The Meaning of the Concept “Ideology” in Current Journalism


ideologyThe common meaning of the word “ideology” in mainstream political discourse is incorrect. Ideology in this context means the value system someone employs to make use of or interpret “material” political-economic forces. The antonym of ideology is therefore “science”. The implication is that science and “objective facts” are real, while values and interpretations are not.

“Ideology” is a pejorative word. Attributing any kind of meaning to a state of affairs is taken to be a sign of prejudice and particularity. Again I think this feeds into the whole relativistic ethical stance that there can be no determinate conception of the good.

The reality is that there is meaning and determinate ethical content to the human way of life. Emptying out journalism with poor meanings behind concepts is awful.

The real meaning of the concept “ideology” is simply an “untrue” system of human values. Untrue in this context is a Hegelian concept, meaning “alienated” or “not fully actualised”. Basically, any value system which is a shadow or a distortion of the essential value system humans should have, is ideology. That’s not to say ideological elements to human existence are fictional – they are very much real forces in our lives – they are just riddled with contradictions, and don’t actualise justice.