So that's some basic ideologies covered, how are you feeling?
The '-isms' are confusing. We join you in sometimes feeling a little lost about them.
Today, we picked 5 important ideologies that we thought might help you out. As parties change and develop, they might not adhere to one single ideology any longer.
For example, some may argue that a New Labour government cannot be truly socialist because of its economic viewpoint. Or that the Liberal Democrats are more aligned to neo-liberalism than classic liberalism because they believe in having a welfare state.
Douglas of our WhatsApp group made a great point as we debated fascism vs populism vs demagoguery:
"Could you then say that the world of politics is becoming ever more blurred and that people are no longer one type but of many?"
To which Tatton, our founder, said:
"Personally, I blame Apple. In the 1990s everyone had a genre of music they liked and an accompanying ideology. Then the whole MP3 thing happened and everyone stopped listening to albums. And started listening to singles. And music went all eclectic. Now, nobody asks 'what music are you into?' It's assumed you listen to everything. It's the same with ideology. Only a few people can be pinned down. We shop for policies we like. Parties wander drunkenly around ideological supermarkets. Grabbing anything that looks tasty. So yeah. Complications? Blame Steve Jobs."
So that's what we've learned from the day - blame Steve Jobs.
Here are the ideologies we covered:
Socialism: traditionally associated with the Labour Party.
Our favourite quote about socialism:
"I think socialism can mean different things to people relative to their backgrounds and the political choices that are common in their country. So people from the USA can seem horrified by the idea that their individual earnings could be taken by the State (through tax) and given to people who are less financially successful (possibly for reasons of their own making). Whereas Scandinavian countries which have a higher tax, higher public service provision look at that model and think that's sort of the point. That there may be all sorts of reasons why someone is less financially successful, including issues like health or structural inequalities which aren't choices, and that a well-functioning society is the one that increases life opportunities for the most people." : Rachel, WhatsApp
Traditional or classical liberalism: a little bit dated for the current Lib Dem party.
Favourite quote about liberalism:
"I found the description of liberalism really interesting - it sounds attractive to me and I was surprised by this as I associate liberalism with the lib dems, which is a massive turn off for me. It made me think!" Janie, WhatsApp
Neoliberalism: associated with David Cameron or the Lib Dems
Favourite quote about neoliberalism:
"I remember hearing neoliberalism (I think it was by George Monbiot) described as 'seeing competition as the defining characteristic of human relations, with citizens being consumers whose democratic choices are best served by buying and selling' Whether you're a fan of him or not, it's a useful explanation." Tiernan, WhatsApp
Conservatism: What it says on the tin.
Favourite quote about conservatism:
"More often than not the Tories have the same ideas as I do, and I'm willing to make compromises over the stuff we disagree on since generally I would rather have a Conservative government than a Labour one." Joshua, WhatsApp
Fascism: a right-wing ideology with left-wing features.
Favourite quote about fascism:
"People think it's a mean word to call someone rather than a political ideology" Ian, Facebook
So that's it for today folks, I hope you've learned a little.
If you need anything clarifying, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or join our WhatsApp debate group :
Tomorrow we discuss roles in Parliament. Can't wait!
Hattie and the Simple Politics Academy Team.
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