Ideology Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ideology" Showing 1-30 of 367
Karl Marx
“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.

[These words are also inscribed upon his grave]”
Karl Marx, Eleven Theses on Feuerbach

Upton Sinclair
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

Slavoj Žižek
“When we are shown scenes of starving children in Africa, with a call for us to do something to help them, the underlying ideological message is something like: "Don't think, don't politicize, forget about the true causes of their poverty, just act, contribute money, so that you will not have to think!”
Slavoj Zizek

Anthony de Mello
“As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. … That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life… Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.”
Anthony de Mello

Nelson Mandela
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Nelson Mandela

Terry Eagleton
“A socialist is just someone who is unable to get over his or her astonishment that most people who have lived and died have spent lives of wretched, fruitless, unremitting toil.”
Terry Eagleton, Ideology: An Introduction

Slavoj Žižek
“as soon as we renounce fiction and illusion, we lose reality itself; the moment we subtract fictions from reality, reality itself loses its discursive-logical consistency.”
Slavoj Žižek, Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology

Slavoj Žižek
“In a traditional German toilet, the hole into which shit disappears after we flush is right at the front, so that shit is first laid out for us to sniff and inspect for traces of illness. In the typical French toilet, on the contrary, the hole is at the back, i.e. shit is supposed to disappear as quickly as possible. Finally, the American (Anglo-Saxon) toilet presents a synthesis, a mediation between these opposites: the toilet basin is full of water, so that the shit floats in it, visible, but not to be inspected. [...] It is clear that none of these versions can be accounted for in purely utilitarian terms: each involves a certain ideological perception of how the subject should relate to excrement. Hegel was among the first to see in the geographical triad of Germany, France and England an expression of three different existential attitudes: reflective thoroughness (German), revolutionary hastiness (French), utilitarian pragmatism (English). In political terms, this triad can be read as German conservatism, French revolutionary radicalism and English liberalism. [...] The point about toilets is that they enable us not only to discern this triad in the most intimate domain, but also to identify its underlying mechanism in the three different attitudes towards excremental excess: an ambiguous contemplative fascination; a wish to get rid of it as fast as possible; a pragmatic decision to treat it as ordinary and dispose of it in an appropriate way. It is easy for an academic at a round table to claim that we live in a post-ideological universe, but the moment he visits the lavatory after the heated discussion, he is again knee-deep in ideology.”
Slavoj Žižek, The Plague of Fantasies

John Rawls
“Many of our most serious conflicts are conflicts within ourselves. Those who suppose their judgements are always consistent are unreflective or dogmatic.”
John Rawls, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement

Hannah Arendt
“Caution in handling generally accepted opinions that claim to explain whole trends of history is especially important for the historian of modern times, because the last century has produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are actually nothing but desperate efforts to escape responsibility.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Karl Marx
“Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange, and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.”
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Mark Fisher
“Capitalist realism insists on treating mental health as if it were a natural fact, like weather (but, then again, weather is no longer a natural fact so much as a political-economic effect). In the 1960s and 1970s, radical theory and politics (Laing, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, etc.) coalesced around extreme mental conditions such as schizophrenia, arguing, for instance, that madness was not a natural, but a political, category. But what is needed now is a politicization of much more common disorders. Indeed, it is their very commonness which is the issue: in Britain, depression is now the condition that is most treated by the NHS. In his book The Selfish Capitalist, Oliver James has convincingly posited a correlation between rising rates of mental distress and the neoliberal mode of capitalism practiced in countries like Britain, the USA and Australia. In line with James’s claims, I want to argue that it is necessary to reframe the growing problem of stress (and distress) in capitalist societies. Instead of treating it as incumbent on individuals to resolve their own psychological distress, instead, that is, of accepting the vast privatization of stress that has taken place over the last thirty years, we need to ask: how has it become acceptable that so many people, and especially so many young people, are ill?”
Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

V.S. Naipaul
“It is wrong to have an ideal view of the world. That's where the mischief starts. That's where everything starts unravelling...”
V.S. Naipaul, Magic Seeds

Muhammad Ali Jinnah
“Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which, we hope other will share with us.”
Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Theodor W. Adorno
“As naturally as the ruled always took the morality imposed upon them more seriously than did the rulers themselves, the deceived masses are today captivated by the myth of success even more than the successful are. Immovably, they insist on the very ideology which enslaves them. The misplaced love of the common people for the wrong which is done to them is a greater force than the cunning of the authorities.”
Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments

Slavoj Žižek
“Ideology is strong exactly because it is no longer experienced as ideology… we feel free because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom.”
Slavoj Žižek, In Defense of Lost Causes

Immanuel Kant
“Skepticism is thus a resting-place for human reason, where it can reflect upon its dogmatic wanderings and make survey of the region in which it finds itself, so that for the future it may be able to choose its path with more certainty. But it is no dwelling-place for permanent settlement. Such can be obtained only through perfect certainty in our knowledge, alike of the objects themselves and of the limits within which all our knowledge of objects is enclosed.”
Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

George Packer
“Ideology knows the answer before the question has been asked.

Principles are something different: a set of values that have to be adapted to circumstances but not compromised away.”
George Packer

Louis Althusser
“In the battle that is philosophy all the techniques of war, including looting and camouflage, are permissible.”
Louis Althusser, Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists: And Other Essays

Nicolás Gómez Dávila
“I distrust every idea that doesn’t seem obsolete and grotesque to my contemporaries.”
Nicolás Gómez Dávila

James W. Sire
“Truth cannot be constructed. To live in ideology is, as Havel so eloquently reminds us, inevitably to live in a lie. Truth can only be revealed. We cannot be creators, only receptors.”
James W. Sire

Georges Canguilhem
“To err is human, to persist in error is diabolical.”
Georges Canguilhem, Ideology and Rationality in the History of the Life Sciences

bell hooks
“Feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression. Therefore, it is necessarily a struggle to eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels, as well as a commitment to reorganizing society so that the self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion, and material desires.”
Bell Hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

Mark Fisher
“The role of capitalist ideology is not to make an explicit case for something in the way that propaganda does, but to conceal the fact that the operations of capital do not depend on any sort of subjectively assumed belief. It is impossible to conceive of fascism or Stalinism without propaganda - but capitalism can proceed perfectly well, in some ways better, without anyone making a case for it.”
Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

Stanley Milgram
“Control the manner in which a man interprets his world, and you have gone a long way toward controlling his behavior. That is why ideology, an attempt to interpret the condition of man, is always a prominent feature of revolutions, wars, and other circumstances in which individuals are called upon to perform extraordinary action.”
Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority

Marcel Theroux
“...the years have taught me not to wonder too much at the dark things men do. Strange how it is that men never act crueller than when they're fighting for the sake of an idea. We've been killing since Cain over who stands closer to god. It seems to me that cruelty is just in the way of things. You drive yourself mad if you take it all personal. Those who hurt you don't have the power over you they would like. That's why they do what they do. And I'm not going to give them the power now. But it was a cruel thing that they did, and when they had finished hurting me, a splinter of loneliness seemed to break off and stay inside me forever.”
Marcel Theroux, Far North

Neil Postman
“I should go so far as to say that embedded in the surrealistic frame of a television news show is a theory of anticommunication, featuring a type of discourse that abandons logic, reason, sequence and rules of contradiction. In aesthetics, I believe the name given to this theory is Dadaism; in philosophy, nihilism; in psychiatry, schizophrenia. In the parlance of the theater, it is known as vaudeville.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good, or else that it's a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions...
Ideology—that is what gives the evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

Christopher Hitchens
“I saw exactly one picture of Marx and one of Lenin in my whole stay, but it's been a long time since ideology had anything to do with it. Not without cunning, Fat Man and Little Boy gradually mutated the whole state belief system into a debased form of Confucianism, in which traditional ancestor worship and respect for order become blended with extreme nationalism and xenophobia. Near the southernmost city of Kaesong, captured by the North in 1951, I was taken to see the beautifully preserved tombs of King and Queen Kongmin. Their significance in F.M.-L.B. cosmology is that they reigned over a then unified Korea in the 14th century, and that they were Confucian and dynastic and left many lavish memorials to themselves. The tombs are built on one hillside, and legend has it that the king sent one of his courtiers to pick the site. Second-guessing his underling, he then climbed the opposite hill. He gave instructions that if the chosen site did not please him he would wave his white handkerchief. On this signal, the courtier was to be slain. The king actually found that the site was ideal. But it was a warm day and he forgetfully mopped his brow with the white handkerchief. On coming downhill he was confronted with the courtier's fresh cadaver and exclaimed, 'Oh dear.' And ever since, my escorts told me, the opposite peak has been known as 'Oh Dear Hill.'

I thought this was a perfect illustration of the caprice and cruelty of absolute leadership, and began to phrase a little pun about Kim Jong Il being the 'Oh Dear Leader,' but it died on my lips.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Seyyed Hossein Nasr
“Furthermore, in the 13th/19th century philosophy began to see itself as a complete replacement for religion as one can see in the rise of the very idea of ideology at that time, a term used widely today even by Muslims who rarely realize the essentially secular and anti-religious character of the very concept of ideology which has gradually come to replace traditional religion in so many circles.”
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, A Young Muslim's Guide to the Modern World

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