Ideologies are systems of ideas that usually include descriptive beliefs about the nature of human beings and the world they live in, normative beliefs about what ends humans should pursue, and instrumental beliefs about how best to achieve those ends. Ideologies often have direct implications for politics and public policy and may form the basis on which political factions, such as political parties or interest groups, are built. Ideologies are characterized as systems because the belief elements that constitute an ideology are seen as logically interrelated by adherents—that is, that one belief implies another. For example, people who identify as liberal in the United States often believe that poverty is the result of factors beyond the control of the individual, and fairness requires the redistribution ...

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