Systematic ideology is the study of other ideologies that were founded in London, England, at about the same time in the 1930s. Systematic ideology was founded by George Walford and Harold Walsby after they broke up from the Socialist Party of Great Britain. The reason behind systematic ideology is that all human affairs are guided in large part by a certain ideology. Therefore, systematic ideology seeks to find out the origins, and development of such ideologies. It also helps to establish how ideological groups operate, and the methods of application for the various ideologies.
An ideology is made up of characteristics that are made up of sets. These sets of characteristics come in a series and the series make up an ideological system.
Origins of Systematic Ideology
Systematic ideology was borne from the perceived barriers to general socialist consciousness among the working class group. As a result, Harold Walsby developed an idea to enlighten the working class group and to propagate his ideas. A group emerged after they broke away from the Socialist Party of Great Britain so as to help spread their views on socialism. In 1947, Walsby wrote the book "The Domain of Ideologies" which was the main text for their views and opinions on socialism. Walsby and his colleagues formed an organization called the Social Science Association which was more active in spreading their views and theories on socialist consciousness. The group was able to attract new recruits during the Second World War and continued to be active from 1944-1956. The Social Science Association was later succeeded by the Walsby Society which was instrumental in developing the Ideological Commentary.
George Walford, the editor of the Ideological Commentary, was instrumental in helping shape and modify the original ideas of the Social Science Association by removing elements of the commentary that were elitist in nature. This was done from the 1980s and onwards. The critical analysis of ideologies by the SSA party was considered important in helping others understand the limits of other political groups. This was despite their knowledge that they would not help in achieving socialism.
By the 1990s the ideological Commentary had survived with many exponents, until the death of Walford in 1994 which saw the influence dwindle. Today, there are barely any exponents of systematic ideology. The concept of Systematic Ideology is well expressed in Walford’s book titled: Beyond Politics, which was published in 1990. Various texts on Systematic Ideology existed before the book was published, such as the Socialist Understanding, which was distributed as a pamphlet.
Theory of Systematic Ideology
The theory of systematic ideology is based on the premise that people’s beliefs and inclinations are not explicable in terms of material conditions or the methods of production but by thoughts and actions. These ideas are persistent throughout different social classes and cut across, forming a series. The largest groups of people are guided by their preference for authority, family, tradition, and familiarity. These predominant preferences find expression politically in the form of non-political, conservatism, and liberalism. As the series progresses, the weaker it becomes with smaller ideological groups. Smaller ideological groups tend to suppress their identities and opt for dynamism social change. Politically, this is expressed in forms such as labourism, communism, and anarchism in extreme case.