of government interference III economy than their counterparts would have permitted in earlier
Hence we can make a general distinction among economic liberals and differentiate classical
liberals. Who favored virtually no governmental intervention in the economy, from neo-classical liberals,
who favor private enterprise but admit that governments need to playa major role in national economic
life? In today's world, classical liberals are a vanished breed.
Sodaro (2002) and other sources.
Section Two: Further Reading
I __ iberalism and Conservatism in the 21 st Century
The interacting concepts of political and economic liberalism have resulted in
several different stands of liberalism in the contemporary world. In the United
States, for example, the term "liberalism" as used in everyday parlance has a
narrower, more specific meaning than the generic ones. Liberalism in the United
States is a variant of the liberal tradition that can be called social-welfare liberalism.
Social-welfare liberalism means active government intervention in the economy and
society for the purpose of promoting growth, community welfare, and social justice.
With its stress on government activism, this conception of liberalism took shape in
Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Assuming office in 1933 at a time when American
political traditions precluded massive governmental interference in the private
sector, Roosevelt boldly broke precedent and launched sweeping measures to
combat the prevalent economic crisis, the biggest in the United States history,
known as the Great Depression. In the process, proponents of federal gov.:rnment
activism in the United States became known as "liberals" mainly because they
favored a liberal (i.e. permissive) interpretation of the Constitution's injunction to
"promote the general welfare".
As a general rule, American social-welfare liberals support private enterprise
as the basis of national economy. They are not socialists, because they do not favor
abolishing private enterprise or drastically limiting its scope In favor of a
predominantly state-controlled economic system. However, most social-welfare
liberals in the United States would favor government intervention in the private
economy in order to promote various social goals. Such measures would include
taxing wealthier citizens in order to raise funds for antipoverty programs or general
welfare purposes, such as public education, imposing environmental regulations on
and using the powers of the law to combat racial or gender discrimination in the
private sector. Historically, American liberals have tended to side with the labor
movement in labor-management disputes. They have generally made their home
in the Democratic Party.
Conservatism in the United States is the heir to the classical liberal tradition of
minimal government interference in the economy. During the New Deal decades,
many rock-ribbed conservatives viewed Roosevelt's interventions in the economy
as heresy. As time went on, and many New Deal programs such as social security
and the regulation of the private banking system proved their popularity, most
conservatives came to accept the notion that the government must play an
expanded role in the modern American economy. Nowadays the differences
between liberals and conservatives in the United States are considerably less acute
than in the 1930s. With respect to economic issues, they tend to be mainly
differences of degree rather than differences of principle. Contemporary
conservatives (or neo-conservatives) do not reject government interventionism in
principle but tend toward skepticism about its effectiveness in dealing with poverty
or ameliorating other social conditions. As a general tendency, conservatives prefer
more limited government activism, less government spending, and greater freedom
for the private sector. They tend to side with the business sector in labor-
management relations. In recent decades, modem liberals and conservatives have
also differed on such value issues as abortion and school prayer, with "cultural
conservatives", often connected with the Christian right, more inclined to take pro-
prayer positions than liberals are. Conservatives have generally gravitated to the
Even these differences can be blurred depending upon the individual.
Some contemporary American liberals take conservative positions on particular
issues (favoring a balanced budget or discouraging abortion, for example) while
some conservatives may adopt liberal points of view on various issues (for
example, by opposing discrimination or favoring legal
abortion). There are also wide areas of liberal-conservative agreement on various foreign issues. These
converging viewpoints help moderate political contlict in the United States.
The term "liberalism" also has two meanings in many countries outside the United States, roughly
similar to those employed in the American context. Throughout much of the world, the first meaning of
liberalism is its traditional one: a generic political orientation favoring political and economic freedom
and opposing authoritarianism and socialism. In countries where it is not permitted to exist, liberalism is
frequently understood in this fundamental sense.
The second connotation of liberalism roughly approximates the more specific meaning that the
term has acquired in twentieth-first-century U.S. politics. Like social-welfare liberals in the United States,
many politicians and political parties that label themselves "liberal" in Canada, Western Europe, and
elsewhere combine staunch support for private enterprise with attitudes favoring a certain amount of
state intervention to improve general living conditions. European liberals, for example, constitute a
centrist movement positioned in between the more conservative parties on their right, and the working-
class-oriented social democratic parties on their left.
Conservatism also assumes different meanings in different contexts. In its most literal meaning,
conservatism means resistance to any kind of change unless absolutely necessary. In the famous words of
Sir Edward Grey, "When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change."
Sodaro (20C)] )
Section Three: Translation Activities
A. Translate the following passage into Persian.
Historically, fascism is mainly a European phenomenon that emerged between the
two world wars. Its most successful manifestations occurred in Italy, where Benito
Mussolini's National Fascist Party held power from 1922 until 1943, and in
Germany, where Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party ruled between 1933 and 1945.
Fascist movements also existed in other European countries during the inter-war
period, including France, Hungary, and Romania, but they did not acquire the
extraordinary grip on power achieved by their Italian and German counterparts.
Fascist-like movements and groups have also emerged in other parts of the globe
up to the present day. The American Nazi Party, neo-Nazi skinheads in Europe, and
white-supremacist Afrikaner groups in South Africa are some examples of quasi-
fascist or neofascist organizations in the contemporary era.
Reduced to its basic elements, fascist ideology consists of the following four
points: hypernationalism, racism. totalitarianism, and mass mobilization through
propaganda and coercion.
Hypernationalism is an extreme version of nationalism which forms the root
of fascism. Nationalism is the notion that the members of one's nation
(or "people") must act together or achieve certain collective goals. In its fascist
variant, the concept of nation is exalted to the rank of a supreme political value.
For the fascists, the conception of nationalism is far more intense than patriotism,
which means love of one's country. National glory and self-assertion assume the
highest priority on the political agenda of most fascist movements. Mussolini was
determined to establish an Italian empire through the conquest of Ethiopia in 1936
and other territorial acquisitions during World War II. Hitler sought to subdue all of
Europe and the Soviet Union by force of arms, with the expressed intention of
creating a fascist "New Order". Chauvinism, which is strong aversion to anything
foreign, is a typical component of the fascist worldview. For many fascists, love of
one's own country requires hatred of others, particularly those marked as
Sodaro (200 I) and other sources.