Political Ideologies: Their Origins and Impact

 
9780130965479: Political Ideologies: Their Origins and Impact

Organized chronologically, this book explains the evolution of political thought over the past three centuries and describes political ideologies in the context of the social, economic, and political circumstances in which they developed. It provides readers with a complete understanding of political ideologies and how these concepts relate to their own lives. New problems that demand solutions have arisen, and we need a firm understanding of our values and the political system under which we live. Covers ideologies, political attitudes, nationalism, democratic theory, capitalism, the democratic process, anarchism, socialist theory, applied socialism, facism, feminism, ecologism, and environmentalism. An excellent reference work for anyone involved in international relations or politics and policy.

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From the Publisher:

Ideal for majors and non-majors alike, this text provides a comprehensive, chronological survey of the most important political ideologies -- within the context of significant social, economic, political, technological, historical, and contemporary events. It prepares students to understand and relate the various political ideologies to the general political values of the left, the mainstream, and the right -- as they appear in contemporary political events and issues -- and to see clearly how political theory applies to their own lives.

From the Inside Flap:

Preface

Since the first edition of this book, we have witnessed many changes in the tides of world political turmoil. The Cold War ended and much of the communist world collapsed. People were hopeful momentarily that the political climate would grow more temperate and tensions relax. However, although the frightening possibility of a nuclear confrontation between the superpowers has diminished, we still find ourselves confronted with a threatening environment. The Middle East continues to fester; religious fundamentalism engenders violence; political terrorism continues to threaten disruption; racism divides peoples against themselves; nationalism and neo-fascism emerge again, creating havoc and motivating paranoid Americans to join militant citizen militias in efforts to protect themselves from imagined adversity; famine emaciates millions in the developing world; air pollution is almost inescapable; water everywhere is increasingly adulterated; the earth's protective layer of ozone is rapidly disintegrating; the globe is warming in response to the chemicals released into the atmosphere; and the press of the world's population on available food supplies and other resources is now dangerously acute.

These problems, and many others demanding solutions, confront us and our political leaders. To resolve our difficulties, we realize that we must work together with other people in the world, since many of our problems traverse national boundaries and exceed the capacity of single states to successfully address them. In order to cooperate in the salvation of humankind, we must learn to deal with people who have values, biases, views, and ideas that are different from our own. Hence, we must confront a number of basic questions if we hope to successfully meet the challenges of the first few years of the twenty-first century. What, for example, are the fundamental concepts in modern politics? What ideas serve as the foundation of our political system? How does our system differ from others? What is socialism, and how does it relate to democracy and to communism? Is fascism moribund, or does it survive, awaiting another chance to take hold in a society confused and disoriented by the complexities of modern life? Why don't people of the world see things our way? How do they view the world, and why do they value the things they do? What are their assumptions and objectives? And, perhaps most important, What do 1 believe and how do my views relate to the politics of my time? These and hundreds of other questions must be addressed if we are to face intelligently the political controversies that loom before us.

Traditionally, the American people have been impatient with theoretical concepts. Finding such notions abstract and uninteresting, they prefer more tangible, practical approaches to politics. Moreover, the American political tack has usually been unilateral. We have either tried to ignore the rest of the world—as in much of the early part of this century—or we have expected the world to conform to our attitudes and policies—as has been the case since World War II. But such a narrow view is no longer viable—if indeed it ever was. The United States must face the fact that it is only one player, albeit an important one, in global politics, and we must learn to cooperate with the rest of the world in the resolution of common problems. To do so, we must understand the other peoples of the world. We must comprehend their needs, their ideals, their values, their views. In this endeavor, there can be no better place to start than by coming to appreciate their political ideologies. A clear understanding of the current ideologies in the world is essential if one is to grasp the political realities of our time. A NOTE TO THE STUDENT

I think of myself as a teacher, not an author. This book, therefore, is written as a vehicle for teaching some of the world's great ideas, and as such it reaches students whom the author will probably never meet and thus influences the lives of strangers, if only slightly. With pedagogy in mind, several features have been incorporated in this book that will help the reader learn its contents more easily.

Each chapter is preceded by a preview of the material to be covered in that chapter. The preview is designed to alert students to the principal ideas developed in the text that follows. Thus you will find that, equipped with this overview, the details in the chapter become more meaningful. It may be wise to reread the previews after you finish each chapter. That way you can check your comprehension of the material. At the end of each chapter, questions are provided that are designed to stimulate thought and discussion about the major themes in the chapter.

I have also included at the end of the chapters a brief bibliography of books that can be used in further pursuit of the subject. These lists are certainly not exhaustive of the subjects they address, but they can be used as jumping-off places for more detailed inquiry into the subject.

The text also includes italicized words and phrases. When encountering these words, take special note of them; it is my way of saying that material is particularly important. The glossary and the index at the end of the book should also be especially useful. In addition, the names and concepts appearing in boldface in the text can be found among the items in the glossary, and you should pay close attention to them as well.

As a final note to the reader, I would like to say just a few words about general education requirements. Responding to economic and social pressures, students today are understandably anxious to complete their studies so that they can begin to make a living. Courses that do not immediately translate into dollars are often viewed by students as superfluous impositions on their time. The course for which you are reading this text may be one of those offerings. Yet, there is more to life than materialism, and we must learn to appreciate and enjoy what we are and who we are while we make a living. In fact, it is likely that we will make a better living, or at least live better, if we appreciate and understand the world in which we live.

Education is the custodian of civilization. Its function is to transmit the knowledge of our civilization to each succeeding generation. General education courses are the principal vehicle by which this function is executed at the college level. They offer you the priceless treasure of society's wisdom. Immerse yourself in them, savor them, absorb them, enjoy them. Let general education courses expose you to the wonders of our world, expanding your vision and deepening your appreciation of life so that, as Stephen Bailey wrote, "Later in life when you knock on yourself, someone answers." ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

While any inaccuracies in this book are completely my own responsibility, several people have made such substantial contributions to this work that I take pleasure in mentioning them here. My deepest gratitude belongs to my wife, Elaine. Her unselfish help and her unfailing support over the years have been instrumental to the book's success. I am also indebted to our sons Leon and René who, in the early editions of the book, sacrificed time we might have spent together, so that the book could be written.

For the lucidity the first edition enjoyed, all credit and many thanks go to Professor Julie Hatoff. Spending untold hours reviewing the manuscript, suggesting improvements, and correcting errors, Professor Hatoff was of invaluable assistance. Her conscientious attention to my misplaced modifiers, arbitrary punctuation, and eccentric spelling was very helpful, and I am most grateful to her. I am also very grateful to Professor Richard Leitch of Gustavus Adolphus College and to my colleague and friend David Ballard for their help on this edition. Additionally, I am indebted to the staff at the MiraCosta College Learning Resource Center, including Janet Megill, Patricia McClure, and Marion Forester. Their friendly and helpful attitude makes my work much easier. I would also like to thank Beth Ann Gillett of Prentice Hall. My thanks also to the reviewers, Andrew L. Aoki, Augsburg College; Lyman H. Heine, Fresno State University; John Gerring, Boston University; Michael Hoover, Seminole Community College; Vendulka Kubalkova, University of Miami; Arnold J. Oliver, Heidelberg College; R. Mark Tiller, Houston Community College; and Bruce Tuttle, Fresno State University, for their many helpful suggestions.

Besides those who did so much to make this book a reality, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the people of California for providing an excellent and free public education system to its youth. Were it not for the opportunity to attend state-supported schools and colleges, I would almost surely not have received an education. In addition, I would like to single out three teachers who have had particular influence on my professional life and whose pedagogical and scholarly examples have been important inspirations. To N. B. (T

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Leon P. Baradat
Published by Prentice Hall College Div (1999)
ISBN 10: 0130965472 ISBN 13: 9780130965479
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