An ideology is a belief system that can be used as the basis for a society. The following are the common characteristics of ideologies.
Comprehensive BeliefsAn ideology is a belief system that is comprehensive enough to be used to structure and run a society.
Organizing PrinciplesIdeologies include broadly applicable principles that can be used to organize a society.
Moral PrinciplesIdeologies may include principles of right and wrong.
Rights, Freedoms and ObligationsIdeologies outline a system of rights, freedoms and obligations of the individual. Collectivist ideologies focus on obligations and individualist ideologies focus on rights and freedoms.
ActionableAn ideology is actionable such that its ideas are concrete and realistic enough to implement. For example, "all citizens have a right to land on Mars" wouldn't be an ideology because it is too difficult to put into practice at the moment.
CoherentIdeologies are meant to be communicated broadly to large populations who are asked to follow the ideology. This requires the ideology to be coherent and comprehensible. For example, postmodernism arguably isn't an ideology because its widely accused of being incoherent, inconsistent and incomprehensible.
CommunityIdeologies can be used to create communities such that people feel a sense of belonging and connectedness with a group.Ideologies propose a system for groups to live together in a productive state of peace and civility with a system for avoiding and resolving disputes.
Motivational ForceIdeologies motivate followers into action.
Institutions & SystemsSuccessful ideologies become institutions and systems that influence life in a society.
Traditions & NormsIdeologies may be reinforced with elements of culture such as symbols, stories, norms and traditions.
NotesIdeologies are an element of an individual's worldview that are rooted in elements of character such as ideas and emotions regarding morals, risk taking and change. As such, it is common for an individual's ideological views to remain stable for many years or throughout their entire life.
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