Russel Kirk said in the 1950's that Conservatism was not an Ideology. So what is an Ideology?
According to my Heinemann Australian Dictionary (1976) it is "the organized system of beliefs or way of thinking of a person or group: 'fascist, communist and democratic ideologies' "
Which I think is inadequate, the word is nearly always implied to have a political meaning, here however it could also mean Catholicism or any number beliefs that are not political. While I will not give a short answer I will give a more complete answer. And to avoid argument I will reinforce the implied meaning that Ideologies are political in nature.
The first thing that all of the Ideologies have in common is that they all have their begins in Christianity. There are none that start outside of Christianity. Therefore all are European. Further all are Protestant in origins. And all of the Ideologies are Heresies. Because each rejects God.
The second commonality is that after God is rejected, man is made capable of the things that once only God could achieve. Man replaces God, in effect man becomes God.
Thirdly just as Ideology replaces God so it also by necessity replaces religion. If man is God then Christianity and by default all other religions, are false religions. As Marx put it 'the opium of the masses', a pipe dream that is illegitimate and that needs to be exposed as illegitimate. So that the truth faith can replace it, the faith of the Ideology.
Fourthly as God is now illegitimate so is his offer of life after death. Anything that is supernatural is to be regarded as false. Only the material world that you and I live in is real, all other worlds and states of being are to be rejected. It is impossible to prove that the supernatural exists, so it is best to reject it all. Only that which we can see is real.
Fifthly, if the material world is the only world that we can exist in then we must build the promised perfect life, not in heaven but here on Earth. Heaven on Earth is now the aim of each and every Ideology.
Sixth heaven on Earth requires perfection. So man, his government and his economy are all perfectible.
Seventh, Ideology is a religion, Each and every one. It has it's God, Man. It has it's priests and it's doctrine. It has it's true faith and it's heretics and it's unbelievers. It has it's message and it spreads it.
Anarchism, Communism, Fascism, Libertarianism, Liberalism, Nazism....they are all religions.
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