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No Single Ideology is Best for All Man

December 10, 2010

Throughout this course we have look at many writers who state their claim as to which political ideology is correct to best administer a population. We’ve looked at Locke who argues that people are equal and wants a democratic system of government. By contrast there’s Burke who contends that people are unequal and wants a divine monarchy. Beyond these examples we’ve looked at many political theorists, each making a logical case for their ideology and often contradicting what others says. To me this must mean that none of these authors are entirely right. Political theory is more a matter of matching the right ideology to a people and situation than one person having the right answer.

Evidence for this theory comes from the fact that there are hundreds of nations using scores of different political ideologies. While some of these countries obviously operate with corrupt or inept governments, there is great diversity among successful nations as well. The United States, for example, is a Lockeian republic and has had obvious success. The ideals of inalienable property rights along with free speech and a mostly free economy have created largely unprecedented standards for wealth. By contrast China is quickly emerging as an economic powerhouse and approaching superpower status in the world community. This despite their government’s authoritarian approach and denying their citizens many of the same civil rights that are paramount to the success of America. However, despite having a closed, non-transparent centralized government, China made necessary economic policy changes that were necessary to the well being of their country. Not tying themselves down to a specific doctrine and ideology allowed China to make the best decision for their country and turn it from a largely agrarian society to a booming industrial economy.

The United States and China are only two of many examples of the need for differing political ideologies for different peoples. What Marx says about capitalists has some truth, as does Hobbes’ idea of the sovereign and Macchiavelli’s concept that the ends always justify the means. The key for politics therefore, is not finding the correct ideology, but applying the right ideas to the right situations.

5 Comments
  1. Shauna Sitarek permalink
    December 10, 2010 11:15 AM

    I’m really glad you wrote this post. I think you touched on a subject that has come up a lot during the semester, and gave nice example to go with each argument/example.

    While working with my group to complete the group project, we often talked about who we thought overall was the best theorists, and each of us struggled to come up with one superior theorist. In the end we too agreed that some theories worked better than others,depending on what the actual situation was, and that there was not really a superior theorist.

    Also a few times this semester in my discussion class we had all mentioned that we would have had an easier time choosing a theory that might be preferred if the theorist had written something like, MOST people would act civilized in a state of nature, instead of saying ALL people would act civilly in a state of nature.

    Again, I really like the post, I think you touched on a topic that a lot of us have been thinking about throughout the semester.

  2. George Xue permalink
    December 10, 2010 6:41 PM

    Well though post joshmkaplan. I think that the idea that you are trying to present is very true within our modern society. Everyone comes from a different place and everyone is shaped by different ideals, values and morals. Therefore, it is not a surprise that there are so many different political ideologies that have been formulated throughout history.

    Everyone views the world and how it is suppose function through a different lens. In the end, it is through the current state that a country is in that shapes the kind of government that is present. And throughout history, though some governments may have thought to have been “appropriate” at that time, we can clearly see today which governments and which political ideologies are working and which ones aren’t.

    There’s that saying, “______ in the eye of the beholder.” I think political theory works in this way to an extent. It is not what is always right or what is wrong, it is what we interpret it to be, what we make of it at the current place and current time.

  3. Joe D'Angelo permalink
    December 10, 2010 6:45 PM

    I think this post is brilliant. It really gives proof to how no single idealogy is perfect. Each of them can be useful depending on the situation. This understanding really sums up practically everything we have been learning about this semester.

  4. xuegeo permalink
    December 10, 2010 7:07 PM

    Well thought out idea. I think this holds very true for modern day society as the world is made up of all different political ideologies. It isn’t so much as to which one is right and which one is wrong, but it is based on the current place and the current situation. Everyone comes from a different place that is characterized by different values, morals and ideologies and it is what we make of it and how we interpret it that makes it right or wrong.

  5. chrisolah permalink
    December 10, 2010 9:39 PM

    Of course no ideology will be fitting to get millions of “individuals” happy in a country. Everybody has different views and nothing can make everybody happy. So I believe the best path is the utilitarian path, to make the most people content as possible (as long as it’s not at the cost at lowering somebody else quality of life). They key is to find a happy medium that makes the most people happy.

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