Political Ideologies Part – I Notes 11th Political Science for Tnpsc Exam

Political Ideologies Part – I Notes 11th Political Science for Tnpsc Exam

11th Political Science Lesson 8 Notes in English

8. Political Ideologies Part – I


  • Ideology refers to a set of inter-related ideas dealing with politics, society and economy.
  • Political ideologies are very important in Political Science and are considered as heart and soul of Political Science.
  • They deal with the nature and origin of the state, relationship between state and society, forms of government, basis of state authority and sphere of state action.


  • Liberalism is the most important ideology of modern political theory.
  • It emerged in the 17th century and continues to be the most widely followed Idealogy in the contemporary world.
  • The etymology of the word liberalism is from ‘Liber’ that means liberty.
  • The supporters of the Spanish Constitution in the 19th century made the word popular by calling themselves as liberals.
  • Now western countries like United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany adhere to the tenets of liberalism in politics and economy.
  • Liberalism chronologically had experienced three major phases. In the first phase till 1930 it was called as Negative Liberalism.
  • The second phase termed as Positive Liberalism emerged after the Great Economic Depression and lasted up to the 1970s.
  • The third phase, known as Libertarianism, is followed by major countries of the world for the last four decades.

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A. Negative liberalism

  • Negative Liberalism is also known by many names like Laissez Faire Liberalism and Classical Liberalism.
  • John Locke in his book ‘Two Treaties of Civil Government’ propounded the basic political principles of Negative Liberalism that came to be implemented vigorously in the USA.
  • Thomas Paine, Montesquieu, Jeremy Bentham are the other important proponents of Negative Liberalism.
  • Economically, Adam Smith advocated Negative Liberalism in his book ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nations’
  • John Locke, Father of Classical liberalism.
  • The Equal Right to Life, Liberty, and Property.

Essence of Negative Liberalism

  • Negative Liberalism considers man as a rational, capable and master less individual. All human beings are equal and free.
  • Everyone knows their interests and is endowed with the capacity to satisfy their interests.
  • Society is a mere aggregate of freely existing individuals.
  • There is no necessity for State and society to interfere or regulate the life of individuals.
  • The State is a necessary evil.
  • It is necessary for the protection of law and order without which individuals cannot realise their interests.
  • Nevertheless, the State is an evil as even its mere existence itself endangers the rights and liberties of the individuals.
  • The State is a negative State as it is prohibited from carrying out developmental activities. The State is called as Laissez Faire State.
  • Laissez Faire has its origin in the French language meaning Leave Alone. The State must leave the individuals alone to pursue their activities.
  • Maintenance of law and order and enforcement of legally made contracts are the only functions assigned to the State by Negative Liberalism.
  • Economically, Negative Liberalism supports free market economy based on demand and supply.
  • It prohibits the State from interfering with the economic activities. The State is akin to a cricket umpire in its powers and functions.

  • The umpire does not play the game but watches whether the players are playing the game in accordance with the laws of the game.
  • Similarly the State should not interfere in the economy as market alone determines its activities.
  • Negative Liberalism believes in the concept of natural rights.
  • When Mother Nature created man, it endowed him with basic rights that are called Natural Rights.
  • The State should not erode or undermine these natural rights.
  • The Rights to Life, Liberty and Property are indispensable for human existence and development.
  • Therefore, the State should never abolish or erode them. The Right to Property is special to the proponents of Negative Liberalism.
  • It is an unlimited right as all individuals can acquire, enjoy and dispose of property without interference from the State.

B. Positive Liberalism

  • Negative liberalism metamorphosed into Positive liberalism in the 20th century.
  • Even though Negative Liberalism contributed to the generation of unprecedented wealth in the western countries it had also inflicted enormous pain on common people.
  • Glaring inequalities among people, appearance of slums in the cities and exploitation of the workers exposed the deficiencies of Negative Liberalism.
  • Humanist thinkers like Ruskin protested against the misery of the people.
  • In this backdrop, Negative Liberalism changed into Positive Liberalism because of two important factors i.e. Democracy and Marxism.
  • Nineteenth century witnessed the gradual spread of democracy whereby the common people came to be provided with voting rights.
  • They demanded fundamental changes in politics.
  • The second factor is the advent and rise of Marxism that appealed to the workers to overthrow the exploitative inequality-laden Negative Liberalism.
  • Subsequently, under pressure from democracy and Marxism, Negative Liberalism changed into Positive Liberalism.
  • The liberal world experienced a devastating Great Economic Depression from 1928 affecting economies of numerous countries including United States of America.

  • The newly elected American President Franklin Roosevelt implemented the New Deal Programme for uplifting American economy from the quagmire of depression.
  • J.M.Keyne, economic advisor to the American President, played a crucial role in the formulation of the programme signifying the advent of Positive Liberalism.
  • A number of thinkers enriched the content of Positive Liberalism of which T.H.Green, Harold Laski, L.T.Hobhouse are important.
  • Positive Liberalism brought out the new concept of Social Welfare State.
  • This concept projects the State as a positive instrument for the promotion of social welfare.
  • The role of the State is to provide social service to the people.
  • It should construct and maintain hospitals, educational institutions, factories and industries, infrastructural facilities like roads, railway tracks and ports.
  • The State also came to be known as Social Democratic State, a nomenclature that explains the significance of democracy in the constitution of a positive State.
  • Positive Liberalism was followed in the western democracies for many decades from 1930s.

Philosophers and Political Leaders on Positive Liberalism

  • But gradually philosophers and political leaders began to question the utility of a Social Welfare State propagated by Positive Liberalism.
  • They argued that State interference in society and economy had precipitated a plethora of problems like industrial sickness, economic inefficiency, lessened productivity, corruption, erosion of liberties of people and economic stagnation, therefore should be curtailed.
  • The rights of the people can be modified so that the welfare of society can be promoted.
  • Positive liberalism supports a close relationship between rights and duties and argues for Social Welfare theory of Rights.
  • Similarly, freedom is positive in content. While Negative Liberalism expounded freedom from the State, Positive Liberalism recommends freedom through the State.
  • Freedom does not mean being free from the interference of the State but adhering to the social welfare activities of the State.
  • Freedom through the State and not from the State is their theme.
  • The economy must be regulated by the State so that alternate, painful appearance of economic boom and depression can be averted.
  • Progressive taxation can be adopted by the State to generate resources required for its social welfare activities.
  • Similarly, the State has power and authority to adhere to economic strategies like bank nationalisation, minimum wages and reservation of industries as public sector to bring in the uplift of all sections of society.

C. Libertarianism

  • The third phase in the history of liberalism is called as contemporary Liberalism or Libertarianism.
  • It emerged in the western world after the end of positive liberalism and gradually spread to most parts of the political universe.
  • The President of the United States Ronald Reagan implemented libertarian ideology in his country from 1981 to 1989.
  • The first woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher was the political architect of libertarianism.
  • The last president of Soviet Union Michel Gorbachev introduced the two path-breaking reforms of Perestroika (Restructuring) and Glasnost (openness) that pushed the Soviet Union into the direction of libertarianism.
  • A number of political scientists have advocated libertarianism.
  • F.A.Hayek, M.Oakeshott, Karl Popper, Milton Friedman, Nozick and Nock are important among the supporters of libertarianism.
  • There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.- Margaret Thatcher

  • There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.- Friedrich Hayek

  • A Society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both. – Milton Friedman

  • Libertarianism is a re-invention and re-application of Classical Liberalism in the second half of the 20th century and in the first half of the 21st century.
  • It believes in the worth and importance of individuals. It advocates individual freedom as indispensable for the life of man.
  • It staunchly supports the concept of ‘Personal Autonomy’ whereby every human being is provided with complete freedom of choice to make decisions in their life as they want.
  • It restricts the domain of the State to maintenance of law and order.
  • Nozick famously coined the slogan ‘Minimal State is Inspiring as Well as Right’.
  • He criticised any more functions of the State as unjustified and unwarranted. Another proponent of Libertarianism, Oakeshort commented that the government merely pursues peace.
  • The libertarians argue that the increase in the functions of the State in the name of development and social welfare leads inevitably to emergence of collectivism and resultant concentration of power in the hands of the State leading to the destruction of personal liberties of man.
  • Albert Jay Nock, a Libertarian even went to the extent of titling his book “Our Enemy the State”

End of Ideology

  • A few political thinkers and political sociologists in the 1950s had brought out the new concept of ‘End of Ideology’.
  • Daniel Bell who authored book ‘End of Ideology’ is the strongest proponent of this concept along with the noted political sociologist Martin Lipset.
  • They argue that the political and economic search of humankind had reached its final destination with the emergence of Liberal Democratic State or Social Welfare State.
  • The ideal system of human life should be planted and rooted in the soil of welfare State, decentralised power, mixed economy and competitive party system.
  • The western nations have attained these ideal socio-political characteristics.
  • They called for an end to the Liberalism versus Marxism debate and accepted that democracy is not merely a system of government but the good society in operation.

  • They praised democracy as the ideal means of conflict resolution and governance.
  • But a set of thinkers collectively described as “New Left” rejected the validity of the End of Ideology concept.
  • Though, the thinkers do not advocate any class conflict like Marxism they sought to improvise the tenets of Marxist State.
  • The western societies also witnessed rise of the voice of many thinkers that demanded not the end of ideology but the end of materialism that is implied in the end of ideology concept.
  • The end of Ideology on the exhaustion of political ideas in the fifties- Daniel bellend

End of History

  • The American political thinker Francis Fukuyoma wrote the book ‘The End of History and the Last Man’ in 1992.
  • He argued that history has ended with the end of the Cold War and the victory of liberalism over communism.
  • The history of mankind essentially composed of its ceaseless search for the ideal political, social and economic system.
  • The victory of Liberalism signifies the end of that human search for right ideology and the advent of post-ideological world.
  • The Liberal State and the Libertarian economy represent the culmination of the social economic and political evolution of humanity, therefore human history has ended was the argument of Fukuyoma.
  • But many political scientists and ideologies disagree with this.
  • The post- modernist thinker Derrida argued that liberal democracy is not the ideal political system that solves the problems of man.

  • He said, “Never have violence, inequality, exclusion, famine, and thus economic oppression affected as many human beings in the history of the earth and of humanity as it happened in the times of liberal democracy.”
  • The end of History and the last man- Francis Fukuyama
  • The American political scientist Samuel Huntington propounded ‘The Clash of Civilization’ theory as a counter to Fukuyoma’s End of History thesis.
  • Huntington argued that end of the Cold War has not resulted in the universal and permanent success of liberal democracy.
  • On the contrary, a new ideological rivalry has emerged between the two major civilizations of the world, Western Civilization and Islam that will dominate the politics of humankind in the 20th.
  • He contended that other civilizations of the world will be sucked into the civilization clash between Western Civilization and Islam, and therefore history has not ended in the post-Cold War period, rather it has entered a new phase of confrontation.

India and libertarianism

  • New Economic Reforms were introduced in India in 1991 heralding the era of Liberalization, privatization and globalization.
  • They reflect the ideology of Libertarianism. The State has withdrawn itself from many economic and social activities.
  • Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’ is the guiding principle of the State.
  • The State has consciously shrunk its sphere of activities encouraging private initiative through measures like disinvestment.
  • Under the impact of libertarianism the planning process was initially changed to the strategy of Indicative Planning and recently the planning Commission itself was replaced by a body called National Commission for Transforming India (NITI Ayog).

Communism (Vladimir Lenin)

  • Vladimir Lenin was a revolutionary Marxist thinker who organized the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia to implement the ideas of Marxism.
  • He was the architect of the communist country called Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) that consisted of 15 Republics.
  • Lenin contributed to the theoretical content of Marxism.

Communist party

  • Lenin wrote in his work ‘What is to be done?’ his ideas of the Communist Party.
  • Marx had called for a communist revolution to end capitalism and exploitation and Lenin as his successor developed the instrument of the party to carry out the proletariat revolution.
  • He said the party should be formed in every industry and factory by a small group of workers who possess knowledge of Revolutionary Marxism.
  • They must possess qualities and abilities like dedication, commitment and hard work.
  • The members of the Communist Party should mobilize the workers ideologically to conduct the revolution.
  • Lenin asserted that the party must be in the vanguard of the proletariat that is the forefront of the Proletariat Revolution.
  • It was expounded that the Communist Party should be organised on the basis of an innovative concept called Democratic Centralism.
  • As the name indicates there are two features in the organisational structure of the Communist Party, democracy and centralism.
  • Democratically, the lower organs of the party organisation must elect the members of the higher organs of the party.
  • The party units in villages must elect the party units of the district and State units are to be elected by the district units of the party and the central unit will be elected by the State units.
  • The element of centralism in the Communist Party means that the decisions of the higher unit must be accepted and implemented by the lower units.
  • The State units should accept the decisions of the central unit and district units must obey the decisions of the State unit and the village unit ought to follow the decisions of the district unit.


  • Imperialism refers to the system where European countries subjugated and exploited the Asian and African countries through military conquest and force.
  • Lenin expounded a new insight linking imperialism and capitalism in his book ‘Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism’.
  • He argued that capitalism had not faced self- destruction as Marx predicted.
  • The capitalist countries exploit the subjugated Asian and African countries and through this looted wealth capitalism sustains itself in their home countries.
  • There should be two revolutionary struggles, one the struggle of Asian-African countries against the imperialist Europe and another revolutionary struggle of working class in the western countries.
  • Once these two struggles become successful, the two inter -linked exploitative forces of capitalism and imperialism will be destroyed and communist society of equality and fraternity will be born internationally.

Joseph Stalin

  • Joseph Stalin was the general secretary of The Communist Party and Premier of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the post-Lenin phase up to 1953.
  • He introduced a major ideological component in Marxism called Socialism in One Country.
  • The seed of the idea was first brought out by another communist theoretician Nikolai Bukharin.

  • Marxism rejected nationalism and supported universalism.
  • It attacked nationalism as a bourgeois concept and appealed to the workers of the world to unite and fight to establish communism as seen in the last lines of Marx book ‘The Communist Manifesto’.
  • The ultimate goal of Karl Marx was the formation of international socialist society through the instrument of world proletariat revolution.
  • Karl Marx said, ‘The working men have no country’.
  • Lenin also continued in the same vein and considered the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia as a springboard to global revolution.
  • Stalin makes a fundamental change in Marxism through the Socialism in One Country concept.
  • He claimed to have developed his idea from Lenin’s statement that socialist revolution can emerge in even one country as detailed in the work ‘On the Slogan for a United States of Europe’.
  • Nationalist in form; Socialist in Context.- Joseph Stalin
  • The central theme of this concept is that socialism can be successfully established in Russia alone.
  • Russian socialism is threatened by a capitalist encirclement as the western enemy capitalist countries avowedly endanger the existence of communist USSR.
  • Stalin advocated the consolidation and strengthening of USSR so that it can withstand the capitalist threat postponing the task of organising an international communist revolution to a more appropriate period in the future.
  • This thesis was accepted as the State policy of USSR and also by the Communist International organization.
  • Leon Trotsky criticized Stalinist socialism and reiterated the concept of permanent revolution advocated by Karl Marx.
  • He called for the export of communist revolution to other countries of the world to achieve international communism and cautioned that otherwise communism within USSR itself will collapse.

Mao Zedong

  • Mao Zedong was one of the greatest Marxist theoreticians and practitioners in the history of the world.
  • He founded the Communist Party of China and conducted the Communist Revolution in 1949, leading to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.
  • All political power comes from the barrel of a gun.-Mao Zedong

Signification of Marxism

  • Mao introduced certain changes in Communism to make it suitable for China.
  • The modification of communism to reflect Chinese realities is described as Signification of Communism.

Peasantry-led Revolution

  • Karl Marx predicted that Communist Revolution will be seen only in west European countries that are fully industrialised and where workers are numerous and organised.
  • But China in the decade of 1940s was an agricultural and industrially backward country.
  • Karl Marx never considered that the peasants as a class have revolutionary potential as they are conservative and reactionary.
  • Mao organized the peasants of China and succeeded in overthrowing the feudal exploitative State heralding the arrival of communism.
  • Mao’s success in China provided a revolutionary model for the other agricultural countries of Asia and Africa.

Mass line

  • Leninist concept of the Communist party as the vanguard of the revolutionary struggle was modified by Mao to suit Chinese conditions.
  • Mao contended that the masses should not be separated from the revolutionary party in the domains of both policy and struggle.
  • They should be integral to the Communist Party and the guiding principle is ‘from the masses to the masses’.

People’s War and Guerilla War

  • Mao believed in the ‘revolutionary struggle of the vast majority of people against the exploiting classes and their State structure’.
  • He propagated the idea of People’s War.
  • He suggested the intensive mobilization of the millions of peasants as part of the People’s War as they are the worst victims of feudalism and imperialism.
  • The ideal strategy of war was to surround the cities by capturing the rural landscape with the help of mobilized peasants.
  • Mao believed in the unconventional guerilla warfare.
  • As a strategy it had three stages. In the first stage, the Communist cadre will win the people through propaganda.
  • In the second stage, the cadre will ambush and attack the military and vital State installations.
  • In the third stage, the cadre will act as a conventional army fighting the army of the State and capturing cities after inflicting defeat.
  • Mao also taught that any of three stages can be used any time depending on the circumstances.

Let Hundred Flowers Bloom

  • The Communist Party of China conducted the Hundred Flower Campaign in the second half of 1950s and the chairman Mao said “Let the hundred flowers bloom. Let the hundred schools of thought contend”.
  • He considered each thought as a flower and argued that all schools of thought must be allowed to bloom.
  • The clash of thoughts will lead to the defeat and destruction of the rotten and obsolete ideas and better ones will endure competition and become successful.
  • The ancient philosophy of Confucianism underwent this conflict of ideas test many centuries ago and came out successful.
  • Though the State welcomed constructive criticism in the beginning, the campaign got derailed later as contention among ideas threatened the Communist Party of China itself.

‘The Hundred Flowers Campaign’

  • Where does the term originate?
  • Let a hundred flowers blossom, let a hundred school of thought contend’
  • What does it actually mean???
  • It means ‘to allow free expression and criticism’.
  • Mao used this expression when, in 1956, he invited Chinese people to assess the performance of the communist party, and to offer it advice.
  • An Ancient Chinese Philosopher – the expression comes from a traditional poem.

Cultural Revolution

  • Mao launched the Grand Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1965-66 to exterminate’ representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the party,
  • The government, the army and various spheres of culture’ and destroy the ‘Four Olds’ — old ideas, old customs, old culture and old habits.
  • The stated aim of the revolution was to save the Chinese communism from becoming a victim of bureaucratization induced by industrialization like the western countries and USSR.
  • The actual backdrop was provided by the Great Leap Forward Campaign.
  • Mao implemented forcefully industrialization and collectivization as part of this campaign from 1958 to 1962 to rapidly change China from agricultural economy to socialist system.
  • But, unfortunately, it resulted in the advent of the Great Chinese Famine killing millions of people.
  • To reclaim the authority and legitimacy of the leader and the party cultural revolution was launched.
  • It was argued that even after the establishment of communism the class struggle continues and intensifies and to weed out the communist enemies, Red Guards were organized.
  • The members of the Red Guards adopted repressive measures against the class enemies even jailing the Chinese President.
  • The role of the State and party was taken over by the paramilitary organization.

New Democracy

  • Marxism believed that the State is an instrument of exploitation of the workers by the capitalists and workers and capitalist are always antagonistic towards each other.
  • Mao modified this fundamental feature of Marxism.
  • He propounded the concept of New Democracy. He created a new alliance in which the peasantry, the proletariat, the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie became members. Subsequently, Mao declared the formation of a new kind of State called People’s Democratic Dictatorship.
  • The working class and peasantry were provided with key positions in the State.
  • The petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie were accorded with junior partner status.
  • The People’s Democratic Dictatorship guaranteed democracy for the general people while simultaneously acting as dictatorship over the enemies of the people especially those who were described as ‘running dogs of imperialism’.
  • In ideal Marxism, the workers and bourgeoisie are adversaries but New Democracy treated them as partners.
  • Maoism continues to be the ruling ideology of the People’s Republic of China in the twenty first century in a changed milieu.
  • The paramount leader Deng Xiaoping introduced massive changes in Chinese economy after 1978.
  • Its economy has been infused with liberalization and globalization modifying fundamentally the communist economy of Mao period.
  • But politically, the Communist Party of China continues to exercise monopoly of power.
  • It Doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice-Deng Xiaoping

Antonio Gramsci

  • Antonio Gramsci, the famous Italian Marxist, introduced the concept of hegemony to explain the operation of the capitalist State.
  • Hegemony means intellectual and moral leadership.
  • The State manufactures the consent of the people through intellectual and moral leadership.

Antonio Gramsci

  • It tries to create a false consciousness among people through propaganda.
  • Its ideas are repeatedly driven into the minds of the people.
  • Only when it fails to create the consent of the people, it starts using brutal force to carry out its activities.
  • Gramsci also argues that, to destroy the capitalist State, the revolutionaries should use organic intellectuals and the Communist Party.
  • The organic intellectuals will analyze the strength of the State and elucidate the means of destroying the State.
  • The Communist Party will carry out the revolution and establish the ideal state of communism.

Neo Marxism

  • A group of philosophers who were associated with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research in Germany developed new insights into Marxism that are described as Neo Marxism or Critical Theory.
  • The important philosophers of this school are Herbert Marcuse, Jurgen Habermas and Theodor Adorno.
  • Though there are great differences in their writings all of them uniformly protested against the systems of domination and exploitation.
  • They focused on understanding the hidden roots and layers of domination.
  • They concentrated on preparing the masses for revolutionary transformation by augmenting their true consciousness.
  • They propounded the attitude to question the socio-cultural practices in all societies that perpetuate domination over the masses.
  • Their writings can be characterised as counter-culture aiming for the emancipation of the masses.
  • All men are intellectuals: but not all men have in society the function of intellectuals.- Antonio Gramsci

Instrumental Marxism

  • Ralph Miliband is the main proponent of Instrumental Marxism. This school of thought takes an instrumental perspective of the state.
  • The officials of the government and state come from the same background as the property or ruling class.
  • They have personal contact with the members of the ruling class.
  • Therefore the state is used as an instrument by officials and the members of the ruling class to perpetuate exploitation and to manufacture the ideological consent of the people for their hegemony.

Structural Marxism

  • Structural Marxism propounded by the French philosopher Louis Althusser and Nicos Poulantza is a new school of Marxism that emerged in the 1970s.
  • It repudiated the arguments of Instrumental Marxism.
  • Althusser debated with Ralph Miliband and asserted that the class origin and position of the administrators is purely incidental and has no significance.
  • Regardless of class origin of officials the state is bound to aid exploitation because of its objective or structural position in the economic system.

Louis Althusser

  • Louis Althusser introduced further innovations in the Marxist concept of state.
  • He argued that the capitalist State has two kinds of coercive instruments to safeguard itself.
  • They are;

1. Repressive State Apparatuses

  • The Repressive State Apparatuses include police, military, law courts etc.
  • They are repressive as they punish the people when their orders are not obeyed.

2. Ideological State Apparatuses.

  • The Ideological State Apparatuses include family, schools, colleges, the media and trade unions.
  • The State creates consent and support from people by ideological indoctrination, without violence.


  • Socialism is an ideology that supports public ownership of property and natural resources.
  • It is fundamentally opposed to Liberalism that believes in the private ownership of property.
  • There are many kinds of socialism like democratic socialism, evolutionary socialism, Fabian socialism, guild socialism etc.
  • The terms ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ are at times interchangeably used.
  • But Karl Marx introduced a distinction by describing his socialism and ideology as scientific socialism and other prevailing kinds as Utopian socialism.

A. Utopian Socialism

  • Many thinkers in the 19th century had questioned the negative consequences Ideology… is indispensable in any society if men are to be formed, transformed and equipped to respond to the demands of their conditions of existence.- Louis Althusser of liberalism.
  • They strove to protect the interests of the working class. Robert Owen was an industrialist and a philanthropist.
  • He started the cooperative movement and experimental socialist communities in England to realise betterment in the conditions of the workers.
  • He associated the workers in the management of his industries and showed that profits can be increased by the joint endeavour between workers and employers.
  • He appealed to the reason of the fellow capitalists to take into account the welfare of the working classes.
  • Saint Simon, a French industrialist and thinker, argued that the welfare of the working class must also be taken into consideration for realising an efficient economy and effective society.
  • Charles Fourier, another French thinker, suggested the socialist reconstruction of the society by forming association of producers termed as phalanges.
  • Both Saint Simon and Charles Fourier appealed to the conscience of the capitalists to improve the miserable state of the workers.
  • These three notable theorists advocated ideas in favour of the workers in 19th century.
  • Karl Marx described their thoughts as Utopian Socialism as they provided only a superficial understanding of capitalism and their alternative schemes are wishful and utopian in nature.
  • He claimed that, in contrast his communism is based on scientific understanding of capitalism meriting the name of Scientific Socialism.

B. Democratic Socialism

  • Democratic Socialism as the nomenclature indicates combines the two systems of socialism and democracy to provide a unique political and economic system to promote equality and freedom.
  • It differs from Marxism in its conception of the State.
  • It believes that the State is not an instrument of exploitation of workers by the capitalists.
  • Rather, the State is an instrument of social welfare.
  • The State must be made democratic. All classes in society own the State. Socialism can be established only through the State.
  • It will not and should not wither away as Marxism predicted.
  • Democratic Socialism argues that socialism can be established through evolutionary and peaceful means.
  • It’s methodology of change characterized as gradualism or ballot box socialism. It dismisses revolutionary, violent struggle as unnecessary.
  • Democratic Socialism argues for harmonious relationship among classes and class differences must be solved through peaceful methods.
  • The right to property need not be abolished. Rather for the sake of social welfare the right to property must be limited.
  • There are crucial differences between Marxism and Democratic Socialism.
  • Many basic concepts of Marxism are either modified or rejected by Democratic Socialism.
  • Nevertheless, both have certain similar goals like ending the exploitation of workers and promoting equality among people.

C. Fabian Socialism

  • Fabian Socialism was the British version of socialism propagated by the Fabian Society from 1884.
  • They chose the nomenclature Fabianism inspired by the great Roman General Fabius who was historically famous for adopting the military strategy of ‘wait and hit hard at the right moment’.
  • Sidney Webb and Sidney Oliver H G Wells brought out the ideology of Fabianism. English playwright George Bernard Shaw was one of the greatest proponents of Fabianism.
  • As an ideology Fabianism attacked capitalism as an exploitative system and advocated a thorough reorganization of economy and politics of their contemporary period.
  • It expressed its resolute support for democratic State.
  • There are two important attributes of the Fabian State.
  • Firstly, it should be based on decentralization of power. Secondly, it should be led by experts.
  • Fabianism rejected Marxist call for the abolition of the State.
  • It wanted the State to exist on the foundations of decentralized power and expert leadership to promote social welfare.
  • The motto of the Fabian Society is “When I strike, I strike hard”.
  • “Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny. They have only shifted it to another soul”- George Bernard Shaw

  • Fabianism believed that socialism and democracy are complementary and supplementary to each other.
  • They are to be appreciated as noble ideals of equality and justice are dearer to them. The Fabians did not advocate the abolition of private property.
  • On the contrary, they supported existence of limited right to property governed by the principle of social welfare.
  • Fabianism as an evolutionary socialism rejected Communist revolutionary methods of change.
  • It supported peaceful methods of change in society. The Fabian ideologues depended on persuasion tactics to realize socialism.

D. Evolutionary Socialism

  • Evolutionary Socialism was initially advocated by Lassalle, one of the earliest leaders of the German Social Democracy tradition.
  • The ideals of Evolutionary Socialism were formally expounded in the Gothe Programme in 1875, an important document in the evolution of socialism in Germany and Europe.
  • Later on, Eduard Bernstein wrote the book ‘Evolutionary Socialism’ that attracted the many supporters like Jaures in France, Anseele in Italy, Bauer in Austria. It argues for an evolutionary change in capitalism.
  • It believes that along with economic factors non-economic factors are also important to explain human life.
  • Democratic Socialism and Evolutionary Socialism are inter-related.
  • Marxism attacked Evolutionary Socialism as ‘revisionism’ and ‘broker’s view of socialism’.

E. Guild Socialism

  • It is a kind of evolutionary socialism that emerged in Great Briton in the first two decades of the 20th century.
  • The English political thinker and the founder of National Guilds League in England, D H Cole was the leading advocate of this brand of socialism.
  • He wrote the book ‘Guild Socialism: A Plan for Economic Recovery’ to propagate the tenets of Guild Socialism.
  • Guild Socialism criticized the exploitation of workers by the capitalists in the western world and arose as a protest ideology against capitalism
  • The word guild refers to the association of craftsmen and artisans of a particular profession in the medieval Evolutionary Socialism – Eduard Bernstein period in Europe.

  • It acted as a source of mutual support, as a medium to pass on the professional knowledge to new entrants.
  • Guild Socialism combines the medieval guild with modern socialism and envisages a political organization in which organized workers-based associations will discharge most of the political functions.
  • This ideology believes that in any society there are numerous professions, trades and occupations and a member of one profession cannot represent the interests and welfare of members of another profession and therefore every profession must have its own organization.
  • All such organizations must come together to form a governing council at the district, State and national-levels to administer the system.
  • A national-level confederation of guilds will govern the country.
  • Guild Socialism does not call for the destruction of the State.
  • It endows the State with certain common functions like providing education and health services to the people.
  • Guild Socialism supported the principle of gradualism to bring about changes in the existing capitalist system.

  • It abhorred the revolutionary methods of struggle associated with Marxism.
  • All changes in society should be brought through peaceful and democratic means. This was a cardinal principle of Guild Socialism.
  • Though Guild Socialism was laudable in its commitment to the welfare of workers it was criticized as an impractical alternative.
  • Its attempt to reduce the State to the position of an ordinary guild was not accepted by many political theorists who asserted that the weakened state of Guild Socialism cannot maintain law and order and protect its people from invasions and insurrections.

Differences between Communism and Socialism

S.No: Communism Socialism
1. Revolution is the mid-wife of change Evolutionary changes are more enduring and beneficial
2. The state is an instrument of exploitation of the property-less class by the rich class and therefore should be abolished The state should not be abolished. It should be made more democratic and social welfare oriented.
3. Class struggle is the fundamental force of change in human history. Violent class struggle is unnecessary
4. The right to private property must be abolished. The right to private property must be modified and limitations must be imposed for social welfare
5. Historical materialism can explain human history. Economy alone drives human history. Historical Materialism is not adequate to explain human history. Apart from economy, other factors like culture, politics and religion are also important to explain human history

F. Socialism in India

  • The Indian kind of socialism is known as Socialistic Pattern of Society that was adopted by the Indian State in the mid 1950s.
  • Provision of all basic necessities to all people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, race and gender and elimination of poverty, inequality and illiteracy are the objectives of Indian Socialism.
  • Parliament passed a resolution for the establishment of Planning Commission In 1950.
  • The strategy of Five Year Plan was implemented to promote development with socialist content from 1951.
  • We adopted a Mixed Economy where both private and public sectors were allowed to operate.
  • We provided the commanding heights of the economy to the public sector to achieve development and equality.
  • The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Law introduced socialism as an official feature of the Preamble of our Constitution.
  • The 44th Constitutional Amendment Act removed the Right to Property from the list of Fundamental Rights and made it an ordinary right in Part XII of the Constitution.
  • The Directive Principles of State Policy in Part IV of the Constitution contains many provisions that are designed to promote socialistic objectives like Right to Work and avoidance of concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people.
  • India had adhered to socialism from the year of independence to 1991 when we launched our New Economic Reforms that favored liberalization, privatization and globalization.


Meaning, Emergence and Spread

  • Nationalism refers to an ideology that promotes loyalty, affection and devotion to a particular nation.
  • It creates attachments among people to a common homeland, a common language, ideals, values and traditions.
  • It is based on a consciousness that exalts the nation above other categories and factors of social life.
  • It strongly believes that the individual’s loyalty and commitment to the nation should override their attachments with any group interest.
  • Ernest Gellner, an important theorist wrote the book ‘Nations and Nationalism’.
  • He defined nationalism as “primarily a political principle that holds that the political and the national unit should be congruent”.
  • Nationalism is a modern concept. It emerged in Europe at the beginning of modern period.
  • It arose first in England and later on diffused to other countries of Western Europe like France, Germany aided by French Revolution.
  • The North American colonies revolted and formed their own nationalism in opposition to Europe.
  • The African and Asian nations witnessed the emergence of a new kind of nationalism called post- colonial nationalism as a result of anti colonial struggle.
  • Many factors contributed to the emergence and diffusion of nationalism throughout the world and the notable ones include capitalism, French Revolution, industrialization, World Wars and colonialism.

Theories of Nationalism

  • There are many theories of nationalism that can be listed as
  1. Primordial Theory of Nationalism
  2. Socio-biological Theory of Nationalism
  3. Social communication Theories
  4. Marxian Theory of Nationalism
  5. Post-ideological Theory of nationalism
  • These theories can be divided into perennial theories and modernization theories.
  • The first two theories can be categorized as perennial theories and the last three are designated as modernization theories.

Primordial Theory of Nationalism

  • The word primordial means existing at or since the beginning of the world.
  • The theory of primordialism considers that the people of a particular language, region, religion, race etc have developed a great intra-group affinity as they inhabit together since ancient period.
  • They develop a strong ethnic identity and loyalty. They demonstrate the qualities of affection, sentiments and attachments.
  • They may not exhibit ostensibly sufficient social interactions as part of their affinity. Nevertheless the primordial identities are powerful having even coercive impact on their lives.
  • The primordial theory of nationalism is grounded on the concept of ethnic nationalism.

Socio-biological Theory of Nationalism

  • This theory considers nationalism as emotional attachments of a group of people who identify with and agree on a common descent.
  • The people consider themselves as belonging to an extended family. For them, the nation is the family writ large.
  • Nationalism is a blend of both rationalism and irrationalism. It is a ‘primitive mind with modern techniques’.
  • As for as the roots are concerned nationalism relies on the past. But on its relations with other groups it is contemporary.
  • Nationalism shows the face of ethno centrism towards the members of the group and xenophobia to the members of the other groups and nations.

Post-Ideological Theory of Nationalism

  • A number of theorists propounded the post-ideological theories of nationalism. Anthony Giddens, Paul Brass and Michael Mann are the main authors of this theory.
  • They differ greatly in their expositions about the origin and nature of nationalism but a fundamental similarity exists as all of them identify State as the most paramount factor in the evolution and operation of nationalism.
  • They argue that though nations and nationalist sentiments existed in the medieval period, nationalism blossomed fully only in the modern period with the emergence of the modern State.
  • Anthony Giddens argued that the advent of French Revolution engineered the birth and growth of nationalism all over Europe.
  • Michael Mann articulated that there are four sources of social power. They are
  1. Ideological power
  2. Economic power
  3. Military power and
  4. Political power.

  • These four sources, often in combination acted historically to produce nationalism in different periods.
  • The ideological factor in the form of religion promoted the birth of infant nations as in the case of England in the 16th century.
  • The second phase saw the economic, especially commercial power contributing to the birth of nationalism in Western Europe.
  • The military power influenced the origin of nationalism in the third phase and finally political power shaped the evolution of nationalism.
  • The central argument of these theorists belonging to post-ideological theory of nationalism is that the modern State along with commercial capitalism initially created and influenced the growth of nationalism.

Communication Theory of Nationalism

  • Nationalism and Social Communication- by Karl W. Deutsch

  • Karl Deutsch and Benedict Anderson are among the important theorists of communication theory of nationalism.
  • Deutsch defined nation as ‘as a group of people who communicate more effectively and intensely with one another than with people outside the group’.
  • He examined the data from different streams of knowledge like economics, history and demography and arrived at the conclusion that communication played the role of a parent in the birth of nationalism and nationality.
  • The development of effective internal communication linked all people in the country and created the feelings of moral and political identity contributing to the emergence of nationalism.
  • Anderson described the nation as an imagined community and nationalism as its life force.
  • He wrote the book ‘Imagined Communities’ and argued that the nation is an imagined community exiting only in the mind, imagination of the people.
  • The members of a nation do not see, talk and know all the other members of the nation.
  • Yet, they consider all other members as their own people.
  • When a cricket match is played, lakhs of spectators in the ground and people before the TV sets perceive each other as members of the same community sharing joy and sorrow at the victory and defeat of the team.

The concept of imagined community.

  • Similarly the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is another example for the concept of imagined community.
  • The people do not know personally the soldier whose body is buried in the tomb but all compatriots have emotional attachment with the tomb.
  • Cricket Match Spectators Anderson contends that the capitalism and the discovery of the printing press played a crucial role in the emergence of nationalism.
  • After the discovery of the printing press, books were printed and sold in large volumes in the vernacular languages of the period like English, French and German.
  • Millions of the people for the first time in history had the opportunity of reading books in their own languages.
  • As they read the same text and matter they developed in their minds the same thoughts and ideas leading to the creation of the idea of community in their minds.
  • Capitalism helped in the process of creation of imaginary community.
  • The capitalists wanted to earn profits and printed books in large quantities and sold them. The print capitalism (the combined forces of capitalism and printing press) contributed to the advent of nationalism in the minds of the people.

Cricket Match Spectators

  • The fellow members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the images of the communion……
  • Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity or genuineness, but in the style in which they are imagined.” – Benedict Anderson

Marxist Theory of Nationalism

  • Marxism considers nationalism as an offspring of capitalism. Nationalism was created by capitalism to protect the exploitative capitalist order.
  • Karl Marx contended that the ruling ideas are essentially the ideas of the ruling class that owns the means of production.
  • The capitalist class possesses private property and indulges in the exploitation of the property-less class.
  • Nationalism was conceived and created by the bourgeois class for its own benefit to numb the feelings of the workers.
  • Nationalist consciousness is quintessentially a false consciousness deliberately created perpetuate and legitimize class exploitation”.
  • Marx commented, ‘The Proletariat has no fatherland’.

  • He issued a clarion call in the ‘The Communist Manifest’ to the workers of the world to conduct revolution for ending capitalism and establishing socialism all over the world.
  • He favoured internationalism and opposed nationalism.
  • Karl Marx-“The Proletariat has no fatherland” Michael Hechter, Miroslov Hroch and Tom Narim are the important Marxist theorists to analyze nationalism.

Indian Nationalism

  • Indian nationalism emerged in the second half of the 19th century.
  • All Indians began to think of nationalist feeling transcending their religious, regional, linguistic, ethnic differences and barriers.
  • There are two kinds of factors responsible for the emergence of Indian nationalism. They are internal and external factors.
  • Internally speaking, the concept of Indian unity is always ingrained in the minds of the people.
  • Though the Indian subcontinent for many centuries was politically fragmented it continued to be culturally unified.
  • The concept of unity in diversity exists in Indian tradition since ancient period.
  • The seeds of modern nationalism germinated and grew luxuriantly in the fertile soil of this centuries-old cultural unity.
  • Externally, the impact of British colonial rule facilitated the growth of Indian nationalism.
  • The major forces are;


  • Colonialism carried out the political, administrative, economic and communication unification of India.
  • India was a politically divided subcontinent in eighteenth century with over 700 different territories and rulers.
  • The British unified them into one country. India followed village-based economy.
  • Colonialism introduced modern economy and market system unifying the country economically.
  • The British rule introduced modern means of communication like railways, telegraphs, uniform postal system-making transport and movement of people, goods and ideas easier and faster throughout the subcontinent.
  • The newly unified India in the 19th century was conducive for the emergence of the modern political force called nationalism.

Western education

  • Western education was introduced in India by colonialism.
  • Indians learned modern political ideas like liberty, equality, sovereignty in the classrooms and demanded that our motherland should be empowered with those modern political values.

English became the lingua franca

  • English became the lingua franca of India during colonialism.
  • India is a polyglot nation as it speaks more than a thousand languages and political unity was derailed.
  • In this backdrop the English language became the language of communication among nationalists facilitating the growth of nationalism.

Brahmo Samaj and Prarthana Samaj,

  • The 19th century witnessed the emergence of many socio-religious reform movements like Brahmo Samaj of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Prarthana Samaj, etc. They strove to sow the seeds of renaissance and reform in Indian society.
  • They also revived the memories of centuries-old great Indian civilization even while articulating the need for reforming Indian society and eliminating evils like sati, caste system and untouchability.


  • Racialism of British rulers and authorities created bitterness among Indian people.
  • Indian nationalism grew as a protest movement against the racial humiliation of Indian people in the colonial period.
  • They reacted against the concept of the White Man’s Burden flaunted by the colonial rulers.
  • It refers to idea that the white people are the most advanced and civilized race in the world and their mission in India is to civilize the Indian people.
  • Indian leaders repudiated this racial myth and mobilized Indian people through the medium of nationalism.

Emergence of Indian nationalism

  • The patently exploitative and flagrantly arrogant rule of the Governor General Lord Lytten spurred the faster emergence of Indian nationalism. He imposed discrimination on Indian vernacular press.

  • Measures were taken to promote the import of goods from England and to restrict the export of Indian goods to England.
  • No active relief was provided by the colonial government when millions of people suffered and even died under severe drought.
  • There was an unnecessary war with Afghanistan in which thousands of Indian soldiers died.
  • Indian nationalism grew as a result of anger against the maladministration of Lord Lytten.

Bill Granting Powers

  • Lord Ripon was a notable Governor General of India.
  • Along with the Law Member Ilbert, the Governor General introduced a Bill granting powers to Indian judges to sit in the trial of cases involving Europeans.
  • There was a huge protest organized by racist people and the government was forced to backtrack on its proposal.
  • Indians were disappointed at the behaviour of Europeans in India. The Ilbert Bill controversy taught Indians the art and science of political agitation against the negative actions of the government.
  • These factors created the conditions for the conclusive emergence of Indian nationalism in the 19th century that powered the Indian struggle for independence.

Challenges before Nationalism

  • Nationalism faces a host of challenges in the contemporary period.
  • Some of them are intra-national and many of them are extra-national in origin and theatre of operation.
  • The paramount challenges can be listed as secessionism and globalization.
  • Nationalism is the last refuge of scoundrels – Winston Churchill


  • Nationalism grapples with a strong adversarial force, called by many names like separatism, sub-nationalism, splitism and secessionism.
  • The Quebec separatism in Canada, Balochistan movement in Pakistan, Uighur issue in China, Catalan nationalism in Spain are the living examples of nationalism being questioned and endangered by intra- national forces.

Extra National Factors

  • Many extra-national and global factors imperil nationalism.
  • Globalization refers to the increasing integration of the world in terms of economy, trade, technology, culture and institutions.
  • The contemporary world is dominated by the ascendency of globalization process.
  • The barriers between and among nations are being undermined by the onward march of globalization.
  • Economically, multi-national corporations have established their production and sale units across many countries and continents.
  • They employ people belonging to different countries and exercise great influence in political domain also.
  • The establishment and functioning of World Trade Organization has hastened the process of globalization.
  • ’Barrier-free trade’ is the fundamental slogan of the organization.

Contribution of two World Wars

  • It has created several agreements in the last two decades from 1995 the year of its inception and till now and has brought down the trade and tariff bottlenecks in international domain that partly contributed to the two world wars in the 20th century.
  • Trade tariffs are closely related to nationalism and their elimination erodes the rationale of nationalism.
  • There is a large-scale migration of the skilled people propelled by the forces of globalization.
  • The highly educated and technologically qualified people migrate from Asian and African countries to the developed countries like the United States, Australia and countries of Western Europe.
  • The educated and technologically advanced Indian and Chinese youth have migrated in large numbers to the United States in the age of globalization.
  • The international regional organizations have eroded the stature of the States and their nationalism by promoting regional economic co-operation.
  • The European Union consisting of 27 nations is the most advanced international regional organization that seeks to achieve economic, political and cultural integration.
  • It has created European Parliament, European Council and European Commission.
  • Euro is its currency and a large portion of the dream to create structures for the free movement of people, capital, service and goods has been realized.
  • It has brought out the concept of ‘Pooled Sovereignty’ where the States share their decision-making powers with member-States of the regional organization foregoing their sovereignty, definitely a blow to the concept of nationalism and its cardinal feature of State sovereignty.
  • Succinctly to state, the continent of Europe from being the cradle of nationalism has become the beacon of globalism.

Emergence of The United Nations

  • The gradual emergence of the role and relevance of the United Nations indicates the march, though slow of the humanity towards a World Government that is a negation of nationalism and its political body the state.
  • Radical ideologies adhering to a different kind of internationalism pose a threat to the concept of nationalism.
  • For example the Islamic State with its ideology of salafism (Pure Islam) rejected the concept of nationalism and nation States as anti-Islam.
  • It established a caliphate in the captured territories in Syria and Iraq in 2014 and appealed to the global Islamic community to be associated with the international jihad to establish a global Islamic State or universal Caliphate.
  • The environmental problems like climate change, acid rain, ozone depletion have been caused by factors within the nation but the consequences and remedies are transnational and beyond the capacity of nationalism and national States to solve.
  • The environmental conservation responsibility is a global challenge and numerous multi- lateral environmental conferences have been conducted by global community to discuss and provide solutions.

The growth of Information Technology

  • The growth of information technology especially internet, mobile phones and social media have left a profound impact on the concept of nationalism.
  • It has sided with internationalism. The national State cannot effectively protect its nationalism and national interests as cross border transmission of ideas and networks become stronger.
  • The communication revolution has shrunk the world and the idea of the global village gains momentum that in the long run may jeopardize nationalism.
  • Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that nationalism continues to be a strong ideology in the 21st century too.
  • The end of nationalism is not observable even in the distant horizon.
  • The State still retains with itself the priceless feature of sovereignty. The ultimate deciding factor of internationalism is still nationalism and national interests.
  • The BREXIT or exit of Britain from the European Union and the exit of United States from 2015 Paris Accord of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on grounds of national interests reveal the relevance and resilience of the ideology of nationalism.


What is globalisation?

  • Globalisation is an economic process at its heart, although it is politically driven.
  • It also has far-reaching cultural and social ramifications, and is supported by rapid technological innovation, especially in information and communications.
  • Broadly speaking, economic globalization is characterized by two trends.

Structural adjustment

  • Structural adjustment – In pursuit of neo-liberal economic policies of deregulation and privatization, governments withdraw from interventions that might affect the functioning of free markets, for instance removing subsidies and price controls of food.
  • Government provided services such as health, education and water sectors are privatized or subsidies are reduced or removed.
  • The introduction of primary school fees in developing countries in the 1980s, which has depressed girls’ enrollment, is an example of this trend.
  • Structural adjustment has been the dominant policy agenda in the United Kingdom and the United States of America since the 1980s.
  • The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are at best encouraging, and worst coercing, developing countries along the same path, making development aid conditional on their adoption of neo-liberal economic politics.

Trade liberalization

  • Trade Liberalisation – This involves removal of barriers to international trade, such as tariffs and import quotas, and the prioritization of export production.
  • Some experts argues that the subsequent loss of tariffs and import quotas, and the prioritization of export production.
  • Some experts argues that the subsequent loss of tariff revenue to developing country governments has been partly responsible for their public spending cuts.
  • Trade liberalization started to speed up in 1995, with the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • Countries in the global South are being encouraged to follow this route, by a combination of the World Trade Organisation, backed by the European Union and the United States of America and again, the influence of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
  • Courtesy : Women’s Rights, Geraldine Terry, Pluto Press, Oxfax, Palgrave Macmillan, Fernwood Publishing.


  • Benito Mussolini founded a totalitarian party, movement and ideology in the inter-war period and ruled Italy for more than two decades.
  • Fascism in Italian language has its origin in the word Fasci meaning the bundle of rods bound with a red cord round an axe helve.
  • In Italian tradition, this symbol is powerful as it was borne by the magisterial attendants before the Roman Consuls as symbol of political power.
  • The bundle of rods signifies unity and strength and Benito Mussolini chose the nomenclature to arouse the emotions of the cadre.
  • The most important factor for the emergence of Fascism can be attributed to the socio-economic problems of Italy in the post-war period.
  • Though it was on the side of the allied powers in the First World War, there was a huge popular disappointment that it did not receive benefits from the post-war settlement.
  • The country suffered from numerous socio-economic problems like unemployment, inflation, stagnation and instability in industrial sector.
  • All sections of Italy like workers, farmers, middle class and even rich classes faced war-related miseries.
  • Benito Mussolini, being a dangerous demagogue, capitalized on this widespread discontent and conducted a ‘March on Rome’ in 1922.
  • The political authorities in the face of fascist intimidation capitulated and Mussolini and National Fascist Party captured power without any violence.

National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista)

Basic Characteristics

  • Fascism preached and practiced aggressive nationalism.
  • Fascism proclaimed that Italy is the greatest nation in the world and created hatred against other nations and people.
  • Fascism pursued imperialism both in theory and practice. Its expansionist drive re-ignited colonial rivalries in Africa precipitating the Second World War.
  • A Fascist writer Giovanni Gentile wrote the book ‘Doctrine of Fascism’.
  • He said that the Fascist State is a will to power and empire. The Roman tradition is here a powerful force.
  • According to the doctrine of Fascism, empire is not only territorial or military or mercantile concept, but a spiritual and moral one.
  • One can think of an empire, that is, a nation, which directly or indirectly guides other nations, without the need to conquer a single square kilometer of territory. Mussolini believed that the Fascist State is the ‘Third Rome’, a worthy successor to the First Ancient Roman Empire and second the Renaissance Rome that disseminated the seeds of renaissance throughout Europe.
  • Fascism extolled the virtues of war. Mussolini infamously stated ‘war is to man what maternity is to woman’.
  • It deprecated peace as a slogan of the weak and cowardly. Fascism sought to honour women as ‘reproducers of the nation’.
  • Fascism rejected the idea of a limited State. It enthusiastically followed the concept of totalitarianism.
  • Mussolini exclaimed, ‘Everything within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”.

The concept of totalitarian State

  • The State was empowered to create a radically new society. It exercised a complete control over the minds and actions of its citizens.
  • Fascists provided a positive outlook to the concept of totalitarian State contending that the powerful authoritarian State is vital for the metamorphosis of Italy into a mighty nation and moulding of its citizens into politically-active brave people.
  • Fascism considered communism as its mortal enemy and endeavored hard to suppress it.
  • The great Marxist thinker of Italy, Antonio Gramsci was jailed for 20 years.
  • The official prosecutor in that case ended his peroration infamously demanding the judge ‘we should stop this brain working for 20 years’”.
  • Fascism banned political parties, movements and writings supporting communism.
  • Ideologically, it repudiated the Marxist concepts of State, society, class and revolution.
  • As against the class-ridden society of communism, Fascism supported the organic unity of the State.
  • Notable fact of the Fascist State is its nature as a Corporate State. Every profession, trade or occupation possessed its own corporate organisation.
  • The national objectives of the State were given primacy over everything. The corporate State was promoted to remove any conflict between employers and employees.
  • Mussolini firmly believed that the disputes between the business classes and labour should and could be removed through the system of corporate bodies.
  • The workers were sternly told that strikes were illegal. They came to be affected greatly as wages were fixed low by the Fascist State and party.
  • The corporate organizations suffered from corruption and inefficiency.
  • The corporate State was the bedrock of Fascist economy but trampled upon the rights of the workers.
  • Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.- Benito Mussolini


  • Fascism was the most powerful totalitarian State that mankind had ever faced. It was undemocratic.
  • Fascism was attacked as an opportunistic, intellectually dishonest ideology as it changed frequently its core ideological principles and postures.
  • Though Fascism and Nazism had been cruel collaborators in inflicting massive death and destruction on humankind in the Second World War,
  • Fascism as an ideology was more coherent and therefore continues to be used as a term even in the 21st century to assail dictators and totalitarian States.


  • Adolf Hitler was the architect of the totalitarian ideology of Nazism that ruled Germany in the inter-war period.

  • Hitler formed the Nazi Party (officially National Socialist German Workers’ Party) on the basis of a radical 25-point programme in 1920 that included nationalization of all major industries, forfeiture of war profits and freedom from the thralldom of money-lenders.
  • Hitler was a wily demagogue and attracted all sections of German society by promising everything to everybody.
  • He promised ‘food to every belly, cloth to everybody, work to every hand and house to every family’.
  • He arrived at the citadels of power without shedding blood by manipulating the parliamentary and constitutional processes in 1933.

Cause of Emergence

  • The major cause of emergence of Hitler and Nazism can be located in the controversial Versailles Treaty of 1919 that was signed in Paris in the post-war settlement process.
  • Hitler resorted to heighten the emotions of the ordinary German people by condemning the economic, military, and political humiliation of the German nation by the victorious allied powers.
  • He authored the book ‘Mein Kempf’ meaning ‘My Struggle’ containing his views and ideas about German nation.

Core Features

  • Nazism believed in totalitarianism. It adhered to the historical slogan of the German philosopher Friedrich Hegel that ‘the State is the march of God on earth’.
  • Complete obedience was demanded from the citizens.
  • Nazism resorted to systematic glorification of war.
  • Hitler said, ‘War is eternal, war is universal. War is life. War is the origin of all things’.
  • This war-mongering precipitated the Second World War and inflicted misery on mankind.
  • Perhaps the one of the most controversial principles of Nazism is its racial superiority and purity myth.
  • Hitler considered the Aryan race as the most intelligent and superlative one calling it the master race of mankind.
  • He detested other races living among or in the vicinity of German nation especially Jews and Slav races.
  • A set of laws known as Nuremberg Laws were enacted in 1934 to preserve the racial purity of the Aryan race.
  • Marital relations between Aryans and other impure races like Jews, gypsies were banned.
  • Nazisim implemented a brutal campaign of persecution against the Jews that resulted in the killing of millions of people which is now observed as the Holocaust.

  • Nazism suppressed Jews holding them responsible for the misery of German people.
  • The disproportionately higher representation of Jews in the wealthy classes and their lower percentage presence in lower sections of society invited the wrath of the Nazi State.
  • They were subjected to inhuman conditions in places of detention known as concentration camps.

  • Nazism was expansionist. Germany wanted to capture colonies so that the surplus population can be exported and it could overtake England as the colonial giant of the world.
  • Nazism rejected the prevailing political ideologies and systems like communism of Soviet Union, liberal democracy of the United States of America and internationalism of League of Nations.
  • Nazism believed in hero worship. The idea that ‘Germany is Hitler and Hitler is Germany’ was instilled in the minds of the people.
  • The concept of equality of human beings was rejected and Adolf Hitler was addressed as the “Fuehrer” (leader). In fact, Germany itself was called as “Fuehrer-State” meaning the ‘Leader-State’.
  • Nazism followed irrationalism and was vehemently against reason.
  • Adhering to the philosophy of irrationalism it appealed to the emotions, sentiments and passions of the German people.
  • Nazism recognized only single party rule. All other political parties were banned and suppressed.
  • The party resorted to mobilization of the people. Organizationally, it was based on strict hierarchy principles with Hitler concentrating all power at the top.
  • Succinctly to state, Nazism is criticized for being totalitarian, irrational, racist and inhuman ideology.
  • The defeat of Germany in the Second World War and the suicide of Adolf Hitler extinguished the Nazi party and ideology.
  • The emergence of the liberal democratic political system in Germany based on competitive party system has denied scope for the revival of Nazism.

The emergence of the Liberal Democratic Political System

  • Historically, Liberalism has three varieties – Negative Liberalism, Positive Liberalism and Libertarianism.
  • Negative Liberalism considers the State as a necessary evil and advocates a limited State that performs the two functions of maintenance of law and order and enforcement of legally made contract.
  • Positive Liberalism supports a social welfare State that promotes the general welfare and development of the people.
  • Libertarianism re-applies the negative state of the 19th century in the contemporary period and propagates the idea of the minimal State.

Types of Socialism

  • The different types of socialism like Democratic Socialism, Fabian Socialism and Evolutionary Socialism differ from Marxism by endowing the state with democratic character and social welfare functions.
  • All of them advocate staunchly the evolutionary and incremental means of change Lenin contributed to Marxism through the concept of the communist political party as the vanguard of communist revolution, based on the organizational principle of democratic centralism.
  • Stalin propounded Socialism in One Nation defending the Soviet Socialism.
  • Mao, the architect of Chinese Revolution modified the western Marxism to suit the conditions of an Asian society through the Peasant led revolution and People’s Democratic Dictatorship.
  • Nationalism as devotion and commitment to one’s own nation dominates the politics of the nations and the world in the last few centuries.
  • The differing theories of nationalism focus on primordialism, common descent, communication, capitalism, class exploitation and rise and prominence of the modern state in explaining the phenomenon of nationalism.
  • Though intra national and extra national factors pose an existential challenge, nationalism survives and even thrives to be a strong political ideology.
  • Fascism and Nazism are closely related ideologies and they preached and practiced totalitarianism, aggressive nationalism, hero worship, colonialism and war mongering.
  • These two ideologies are despised by the overwhelming majority of humanity.


New Deal Program.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt was the longest serving President of the United States.
  • He played a splendid role in the development of the country by lifting it out of the Great Economic Depression through his New Deal Program.
  • He inspires millions of people even now. He was a heavily paralyzed polio victim.
  • The inspiring slogan in the 1932 elections was that here comes a man on wheels to set America again on the wheels of progress.
  • He presents the winning spirit of positive personality in the ocean of adversities in life.

Karl Popper’s Enemy

  • Karl Popper described Plato as a enemy of open society in his work “Open society and its’ enemies”.

Vladimir Lenin’s death

  • Vladimir Lenin died in 1924 and the mortal remains are preserved in Lenin’s Tomb in Red Square in Moscow.
  • The embalmed body is regularly bathed in special chemicals and has been on public display.
  • Earlier the government funded the finances needed for preserving the body and after the disintegration of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics preservation of the body is maintained through public donations.
  • There are intermittent calls for burying the coffin next to the resting place of Lenin’s mother.

Cultural Revolution – 1960

  • Mao wished to regain power he lost in the Great Leap Forward and create another revolutionary movement.
  • Created the Red Guard from the Chinese youth – Students, peasants, soldiers.

Modern Political Thinker

  • Gramsci was one of the most creative modern political thinkers. But he was imprisoned by Fascism in the prime of his life.
  • The judge convicted him on wrong grounds because of the pressure of Fascist government.
  • While in the prison Gramsci wrote his thoughts on any available piece of paper and that was smuggled out of the prison and therefore his writings are titled “Prison Notebooks”.

U.S.S.R[Union of Soviet Socialist Republics].

  • It was a mammoth political entity in the world. It symbolized the ideology of Marxism.It does not exist anymore.
  • It faced internal disintegration in 1991 and disappeared from the face of the world.
  • The communist country collapsed due to many reasons.
  • There was an unsolvable economic crisis. Politically rights were not available to the people.
  • It had to maintain a very expensive military. The cold war between the United States and U.S.S.R was destroying the economic capacity of the country.
  • It left a number of short term and long term repercussions. Positively it made the advent of democracy in Russia.
  • It ended the cold war and eliminated the threat of nuclear war. It also led to the birth of fifteen new, independent nations.
  • It left many negative effects too. For example, communism as an ideological alternative of hope for humankind was weakened heavily.
  • It created rivalry between the successor nations.
  • The world came to be dominated by one powerful nation. Russia lost its stature among the nations of the world. India lost a traditional friend.

Fabian Socialism

  • In India Jawaharlal Nehru is an ardent champion of Fabian Socialism

Separatist Movements in the world

  • There are many separatist and sub-national movements rejecting the official nationalism in their respective countries and striving to establish new nations in their region.
  • Prepare a list of such movements in different parts of the world. Take a global map and mark in conspicuous colours the areas of sub-national movements

Uyghur Separatism:

  • Xinjiang is a turbulent province of People’s Republic of China located in the north western region of the country.
  • Xinjiang means ‘New Border’ or ‘New Frontier’ in Mandarin language.
  • It is a thinly populated and expansive semi-arid or desert territory and the indigenous inhabitants are called as Uyghur Muslims.
  • The restive province deeply harbours grievances about the putative economic discrimination against them from the mainstream of Chinese government and economy.
  • They argue that their province had witnessed a huge leap in Hans Chinese population from a mere 6 percent at the time of revolution to around 40 percent in the beginning of new millennium endangering their identity.
  • The ethnic community also contends that the atheist communist government discriminates against them in the sphere of religion.
  • They protest against the national government for enforcing regulations and restrictions on many aspects of religious life like telling people not to grow beard and enforcing penalty on taxi drivers who transport burqa-clad passengers.
  • The Chinese government has adopted a stringent attitude towards terrorism in Xinjiang and its response is characterized by strike-hard policy and zero tolerance for terrorism and splitism (a favourite slogan of administration to describe secessionism).


  • R.M. Mac Iver regards fascism as a movement of lower middle class.
  • The doctrine of fascism arose as a theory of reaction to democracy, socialism and communism.
  • While democracy and communism represented progressive focus of the modern age fascism sought to promote a tendency in reverse direction.

Nazism Film Screening

  • Nazism inflicted genocide on innocent people.
  • There are numerous films dealing with the atrocities of Nazism.
  • For example, the film Schindler’s List dealt with Nazi crimes and won many Oscar Awards.

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