Gulbaat Rtskhiladze, D.Sc. (Political Science), Director, the Eurasia Institute (Tbilisi, Georgia)

Georgi Vekua, Deputy Director, the Eurasia Institute (Tbilisi, Georgia)

By Way of an Introduction: Ideology, a Foreign Policy Weapon

Today, the academic community treats ideology as a political weapon charged with lies.

The political community in the West, likewise, tends toward the terms negative implications: The term is invariably brought up to devalue the opponents intellectual or political position interpreted as a promotion of its narrow interests.

More often than not, ideology is described as a system of thought and values subordinated to social, economic, or political interests designed to conceal or at least camouflage the true interests of any particular group.

On the other hand, it is believed that it is hard to contest the generally accepted interpretation of total ideology which says that in all parties and at all times human thinking remained ideological.

This widens the limits of the concept of ideology; however, it is not our task to establish the degree of its potential truthfulness. We are out to confirm that ideology is a political (and geopolitical) category.

Ideology is closely connected with politics either as an instrument (which suggests its negative implication) or an aim in itself (which is a positive function); sometimes it can be both at one and the same time.

As a more or less free and clear system of basic propositions which determine political trends, each ideology is convinced of its absolute correctness; it supplies instructions for practical activities and directs them.

There are several forms of political ideologyit can be open, organized, partial, systemic, or totalall of them rooted in immutable principles. Each ideology has something which relates it to fundamentalism, stemming from its conviction that its truth is ultimate.

Ideological confrontation is a struggle between different values expressed in the desire to interpret them.

This suggests that ideologies may contain positive (values) and negative meanings (anti-values); the latter frequently relies on corresponding terms such as freedom/totalitarianism. This constitutes the verbal element of politics used to shape the consciousness of the elites and the masses in all states and employed as a diplomatic weapon.

The verbal element (its oral and written forms) is of fundamental importance for politics.

In fact, history is frequently described as a never ending struggle for words and a struggle for the victory of ones own linguistic formulas and, by extension, for the triumph of ones own world of ideas and ones own ideology. This fully applies to domestic and foreign policy. This is related not so much to different interpretations of terms accepted in different linguistic systems as..

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