Daily Archives: December 4, 2010

Back to Ideology, Part One (VIAL)

On Friday I used a fairly garden-variety model of ideology critique at its most basic: the notion of false consciousness. Recall that this is a problematic version of ideology because it always presupposes “true” consciousness or a knowledge of objective reality. To roughly recapitulate the example:

If you read political opinion columns from those who identify politically as liberals generally the question of working- or middle-class support for Republican Party candidates will devolve into the claim that such voters are “turkeys voting for Thanksgiving”– i.e., that their attachment to conservative politicians is a clear instance of false consciousness given right-wing policies which focus on diminishing welfare and defending the wealthy. There is, of course, an element of truth to this claim, though significantly it fails to acknowledge that ordinary people act in accordance with what to them at least are justifiable and rational beliefs.

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