Ideology refers to a system of ideas that theorizes visions, and gives legitimacy to beliefs, myths and actions of a religious, social, corporate or political entity. It is how one behaves and thinks, and which drives their actions, goals and life expectations. People use established ideologies to filter actions and to give direction and impetus to a given course, and to rally support for their actions (Heywood, 2007). Sometimes, ideologies are but some kind of propaganda, which people use to force unpopular or unfair doctrines on a less empowered people. In “Ideology as a Cultural System”, Geertz gives some fundamental arguments concerning how people use ideology to advance their own courses. He asserts that history is awash with leaders who have changed the course of their people by controlling their flow of thought. When has control over the exchange of ideas, and denies people the right to free academic discourse, one succeeds in altering a community’s discourse. The ideologue is then almost the same as a liar, albeit the liar’s agenda is riddled with cynicism. Geertz views ideology as a culture that is actively engaged in establishing defense of belief patterns. His essay is a perfect study in how individuals become victims of group beliefs. They do so to reduce cognitive intricacy by accepting contradictions and the problems of this view, in order to understand the world better. His views attempt to explain why people function in harmony with complicated societal rules. It is a deep level analysis of the way an individual is entrenched in complicated social processes, and acts according their expectations. The paper shows that through these expectations, an individual asserts her or his independence, and that is the most important thing.
Heywood, A. (2007).Political Ideologies an Introduction.4th ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan