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18 Examples of a Political Ideology

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A political ideology is a foundational political belief. The following are examples of common political ideologies that underlie most political parties, movements and views.

Anarchism

Anarchism is the rejection of all involuntary power structures and authority. This would give people the right to opt out of societies and freely form their own associations.

Capitalism

Capitalists believe that economic rights and freedoms allow people to thrive and pursue happiness as they see it. In practice, capitalism completely breaks down without government regulation due to factors such as anti-competitive practices. As such, capitalists may accept that some limits to economic freedom such as taxes and regulations benefit all. Capitalists that reject this notion resemble anarchists.

Democracy

Democracy is the principle that all should have the rights and freedoms required to fully participate in the political process without the right to opt-out provided by anarchism. This includes the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of the press and the right to run for political office.

Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism is the view that absolute or strong power should be vested in a single authority such as a monarch, dictator, committee, bureaucracy or technocracy.

Liberalism

Liberalism is the prioritization of rights and freedoms and embrace of democracy and capitalism.

Paternalism

Paternalism is the view that the state is responsible for the success or failure of each individual such that it should extensively intervene in each individual's life. This views individuals as having low agency and places a low priority on freedom.

Libertarianism

As with liberalism, libertarianism prioritizes rights and freedoms. It can be viewed as intense liberalism. Liberals often represent the status quo democratic government that often borders on paternalism. Libertarians are more serious about autonomy and freedom from the state. In some cases, they advocate alternatives to democracy such as anarchism.

Conservatism

Conservatism is the prioritization of stability. This is strongly associated with the view that the past was good such that aggressive departures from tradition are viewed negatively.

Progressivism

Progressivism is the embrace of aggressive change. This is associated with the view that the past was miserable or at least that progress has dramatically improved things. Beyond aggressive change, progressives don't have much of a defining ideology. Progressives variously align to liberalism, paternalism, socialism, anarchism or new forms of authoritarianism such as a technocracy.

Populism

Populism denotes any popular position that runs contrary to the established direction of society under the influence of a political, bureaucratic or social elite.

Religious

The belief that a government should be run according to the teachings of a religion. This has many variations. Many countries have a legal framework such as a constitution that requires the separation of church and state.

Communism

Communism is the belief that the state should own all capital and enforce absolute economic sameness such that nobody is allowed to get ahead of anyone else. This removes the profit motive and assumes that people want to contribute labor for the greater good through purely altruistic motives. Alternatively, it may assume that the state will essentially force people to work.

Socialism

Socialism is essentially another word for communism. Generally speaking, it is used to refer to the removal of economic rights and freedoms in order to create sameness across a community or society. Socialists may advocate for state ownership of all capital or adopt gentler approaches such as income redistribution programs.

Social Market Economy

A capitalist democracy that uses taxation to support extensive public services in areas such as education, healthcare, housing and income support. This shouldn't be confused with socialism or communism. Social democracies don't force sameness and keep the profit motive intact. However, they use taxation to reduce poverty and provide benefits to the working class. Most developed countries are defacto social market economies.

Nationalism

Nationalism is the prioritization of national sovereignty. In other words, prioritization of freedom from outside interference in national affairs.

Ethnic Nationalism

Ethnic nationalism is the belief that a nation is based on an ethnicity. This is exclusionary and prone to oppression of minorities or in some cases oppression of a majority. For example, the Apartheid system in South Africa that was in place from 1948 until the early 1990s oppressed the majority of the population.

Fascism

A variety of ethnic nationalism that is authoritarian and aggressive on the world stage. Prone to war and severe oppression of minorities.

Identity Politics

Politics based on identity factors such as religion, race, social background, class and gender.
Overview: Political Ideology
Type
Definition
A foundational political belief.
Related Concepts

Political Ideology

This is the complete list of articles we have written about political ideology.
Anarchism
Capitalism
Communism
Conservative
Ideology
Laissez-faire
Liberalism
Political Beliefs
Political Ideology
Populism
Progressive
Protectionism
Reactionary
Social Ideology
Socialism
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Ideology

The definition of ideology with a list of examples.

Reactionary

An overview of reactionary politics with examples and comparisons.

Conservative Opposite

A list of antonyms for conservative.

Revolution

The four types of revolution with examples of each.

Things That Are Not Matter

A list of things that are not matter.

Historical Perspective

The definition of historical perspective with examples.

Communism Definition

A few definitions of communism.

Politics

A list of things that could be considered political.

Institutions

The definition of institution with examples.

Liberalism

The basic characteristics of liberalism with comparisons to other political ideologies.

Conservatism

The definition of conservatism with examples.

Nation

The definition of nation with a list of the basic characteristics of nations.

Progressivism

The definition of progressivism with examples.

Liberal Opposite

A list of antonyms for liberal.
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