Socialism and the Ideological Dimensions of Globalization

Adapted from Globalism: The New Market Ideology, forthcoming 2001
  • Manfred B. Steger


Steger focuses on a worldwide triumph of a market capitalism version of globalization. Following Ricoeur (1986), Steger portrays market ideology similarly to what we would call a culture, a version of individualism. That is, he argues that capitalist ideology/culture offers, first, a partial vision of reality. He stresses that, because this vision is partial, it is distorted. We add that all visions of reality are partial and thus distorted at least with respect to particular phenomena. Second, capitalist ideology/culture legitimates its partial view of the world. Third, it offers its adherents integration through means such as providing a shared identity based on common social activities that develop from similar patterns of selectively attending to and interpreting how the world works. Steger sees this identity as essentially “consumerist,” combining elements of what we called the popular culture and market capitalism versions of globalization in our introduction to part II. Steger sees this culture as having effectively vanquished the version of socialism that was embodied in the Soviet Union and similar societies. But he thinks the shallowness of this consumerist ideology is vulnerable to an alternative version of socialist egalitarianism stressing the civil, political, and socioeconomic rights of individuals.


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Copyright information

© Lane Crothers and Charles Lockhart 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred B. Steger

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