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

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

11th Political Science Lesson 9 Notes in English

9. Political Ideologies Part – II


  • We have learnt a few political ideologies in the previous chapter.
  • Now we will study the remaining ideologies.
  • The domain of political ideologies is very fertile and new ones germinate and blossom regularly.
  • Our subject has witnessed the emergence of many new ideologies in the last four decades.


  • Anarchism is a political ideology that advocates the model of self-governed societies based on innate cooperative instincts of man.
  • Etymologically, anarchism is derived from the Greek word ‘anarchos’ meaning ‘without authority’.
  • One of the earliest political philosophers of anarchism was Pierre Joseph Proudhon who famously described profit as theft.
  • Russian thinker Peter Kropotkin and Russian author Leo Tolstoy are among the other important advocates of this philosophy.
  • Anarchism as an ideology seeks to abolish all authority and emancipate man from the State, property and religion.
  • It alternatively visualizes a society based on voluntary association of human beings.
  • Anarchism considers the State as an unnecessary evil.
  • State is an evil because it suppresses rights and liberties of man hindering his moral development.
  • Unlike the negative liberalists who called the State necessary even though it is an evil, anarchism rejects the State as an unnecessary institution.
  • They argue that the state does not perform any useful function in society and, therefore, it must be exterminated immediately.
  • Bakunin, another famous anarchist thinker asserted that if there is a State, there must be domination and subjugation of one class by another class and therefore all States must vanish.
  • Where there is authority, there is no freedom- Peter Kropotkin


  • Anarchy (Noun) a theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocation a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups
  • Anarchy is not chaos
  • Anarchy is not lawlessness.
  • Aanrchy is based upon the principle of self-ownership.
  • The idea that you are exclusive controller of your own body and life.
  • The Anarchists are peaceful people who reject initiated aggression against anyone without exception.
  • Anarchism does not champion the cause of disorder and disunity. On the contrary, it claims to embody order and unity.
  • Human beings are naturally provided with cooperative instincts.
  • They can lead a life of happiness and fulfilment guided by the instinct of voluntary cooperation.
  • But the artificial institution of the State suppresses the cooperative instincts of man. It endangers freedom and rights of man.

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A new system of voluntary associations.

  • Anarchism aspires to destroy the State and implant in its place a new system of voluntary associations.
  • Every man will voluntarily and enthusiastically participate in public life. Anarchy does not mean a society without rules, rather without rulers.
  • Anarchism believes in the principles of self-determination and self-ownership.
  • Every human being has the right to self-determination and can decide his or her life based on his wishes and freedom.
  • Similarly, every person has complete ownership of himself or herself and this is the most basic form of property.
  • The State threatens these two important principles and therefore should be discarded.
  • Anarchism opposes not only State but also other social institutions like family and religion criticizing them to be responsible for the abominable exploitation of man.
  • Some anarchists equate property with tyranny and condemn it as source of crime.

Anarchism is similar to Marxism

  • Anarchism is similar to Marxism in demanding the abolition of the State.
  • But while Marxism believes that the State will wither away after the establishment of socialism, anarchism demands the immediate destruction of the State.
  • Gerard Casey supported anarchism in the 21st century by stating that not only the totalitarian and repressive ones all States are criminal organizations.
  • A new system of Stateless societies is the cherished goal of anarchism.
  • There are different kinds of anarchism.
  • They can be categorised as philosophical anarchism, socialist anarchism, revolutionary anarchism and libertarian anarchism.

  • However, not all of them demand the abolition of the State.
  • The libertarian anarchism wants to restrict the State to the minimum possible extent.
  • Still, a majority of anarchist philosophers advocate the abolition of the State.
  • Philosophers, critical of anarchism, opined that anarchism is too optimistic of the human nature. Their assumptions are plainly naive.
  • They are oblivious to the ground realities especially the selfish side of human beings.
  • Not all human beings are instinctively cooperative.
  • Moreover, as man is not only rational but also emotional at times strongly influenced by emotions a cooperative individual may become selfish.
  • A world or society without the State will prove to be a source of immense misery as issues like terrorism, cybercrime, and environmental pollution will spiral out of control.
  • The safety of the world becomes fragile in the absence of the State as extremist groups will gain access and control over nuclear weapons and herald death and destruction.


  • Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
  • A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.- Cheris Kramarae

  • Feminism refers to the movements and ideologies that strive to promote empowerment of women so that they achieve equality with men.
  • Feminist schools of thought emerged on the horizon of Modern Political Theory from the last decades of the 19th century.
  • It was propelled by scientific realisation about the innate capability and equality of women with men
  • There are different feminist schools of thought that can be broadly categorized as;
  1. Liberal Feminism
  2. Marxist Feminism
  3. Radical Feminism
  4. Eco Feminism
  5. Post-Colonial Feminism
  • ” A Woman is not born but made”- Simone de Beauvoir Personal is Political– Carole Hanisch

A. Liberal Feminism

  • The feminist movement, in its infant stage in the late 19th century, advocated equal political rights for women.
  • It believed that the subordination of women in society could be rectified with electoral enfranchisement of women and endowment of other political and economic rights.
  • The State was considered to be a gender neutral institution.
  • Therefore granting of voting rights to women will culminate in the fruition of women development.
  • The greatest feat of liberal feminism lies in winning voting rights to women in the democratic western countries.

B. Marxist Feminism

  • It placed gender inequality and exploitation in the origin of private property from the second stage of human history called Ancient Slave Society.
  • Friedrich Engels, a close associate of Karl Marx, wrote the book “The Origins of The Family, Private Property and the State”.
  • He argued that subordination of women emerged with the rise of private property as men controlled the property and used it to establish their domination over women. The struggle for women liberation should take place simultaneously with the struggle for liberation of the working class.
  • Marxist revolution will lead to the destruction of capitalism and the establishment of communism where there will be no private property.
  • There will be equality among not only men but also between men and women

C. Radical Feminism

  • There are no innate differences between men and women and women came to be subjugated deliberately for the purpose of exploitation, is the ideological crux of Radical Feminism.
  • Simone de Beauvoir, the famous radical feminist and author of the work “The Second Sex”, asserted that “A woman is not born but made”.

  • Both woman and man are endowed with same capacities when they are born.
  • Male-dominated society and culture known as patriarchy creates through indoctrination the inequality between them.
  • The differences in gender are created artificially and unjustly.
  • We can understand this assertion when we note the enormous differences in the status and position accorded to women among the cultures of the world.
  • Carole Hanisch, a famous Radical Feminist, brought out the most important slogan of Radical Feminism – Personal is Political – to reveal patriarchal domination over women.

  • The liberal politics divides the activities of humankind into personal and public domains.
  • The personal domain is considered to be a sphere of personal life where family operates.
  • It is believed that there is no scope for conflict and domination in this sphere and only love, affection and empathy are relevant.
  • Women live in the personal sphere and therefore there is no need for political rights, power and authority for women.
  • But the public domain is a sphere of struggle, competition and therefore politics. This domain is dominated exclusively by men.
  • Therefore, men alone participate in politics and possess political power.
  • Radical Feminism repudiates the above liberal exposition and asserts that private and personal domain is also subject to politics.
  • The relationship between man and women in personal domain is not always characterised by the considerations of love and affection.
  • Even here struggle, competition and domination operate.
  • For example the relations between husband and wife and a brother and sister are not always friendly and affectionate.
  • Struggle and competition can also be found in them. Therefore, we should speak about politics, women rights, gender equality in personal domain too.
  • Radical Feminism argues for a revolutionary re-ordering of society and politics to implant gender equality in personal and public domains.

D. Eco Feminism

  • Eco Feminism provides a feminist interpretation of nature.
  • The two ideologies of Feminism and Environmentalism are fused in Eco Feminism.
  • It argues that patriarchy is the root cause of environmental degradation and women exploitation.
  • The important architects of Eco Feminism are Francoise D’Eaubonne, Rosemary Ruether, Ynestra King and Vandana Shiva.

  • There are two schools of thought in Eco Feminism. They are Radical Feminism and Cultural Feminism.
  • Radical Feminism asserts that patriarchy or male-dominated system subjugates and degrades both environment and women.
  • Male domination of society must be eliminated to realise the twin objectives of environmental preservation and women empowerment.
  • The other school, Cultural Feminism argues that women are closer to nature as both are food providers and play indispensable role in biological reproduction.
  • The environmental degeneration affects women more than men.
  • The division of work between the two genders leaves women more disadvantaged in the age of environmental crisis.
  • They suffer more as in male dominant societies they are given the responsibilities directly linked with nature.
  • “We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.”- Vandana Shivaand .

E. Post-Colonial Feminism

  • Post-Colonial Feminism arose as an ideology and movement in the 1980s in the countries of Asia and Africa that were formerly enslaved in colonialism.
  • Audre Lorde contributed to the emergence of Post-Colonial Feminism in one masterpiece essay “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”. Gyatri Spivak, Chandra Talpade Mohant Ethel Crowley are important Post-Colonial Feminists.
  • Audre Lorde said, “To imply, however, that all women suffer the same oppression simply because we are women is to lose sight of the many varied tools of patriarchy.
  • It is to ignore how those tools are used by women without awareness against each other…
  • As an African-American woman in White patriarchy, I am used to having my archetypal experience distorted and trivialised.”

  • It revolts against the western feminist movements’ attempts at universalizing their experience.
  • Women do not constitute a single and homogenous category as they are differentiated by a host of factors like class, race, religion and country.
  • The mainstream feminism suffers from several deficiencies when applied to non-western societies.
  • The Post-Colonial Feminism criticises the negative impact of western colonialism on the social economic and political universe of women in Asia and Africa, a realty that was ignored and never experienced by the mainstream feminist thought.
  • They had experienced racism, slavery, forced migration and numerous other evils that make them different from the Western women.
  • It also condemns the projection of the western women as educated, politically-conscious, modern and empowered and non-western women as passive, powerless victims.
  • Post-Colonial Feminism argues that women in these societies are victims of double colonisation represented by the exploitative forces of colonialism and patriarchy.
  • Post-Colonial Feminism castigates the visible indifference of the mainstream post colonial political thought to the peculiar sufferings of the women in their societies and countries.

Indian State and Women Empowerment

  • Not only feminism but all recent theories in political science emphasise the need to promote gender equality and women empowerment.
  • Indian State had implemented certain crucial measures for protecting women.
  • The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts reserve one-third of the seats in panchayat and urban local bodies for women.
  • The implementation of reservation in elected local bodies in the last two decades has led to political empowerment of women.
  • The Supreme Court of India had provided ‘Vishakha Guidelines’ to protect women from sexual harassment in working places.
  • Accordingly, the Union government enacted The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
  • The Act establishes Internal Complaints Committee and Local Complaints Committee to provide redressal to women seeking justice from sexual harassment in their workplace.
  • Parliament had earlier passed The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to provide justice and protection from violence within their homes.
  • In conclusion, one can say gender equality paves way for empowerment of the half of humankind.


  • Communitarianism emerged as a political doctrine during the 1980s when Michael Sandel authored the book ‘Liberalism and the Limits of Justice’.
  • He criticised the libertarianism and its thinker John Rawls in that work.
  • The other political scientists supporting communitarianism include Alisdair MacIntyre, Michael Walzer, Charles Taylor, Amitai Etzioni nd Will Kymlicka.
  • Though the British Socialist Goodwyn Barmy coined the word “communitarian” in the 1840s, the doctrine of communitarianism emerged only towards the end of the 20th century

What is Communitarian Society?

  • A Community is commonly considered a social unit(a group people) who share something in common.
  • A Group of people who live in the same area.
  • A Group of nations.

  • Communitarianism rose as a revolt against the prevailing two ideologies of libertarianism and Marxism.
  • It criticised the thinkers of libertarianism for their over emphasis on individuals.
  • It rejected Marxism for being committed to class-based action and analysis. However, the opposition was directed against Libertarianism that had become the ruling philosophy of mankind especially in the western world.

Importance of Community

  • Communitarianism argues that man is not born in a vacuum.
  • He is a social and cultural animal. Individuals are born in a community or culture and therefore inherit it.
  • Their beliefs, behavior, skills, capacities, attitudes etc are predominantly influenced by the community.
  • Every individual builds on these commonly available and acquired capacities to make a mark in his or her life time.
  • Man is not an atomistic entity existing alone but is embedded in the community.
  • The individual is not ‘unencumbered self’ (completely free) from society but ‘situated self’ (rooted and planted) in society

Communitarianism Meaning

  • Communitarianism is a philosophy that emphasizes the connection between the individual and the community.
  • Although the community might be a family UNIT, Communitarianism usually is understood, in the wider, philosophical sense,

  • As a collection of interactions, Among a Communitarian philosophy is based upon the belief that a person’s social identity and personality are largely molded by community relationships, with a smaller degree of development being placed on individualism.
  • In short Balancing the Rights and Responsibilities of Individual with Rights and Responsibilities of Community.
  • For example a child born in Tamil Nadu speaks Tamil language fluently and not Japanese where as a child born in Japan speaks Japanese fluently and not Tamil.
  • A man living in a community where computer technology is already available in developed form may become a skilled person in software domain.
  • On the contrary, a man living in a remote community that has not witnessed the growth of information technology will not have adequate software skills.

Concept of State

  • Communitarianism considers the State as a positive instrument that promotes the idea of the common good.
  • The concept of common good is present in every community.
  • The community develops a set of goals, practices and measures that collectively promote the fundamental welfare of all.
  • The State should promote the realisation of the common good and act against the activities that promote individual good in contradiction with common good.
  • It should protect and promote those cultural traditions of the community that symbolise and sustain the common good.
  • Communitarianism supports a State that is democratically elected and constituted.
  • They strongly aspire for a State that is responsible and responsive to demands of the community.

Concept of Rights

  • Communitarianism believes that rights and responsibilities are intimately related.
  • It rejects the excessive reliance of libertarianism on the concept of individual autonomy and rights.
  • Instead, it focuses on a new concept of rights where common good is given importance.
  • They strongly contend that the common good of the community has supremacy and priority over the rights of the individuals as it is prior to them.
  • Every person may have his own conception of good but such individual good must be subordinated to the idea of common good.

  • A new concept of positive rights is propagated where in a wide variety of rights like State-subsidised education, State-subsidized housing, safe environment, universal healthcare are demanded for the community members.
  • A synthesis between rights and responsibilities is advocated by certain thinkers who belong to Responsive Communitarianism.

Concept of Justice

  • Communitarians attack John Rawls and other libertarian thinkers on the concept of justice.
  • They reject universalism of libertarianism, their argument that the concept of justice is universally applicable as it is based on reason.
  • On the contrary, communitarians articulate the particularistic view of justice.
  • Every community develops its own notions of justice and therefore it differs from society to society.
  • Therefore, we can conclude that Communitarianism as a political doctrine believes in the indispensability of community for the development of the ‘situated and embedded man’.
  • The positive State should concentrate on the provision of positive rights to community and its people so that common good can be preserved and promoted.
  • But Libertarianism still criticises Communitarianism as preparing the path for the emergence of collectivism and authoritarianism.


  • Postmodernism refers to a variety of ideas that criticize modernity and emerge as its successor and rival.
  • The major proponents of Postmodernism include Fredrick Nietzsche, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Michel Foucalt and Jacques Derrida.
  • Modernity has dominated the political theory in the last 200 years.
  • Rationality, universalism, reductionism are among the dominant principles of modernity.
  • Postmodernism challenges these principles and advocates alternatives.
  • It emerged in the last three decades in western political theory.

  • Fredrick Nietzsche is called Father of Post Modernism.
  • God is dead…..and we have killed him- Friedrich Nietzsche
  • He famously said “God is dead”. He argued that man should stop the search for the ultimate truth to explain human life. It is beyond our capacity.
  • Modernity believes in universalism and reductionism.
  • It explains all the phenomena through a single factor or one ultimate truth.
  • For example, Karl Marx said human life depends on economy and all problems can be solved by eliminating the right to private property.
  • Similarly Fredrick Hegel, the German philosopher argued that the world is nothing but the embodiment of World Spirit.
  • Postmodernism, in contrast, advocates that the world and our life is complex and cannot be explained by a single factor.
  • A host of factors like culture, language, religion, politics, and economy decide human life and this world.

Postmodernism believes that truth is not singular but plural.

  • There are multiple versions of truth. For example, take any one leader or historical event.

  • Different people will talk about the leader or the event differently.
  • One person may call that leader a visionary. Another may call him a demagogue.
  • Yet another may have a different perspective. All may be right in their own perspective and interpretation.
  • The world is not constituted only by the two colours of black and white.
  • There are more colours positioned in a continuum in between black and white.
  • Jacque Derrida was a French philosopher who advocated an innovative Post- modern concept called deconstruction.

Deconstruction an innovative concept

  • He provides deconstruction as an approach to understand meanings and texts.
  • There are multiple meanings in a text and as human language is not so developed it may not be possible for the author of a text to communicate all his thoughts.
  • The receiver or reader of the text may understand the meanings differently.
  • Multiple interpretations of a text exist and therefore Derrida suggests deconstructing the meanings of the text.
  • There are no facts, only interpretations.- Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Postmodernism-No Absolute truth, Only my truth No past, no future Only Now. No underlying meaning or purpose only my meaning and purpose

  • Postmodernism opposes the universalism of modernity.
  • In contrast it supports Particularism. It argues that the parts are more important than the whole.
  • For example, modernity pays attention to universal theory of rights or welfare.
  • Post- modernism focuses on the rights of particular social groups like women, tribal and the like, who are less privileged.
  • Modernity devotes attention to systemic change but Postmodernism focuses on emancipating or changing the condition of specific social groups.
  • Identity politics is interlinked with post – modernism.

What is Deconstruction?

  • Explained as a strategy “Rules for reading, interpretation and writing.”-Jacques Derrida

  • Identity Politics refers to the activities of specific social groups, usually the weak, vulnerable and under-privileged communities who organise themselves under the banner of their own caste, race, and gender to resist domination of other groups over them.
  • The members of these groups call themselves ‘we’ and oppose the activities of others, ‘they’.
  • Postmodernism and Identity Politics promote the empowerment of local, specific communities.

  • Postmodernism has been criticised by many thinkers and scholars.
  • In fact, Alan Kirby, a British cultural critic, said Postmodernism is dead as its cultural period is over and the world has entered digi-modernism or the Era of Digital Modernism.


  • The advent of modern science and technology driven development had devastated the planet’s environment precipitating several ecological crises like ozone depletion, climate change and acid rain.
  • Environmentalism arose as a protest movement and ideology against the perilous destruction of the earth.
  • We have only one habitable planet in the entire universe and there is no alternative home and therefore protecting the environment assumes paramount significance

Humanization of Nature and Naturalization of Human Being

  • There exists a profound debate in philosophy about the relationship between man and ecology, development and environment.
  • The Deep Ecology versus Shallow Ecology controversy is the central point of discussion in the debate.

  • Gandhiji says that there is enough for everyone’s need but not for anyone’s greed.

Shallow Ecology

  • Shallow Ecology refers to an ideology that approaches ecology through an anthropocentric and utilitarian outlook.
  • American philosopher Anthony Weston is the greatest supporter of shallow ecology.
  • It considers the human beings as fulcrum of life in this world.
  • It accords the position of centrality and supremacy to man in ecology.
  • It adopts an instrumental value of nature meaning that the ecology is important only as it useful to human welfare.
  • The non-human biological forms and inanimate world are nothing but natural resources for human life.


  • It looks for technological solutions for any environmental problem.
  • If pollution imperils environment then alternative energy sources that are renewable and environment friendly should be developed.
  • It believes in the strategy of three R,s – reduce, reuse and recycle.

Deep Ecology

  • Norwegian ecological philosopher Arne Naess coined the term Deep Ecology in 1973.
  • He was influenced by Rachel Carson and Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Deep ecology theory argues that the planet Earth is constituted by three interlinked parts of the human beings, non-human biological forms and the inanimate objects and forces.
  • The human beings are one among the millions of living organisms in this world.
  • They do not possess any superiority over other organisms.

  • Anthropocentrism, that is, the belief in the centrality and supremacy of human beings in this world must be discarded.
  • The non-human biological forms also possess intrinsic value, inherent worth and identity. It believes in biocentric equality.
  • The human beings need to satisfy the vital needs by making careful use of this biodiversity. Preservation of biodiversity is indispensable.
  • The interference of human beings on the domain of the non-human sphere of the planet so for, is destructive, excessive and unacceptable.
  • There is an urgent need to limit the population of the world as the current population explosion has injected enormous stress on the ecology.
  • We should change our technology, philosophy, economy and politics so that ecological crises can be rectified and averted in the future.
  • The human beings are ‘ecological selves’ the materialistic and consumerist life style must be changed and a new ecologically-sensitive social and economic order must be created.
  • We should reduce our ‘ecological footprint’ by adopting a meager resources based life style.
  • As the nomenclature indicated deep ecology asks deeper questions of how and why examining philosophically the impact of human life as one part of the ecosphere on other components.

  • “Humans are part of the environment and not conquerors of it.”- Aldo Leopold

Tenets of Deep Ecology vs Shallow Ecology

The Eight-Tenets of Deep Ecology Paraphrased The Eight-Tenets of shallow Ecology
1.All creatures on Earth have intrinsic value. 1. All creatures on Earth have value only for their usefulness to humans.
2.The whole diversity of living beings simple as well as complex. contributes to life’s richness. 2. Complex creatures (ie humans) are more important than simpler ones.
3.Humans should use other beings only to satisfy their basic needs. 3. Humans should always use all resources for their material and economic advantage.
4. The health of non-humans depends on decreasing the number of humans. 4. The human population can increase without restraint.
5. Human interference with the world is excessive and worsening. 5. Technological progress will solve all problems.
6. Human policy (economics. technology and ideology) must change radically. 6. Materialism and consumerism should govern human society.
7. Quality of life is more important than standard of living. 7. The standard of living should keep rising.
8. Every human who believes in these points must work for change. 8. Leave environmental problems for the experts to solve.
  • The Earth dose not belong to us: we belong to the Earth.- Marlee Martlin

Political Theory and Ecology

  • The words environment and ecology are synonymous. Andrew Heywood, the noted political scientist classifies ecology in political theory into three kinds
  • Social Ecology
  • Modernist Ecology
  • Deep Ecology

A) Social Ecology

  • The term ‘Social Ecology’ was coined by American philosopher Murray Bookchin.
  • It advocates radical changes in the existing social and political structures to make them ecologically correct.
  • There are three distinct trends in Social Ecology
  1. Eco-socialism
  2. Eco-anarchism
  3. Eco-feminism

1. Eco-Socialism

  • Rudolph Bahro in his book ‘From Red to Green’ supported eco-socialism. It considers capitalism as the enemy of ecology.
  • By breeding materialism and consumerism capitalism has inflicted horrific destruction on the environment.
  • The unlimited right to private property, the cardinal principle of capitalism endangers the precious health and wealth of the planet’s ecology.
  • The nature is seen only as a commodity to be traded in the market and consumed by the man.
  • Eco- socialism propounds a new approach in politics that combines socialism and ecologism.
  • Socialism alone can nurture environment.
  • The state must be imparted with a socialist content and direction to end the evil of capitalism and to protect environment

2. Eco-anarchism

  • Murray Bookchin advocated eco-anarchism. It considers authority as the enemy of ecology.
  • The emergence of authority in human history in the form of State, religion and even family had led to the domination of man over man.
  • The same forces have produced the subjugation and domination of nature by man. Man is a voluntary animal and his original instinct is the cooperative instinct.
  • In the ideal society, man establishes various associations based on voluntary cooperation to achieve development.
  • But artificial forces of State, religion, private property have subverted the system and created structures of domination and subjugation.
  • They have also wrought havoc on ecology. Therefore, we should create a new society based on voluntary instincts to protect man and ecology

3. Eco-feminism

  • Carolyn Merchant in the book ‘The Death of Nature’ propounded eco-feminism.
  • This perspective considers patriarchy as the enemy of ecology and feminism as its beloved friend. Patriarchy means domination of man over women.
  • Eco-feminism argues that patriarchy created the domination of man over not only women but over nature also.
  • Patriarchy follows instrumental reason whereby both women and ecology are seen merely in terms of use value, as objects to be exploited and not as subjects endowed with life and intrinsic worth.
  • Eco- feminism demands gender and ecology sensitive politics so that a new world of justice and sustainability can be established.

B) Modernist Ecology

  • Modernist ecology is synonymous with shallow ecology. It attempts to promote a new harmony between liberalism and ecology.
  • The liberal tenets and approach should be reformed so that the menace of ecological destruction can be avoided.
  • It advocates a new ‘enlightened anthropocentricism’ where man, being the centre of the planet must consider the long-term interests of humanity and ecology in his developmental activities and should not be driven solely by short-term interests.
  • Modernist ecology believes in the concept of “inter-generational justice” and argues that we did not inherit the earth from our previous generations
  • But borrowed it from the future generations of humanity and therefore, there is a moral responsibility to protect and preserve the earth for their life in the future.
  • The concept of ‘sustainable development’ is a basic characteristic of modernist ecology.
  • It argues that ‘getting richer faster’ should not be the goal of human world rather ‘getting richer slower’ should be its guiding approach.
  • The modernist ecology is not a homogenous ideology. On the contrary, it is heterogeneous.

  • There are different perspectives and prescriptions. Certain followers have called for the establishment of a totalitarian ‘Green State’ to protect ecology.
  • Another group of supporters demanded ‘Green Capitalism’.
  • The majority of advocates and supporters of modernist ecology suggested the green tilted State intervention in market to protect ecology and satisfy human interests.

C) Deep Ecology

  • It advocates a new style of politics, policy and political attitude towards nature.
  • It argues for a fundamental shift in the relationship between politics and nature.
  • Politics must understand, respect and protect the element of inter connectedness found in ecology linking the human beings, other biological forms and the inanimate world.

Ecological Movements in India

  • The destruction of ecology through modern development had resulted in the emergence of many protest movements all over the world.
  • India also has witnessed many ecological protest movements seeking to protect environment and biodiversity.
  • We shall study four such important ecological movements of India
  1. Bisnoi Movement
  2. Chipko Movement
  3. Appiko Movement
  4. Save Silent Valley Movement

A. Bisnoi Movement

  • Bisnoi non-violent struggle was a successful ecological movement in the 18th century in Rajasthan.
  • Bisnoi is a religious sect in the Thar desert of Rajasthan founded by Guru Jambeshwar in medieval period.
  • Bisnoi in Hindi means 29 and the sect came to be named after the 29 cardinal principles the founder expounded.
  • The sect promoted a socio-religious belief system in perfect harmony with ecology creating a lush green local ecosystem in the desert.
  • The maharaja of Jodhpur desired to construct a palace in the 18th century and sent the army to the Khejarli village to cut the acacia trees in the locally nurtured forest.
  • The ecologically- conscious local population protested against the cutting of trees.
  • An elderly woman named Amrita Devi was in the frontline of the protest and when the army refused to desist from cutting the trees she hugged the trees asking the army to cut her head instead of cutting the trees.
  • The army remorselessly cut her head off and concerned but determined villagers came forward in a line to offer their lives.
  • A total of 363 people sacrificed their lives for protecting the forest.

  • Ultimately the maharaja after knowing about the terrible events in the village recalled the army and offered his apologies for the massacre.
  • He also officially designated the area as a protected forest.
  • Bisnoi Khejarli movement is perhaps, the first greatest ecological movement of modern India.
  • “A chopped head is cheaper than a felled tree.”

B. Chipko Movement

  • Chipko movement was a non-violent popular, ecological movement organised by villagers in the mountain state of Uttarkhand in 1973.
  • ‘Chipko’ in Hindi means to hug.
  • The agitators of Chipko movement embraced the trees to protect them from being cut thereby earning the name Chipko movement.
  • The contractors of sports goods company began to cut the trees in the Alknanda valley of the Uttarkhand state (part of Utter Pradesh at that time) after getting government clearance.
  • The enraged local population, especially women protested in a non- violent manner by embracing the trees and prevented the contractors.
  • The organisational leadership was provided by an NGO called Dasholi Gram Swarajya Mandal (DGSM) that was formed a few years back by a noted social activist Chandi Prasad Bhatt.

  • The famous environmentalist Sundarlal Bahuguna joined the agitation and appealed to the union government to ban logging in the Himalayan forests.
  • The large-scale participation of women was a significant and laudable feature of the Chipko movement.
  • Many women leaders like Dhoom Singh Negi, Bachni Devi played a prominent role fighting for forest rights of the people.
  • The movement gradually spread across many parts of the Himalayan Mountains forcing the government to officially ban logging from 1980.
  • The movement symbolises the successful fusion of three major ideologies of feminism, environmentalism and Gandhism
  • ‘Ecology is permanent economy’- Sundarlal Bahuguna

C. Appiko Movement

  • The Appiko movement is an ecological protest movement in Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka in the Western Ghats.
  • It was inspired by the Chipko Movement and ‘appiko’ in Kannada means to embrace.
  • The Uttar Kannada district falls in the Western Ghats.
  • The launch of many developmental projects in the district has precipitated deforestation reducing the forest cover of the district from a massive 81 percent in 1950 to an alarming 24 percent in 1980.
  • The ecologically-conscious people launched the movement with three-fold objectives of conservation of remaining tropical forests.
  • Afforestation of the denuded forests and dissemination of ideas on rational utilisation of forests.

D. Save Silent Valley Movement

  • The silent valley is an ecologically rich terrain in the Western Ghats in the Palakkad district of Kerala consisting of the tropical moist evergreen forests largely undisturbed by human activities.
  • The valley is named after Sairandhiri (Draupati), the wife of Pandavas in the Indian epic Mahabharata.
  • Another explanation of the nomenclature says that when the Englishmen visited there during the colonial period the valley was observed to be strangely silent because of the supposed absence of the noise-making insect Cicadas.
  • The valley is rich in biodiversity. The lion-tailed macaque is abundantly found in the valley.
  • There is even an argument that the valley itself is named after the binomial name of lion-tailed macaque, Macaca Silenus.
  • The Kerala State Electricity Board began to implement Silent Valley Hydro Electricity Project across the river Kunthipuzha in the valley in the 1970s.
  • The Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad, other civil society organisations and ecologically-conscious people conducted an intense protest against the project.
  • They criticised the negative impact of the project on the environment especially the bio diversity of the valley.
  • The Kerala government, in the face of stiff opposition from diverse sections of society dropped the project in 1980.
  • The valley was declared a national park in 1985 and later on it came to be designated as the core area of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve.

  • The Save Silent Valley movement is one of the most successful ecological movements of India in late 20th century.



  • Anarchism as an ideology seeks to abolish all authority and emancipate man from state, property and religion.
  • It calls for the immediate destruction of the state describing it as unnecessary evil.
  • It alternatively visualizes a society based on voluntary association of human beings.


  • Feminism fights for the emancipation of women from patriarchy.
  • Liberal Feminism, Radical Feminism, Marxist Feminism, Radical Feminism, Eco Feminism and Post-Colonial Feminism strive for emancipation of women in their unique ways fighting against patriarchy, private property and authority


  • Communitarianism articulates the centrality of community in the life of individuals.
  • It rejects the argument that individual is an atomistic being and on the contrary considers them as embedded or situated in the community.
  • It believes in a state that seeks to promote common good and positive rights.


  • Postmodernism rose as a reaction against modernity and rejects universalism and reductionism.
  • It contends that reality is based on interpretation and therefore is not singular but plural.
  • Contrary to modernity that devotes attention to systemic change; Postmodernism focuses on emancipating or changing the condition of specific social groups and supports identity politics.


  • Environmentalism seeks to preserve and conserve the nature. Philosophically there are two forms namely Shallow Ecology and Deep Ecology.
  • Shallow Ecology believes in the principle of Anthropocentrism and provides the position of centrality to the human beings in this world.
  • Deep Ecology in contrast articulates the principle of Bio Centric Equality where all biological forms including the human beings are equal and calls for ecological conservation.
  • The political theory has three major schools of Modernist Ecology, Social ecology and Deep Ecology.
  • They attempt to promote their own perspectives towards environment-development debate.

Robert D. Putnam in Communitarianism

  • Robert D. Putnam played a crucial role in the emergence of communitarianism.
  • He analysed the game of Bowling in America.
  • In his analysis he found that in the earlier days, a large number of Americans played the game.
  • They built social networks, knowledge and skills (Social Capital) by constantly interacting with other people in the community while playing the game.
  • But gradually people lost interest in the game with the arrival of new forces and facilities like television, internet, etc.
  • As people spent more time in their technology-driven gadgets, their social interaction with other members came down leading to erosion of social capital.
  • Ultimately, the quality of democracy also suffered as people have limited social interactions and public engagement.
  • The political apathy of people eroded the strength of democracy.

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