Extreme left-wing ideology based on the revolutionary socialist teachings of Marx. Collective ownership and a planned economy. Each should work to their capability and receive according to their needs.
1) what is politics about? why is it so important to study?
2)what characteristics are common to all political ideologies(e.g, communism, anarchism, feminism)?
3) How has political ideologies changed over the past 150 years and what accounts for this change?
4) what are the differences between Marxist and non-Marxist conceptions of ideology?
READ-Heywood,A.(2012) political ideologies: an introduction. 5th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian.( CHAPTER 1-INTRODUCTION:IDEOLOGY AND IDEOLOGIES)
Persuasion in most of these states did not derive from developing a particular ideological claim. For instance, traditional kingships refer to the traditions of the remote past, to ancestral claims and obligations, Marxist states claim that they serve the interests of the workers, while democracies claim to be representing the people. The only claim left to some of these dynasts, e.g. Cesare Borgia, was the appeal to naked power and the ability to coerce their subjects - hence it is easier to rule by fear than love ( Book XVII). Greed was the motivating factor only for the few, necessity was the motivation of the many. In the last three hundred years numerous other claims, including notions of the rule of law, of a social contract, and of the ultimate benefit of the state or the people have been used to help stabilize governments. After 1494, Italy more and more was drawn into the broader political fabric of Europe, and many major powers fought their differences out Italian soil. Politics in Italy during Machiavelli's lifetime were far from normal, either in relation to the Middle Ages or the early modern period. Therefore, Machiavelli's solutions are not really generalizable, nor were his recommendations in the end effective for Renaissance Italy. Italy in turn would only be unified after the legacy of the Napoleonic wars through a mix of nationalism, liberalism and republicanism (which led to a constitutional monarchy) and the effective exclusion of foreign powers. has been over-rated as a guide book for rulers, and at best provided guidance for very particular political environments.
In this section, we will explore some of the main themes of the text of , and make a brief comparison with some of the main strands of 20th century political realism. We can then briefly evaluate certain aspects of this realist tradition.
Machiavelli claims to be accurately describing politics and social relations as he understood them. His method was essentially that of a case-study approach: he would always illustrate his ideas using one example from the ancient world, and one from contemporary 16th century Italian affairs. However, is Machiavelli describing these events as accurately as he claims? Second, are these affairs typical of the period or are they specific and unrepresentative examples?
This notion of the rule of law and a balance of powers are not highly valued in , the work for which Machiavelli is today (in)famous. There are two ways of relating these three political groups of the prince, nobility and people. Usually they are viewed as a potentially stable hierarchy of classes. However, it terms of political alliances, it is quite possible to view them as a wheel in which internal alliances, external interventions (from France, Spain or the Holy Roman Empire), or the use of mercenaries (Condottieri) can bring about a literal revolution. In this system the prince might ally with the people if the nobles get too strong, or use the nobles to crush the people. Likewise, the nobles might ally themselves with the lower estates to remove the Prince. Machiavelli uses both models, depending on the state of affairs under discussion.
Machiavelli, in fact, was reacting to wide range of traditional learning, much of which had an idealistic imperative, i.e. it was concerned with improving the state and the life of the individual. There were several texts in the ancient tradition to which Machiavelli was reacting. For, example, Cicero's was an attempt to define the way an office holder or official should execute his duties. Essentially, he advised that the highest moral standards should be adhered to, and that officials should also be generous and just in their dealings. These claims, which greatly influenced Renaissance thought, were largely rejected by Machiavelli as either inefficient, or actually dangerous to the rule of the Prince ( XVI). We might also mention Cicero's , another book attempting to define a Utopian republic in which political extremes are avoided. Democracy is allowed some small place in this constitution, but liberty is not allowed to become license. More importantly, Cicero recognized that for a Republic to work, there had to be a certain commonality in the aims and values of its people: without some level of shared aspirations and goals, different classes within the society would eventually tear it apart (for Machiavelli's divergences from Cicero, see Lukes 2001, pp562-563). Now it is true that many modern European states originally began as ethnic and cultural unities. However, with the expansion of states across larger territories, and with a growing cultural and religious pluralism, such a unified world-view is often impossible. It is for this reason that the seminal Chistian thinker, St. Augustine, in his the , decided that no earthly republic could be truly just, nor without conflict, a view which Machiavelli also sought to transcend.
In part, Machiavelli was reacting against the elevated political standards argued for in Christian scholarship. During the later Middle Ages and the early Renaissance period, Christianity, with its emphasis on the spiritual life of man, on his inner virtues and intentions, had set a much higher standard for its Princes than even the ancients had. Indeed, the Prince was supposed to be a model of Christian virtue, and fulfil a religious function in defending the Church and propagating its virtues. Taking for example, the work of Egidio Colonna in the 13th century, we see that the Prince both in his personality and in his administration of his household and state is supposed to attain the highest levels of talent and morality. The picture is ideal, and deduced from general Christian principles of conduct (Adams 1971, p155).
First, Machiavelli claims to be focusing on what really happens rather than mere theories or speculations ( Book XV). Second, that adhering to what should be rather than what actually occurs can lead to self-destruction. This is the basis of the general claim by many of Machiavelli's commentators that he is a realist on two counts: first, that he bases his discussion on historical and contemporary evidence which provides an empirical base for his work. Second, that in refuting ethical and moral claims and substituting them with the 'real' principles underlying statecraft, he is freeing the leader from any obligation to follow these ideals, i.e. Machiavelli is perhaps the Renaissance grandfather of . This term real-politik has been extended to cover the notion of the blending of power, self-interest, and some limited credence to morals, into a 'policy of the possible'. (for example, in post-world war II political thought, as expressed by H. Morgenthau, see below. In most democratic forms of government, legalists would prefer to modify this approach to 'the policy of the possible and the permissible').
Greek thinkers were very much concerned with the stability and justice of states; for through 500 years of the Greek city-states most of them had suffered regular upheavals and continual warfare. Politics sought for constitutions which were both robust and able to survive inter-state warfare. That is to say, internal and external politics were connected. These issues were also extremely important in the unstable world of Italian city-states during the Renaissance. For Machiavelli, as we shall see, good laws are dependant on 'good', i.e. efficient military forces (, Book XII). However, for Greek historian Polybius, the ability to raise and maintain an efficient army is dependent on a stable state which avoids internal revolution and conflict through having a balanced constitution. In modern terms, the effective strength of an organization is based on its stability and integration as much as on its brute strength or total size, a point also recognized by the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu. States also need to be able to face and survive external threats, without destroying the bases of their own societies. We shall return to this point in our later discussion.