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Globalizing Americana: Part 25 – The Central Ideology

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The Central Ideology

In the last section of the analysis I introduced the five functions of peace organizations as the movement’s central ideology, its organizational structure, its points of accessibility, its recruitment practices, and the incorporation of new members into the group. In this section of the analysis, I will discuss the structure of the organization’s central ideology in defining the core tenets of a doctrine of peace.

An ideology can most simply be described as a system of beliefs. While the beliefs being defined within a particular ideology are of the utmost importance, it is equally important to understand how these beliefs are organized and the functions they serve in transmitting the organization’s core principles.

By discussing an organization’s central ideology one is also gaining insight into the underlying motives driving members of the organization to act. In effect, then, the purpose of its central ideology is to motivate members to act in accordance with a system of belief as defined within the core tenets of the organization.

In discussing peace organizations, the core principle and the central ideology governing the organization must be the same for all organizations defined as peace organizations; namely, the organization must be founded on the principles of nonviolence.

The spectrum of peace organizations is as diverse as the members that participate in such movements. From antimilitarism to antiwar and from pacifism to conflict resolution, though the aims of these organizations differ, their central ideologies are the same. Thus, in discussing the central ideology of nonviolence it is also imperative to describe how the application of nonviolence differs among various peace organizations.

For example, in applying an ideology of nonviolence, an antiwar stance may differ from a pacifist stance. Though the central ideology is the same, the application or the manifestation of this ideology may have varying degrees of intensity with respect to its implementation.

Antiwar supporters may not be pacifists. They may renounce or protest a particular war without also ascribing to a categorical refutation of all military engagements. An antiwar supporter may renounce the War in Iraq or even the first Gulf War, while also supporting American’s role in WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The pacifist, however, cannot support either of these stances as all war, irrespective of the justification, is opposed.

Thus, it is important to first realize that though all peace organizations may share a central ideology, they are not the same and they can serve very different purposes. The purpose of an antiwar organization can be vastly different from a pacifist organization and members of these organizations can and will have different motivations. 

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About Jason J. Campbell

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    So where would a peace organization which promotes peace through strength or through world conquest fit in this model?

    Dave

  • STM

    With respect to Jason for persistence, I can’t believe we’re up to chapter 25 on globalising americana.

    I’ve been dying to make this point, although it doesn’t address this thread:

    I live in a country that on serious reflection, really is like a cross between the United States and Britain, with plenty of its own authentic feel thrown in for good measure.

    The best bits of the first two, hopefully.

    Even our political system is gleefully described as the “Washminster system”.

    That is, it’s identical in function to the House of Lords and the House of Commons in Britain, but in form, the institutions are the House of Representatives (lower) and the Senate (Upper) and are identical to the American institutions.

    I guess, ultimately, representative democracy is representative democracy (in the modern sense, not the ancient Greek).

    We even took a lead from the US and gave ourselves a federal/state system and a constitution at time of federation, although the states only levy indirect taxes, although no Bill of Rights because they were all protected at common law anyway and inherited from the 1000-year old British tradition. Despite not having a Bill, even the laws are virtually identical to those of the US, which also inherited its own from England, right down to the requirement of police to caution suspects – and it’s all taken very seriously.

    A lot of the time, this is the kind stuff – rule of law – that is seen as an American export, except it’s not … it’s much older. Whatever form it takes, though, it can only be good.

    I don’t see anything bad in the export of American institutions, its corporations, its ideals, provided you are able to cherrypick what suits.

    This country is certainly all the richer for them, and for its long relationship with both the US and Britain. Our standard of living and our style of living are near identical to the US, and that’s great too.

    But the fact they aren’t identical places is probably a bonus as well … as we’re not Americans and don’t have the exact same mindset. Similar but different.

    I guess the issue arises when you can’t pick and choose.

    At least we have been able to do that.

    It’s all good though, IMO.

    I honestly don’t know what Jason’s problem is.

    If – if – America really is an imperialist nation, and that’s another argument, it’s largely a benevolent one IMO and the for-and-against ledger is heavily in favour of for at this point, recent events like Iraq nothwithstanding.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    He’s actually up to #27, hard though it is to believe.

    Dave