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The term ideology has, since the French Revolution, acquired connotations (per the Oxford Universal English Dictionary and Webster’s) generally of “visionary theorizing” and specifically of “integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program.” Less complex war ideologies (e.g., of an isolated tribal group in Amazonia or New Guinea seeking to displace its neighbors) sometimes are barely or simply articulated while self-conscious modern ideologies (e.g., of the various schools of Marxism) can be extremely “systematic” and complex. Ideologies sometimes are hard to identify or “pin down” since many diverse written works and other elements can contribute to the development of an ideology, and continuities often can be identified only after the fact. See, for instance, in this regard, classic accounts like Christopher Hill’s Intellectual ...

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