Ideology (Democracy)

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 01:42:39 -0600

Date: Wed, 7 Feb 1996 17:16:51 -0500
From: "H-Ideas Co-Editor (David Bailey)"
Subject: Re: Ideology(democracy)

Date: Wed, 07 Feb 1996 13:41:12 +0000
From: Jeff Irvin

In response to Mr. Tapper's comment about democracy and the economic situation of the United States, I would like to just say that I think Americans have always placed economic freedom over individual liberty.

As Robert Freeman Smith has pointed out in his writings, economic freedom precedes political freedom. P.J. O'Rourke says the same thing when he writes that the Sony Walkman and Levi 501s brought down communism.

I am not saying that I buy into this theory but it does sound good on the surface.

Mr. Tapper says that before anyone can question this democratic-capitalist hegemony a more virile ideology will have to emerge.

I agree that we need to question this ideology in its extreme condition, but would it not be better to discuss how this ideology itself can be changed to make it more inclusive, less brutal for those who cannot keep up?

In short I think we have to get away from the dualistic framework which became so much a part of our psyche throughout the Cold War, and which is rooted in our religious history. The idea of good v. evil and communist v. capitalist are outdated ways of looking at things. Freedom cannot be measured solely by economic or political criteria. There is a higher form of freedom, the freedom of the mind and the soul. Even in capitalist democracies this freedom is often times sacrificed on the altar of consumerism, approbation, and work.


Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 15:00:09 -0500
From: "H-Ideas Co-Editor (David Bailey)"
Subject: Re: Ideology(democracy)

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 07:41:40 -0500

Perry Tapper writes: "The political success internationally by the U.S. since the Second World War confirmed for many the value of "democracy", particularly the American brand, as an ideology."

True, but one needs to be careful of assuming that the 'democracy' ideology is consistent or that the word has the same meaning for all who profess the ideology.
I'm wondering of ideologies are "professed" or taught or preached or held or catechized. Interesting collection of late-religious terms there.

-Bill Everdell, Brooklyn

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