Article | Challenge | March – April 2010

The Need for Ideological Consciousness

by George C. Lodge


Every so often in American history a crisis comes along that requires Americans to inspect cherished assumptions and to act in a way that many find ideologically repulsive. Although our leaders insist that such actions are pragmatic-the only sensible way to deal with the crisis-those pragmatic acts evoke or imply an ideology that obstructs their implementation. Furthermore, if in the name of pragmatism, the ideological aspects of the actions are ignored or suppressed, the full implications of the actions may not be seen. I am talking about such ideas as the role of government: Do we believe in the active planning state or the limited state-the less of it the better? How do we define the good community: Is it by competition among self-interested business managers to satisfy consumer desires or is it necessary for the community itself to define its needs and to regulate business so that they are fulfilled? This article sets out an ideological framework for analysis of these and related questions.

Keywords: History; Leadership; Competition; Framework; Consumer Behavior; Business and Community Relations; Government and Politics; Financial Crisis; Planning; United States;


Lodge, George C. "The Need for Ideological Consciousness." Challenge 53, no. 2 (March–April 2010): 76–89.