The End of Ideology

Part of the French Politics, Society and Culture Series book series (FPSC)


In the classic sense articulated by Karl Marx, the very purpose of the struggle against the status quo was to break the hold of ideology. Its social origin was clear and its purpose was unmistakeable: to hide the real nature of human relations in a bourgeois society and in so doing keep the wage-labourer bound to his owner by invisible threads. Ideology was the key component in the attempt to prevent the workers from grasping the real nature of their condition and it operated in order to serve the survival and self-interest of the bourgeoisie.1 But a broader understanding of ideology, more focused on human psychology, can put it in a context where proletarian class-consciousness offers no protection from falling into a delusional sphere of errors to which all groups and parties are susceptible.2 The Marxist attack on the enslavement that results from the dominance of bourgeois ideology in capitalist society does not negate the argument that those making the assault share, along with everyone else, a need for contact with sources of legitimacy and creativity and that underlying overtly rational political actions are determinations characterised by undeniable psychological facts or even fictions.3 Taken to its logical conclusion, this perspective on ideology means that any group with a mission, sharing the same psychological dispositions and collective beliefs may be regarded as being imbued with an ideology,4 and it is something that is woven into its sense of identity and purpose.


Presidential Election French Society Maastricht Treaty Party Membership European Election 
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Copyright information

© Gino G. Raymond 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BristolEngland

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