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Are political "ism"-beliefs artificial? But some of them must exist, so how can they be measured?

Over and over again, I find concepts such as:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chauvinism

to be confusing. Because I consider that the beliefs are "artificial". One could take their premises, exchange/modify them slightly, and it would be a different view, but with a similar kind of "truth".

E.g. call

"Chauvinism is a form of extreme patriotism"

then say

"-ism is a form of minimal patriotism"

and you have two conflicting views, but the "truth" or epistemology rests on about the same level.

However, since some belief systems certainly must exist (how can people act without any belief systems?), then how is the "accuracy" of e.g. such isms resolved? What can the accuracy measure base on?


Sometimes I have the idea that some political beliefs are not formulated for informative purposes, but for manipulation. That is, they attempt to "gain favor". Then they could be compared with dogmas, doctrines etc. Rather than e.g. "accurate social or historical interpretation".

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    See Political ideologies : "In social studies, a political ideology is a certain ethical set of ideals, principles, doctrines, myths, or symbols of a social movement, institution, class, or large group that explains how society should work, and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. Political ideologies are concerned with many different aspects of a society, including ... There are many proposed methods for the classification of political ideologies..." – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Dec 1 '18 at 15:10
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    Thus, they are a way to classify social facts. Are they "artificial" ? Yes, as every human concept. They exist ? The facts they try to describe/explain: Yes. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Dec 1 '18 at 15:11
  • @MauroALLEGRANZA It makes no sense to imply that "every human concept is artificial", since there are concepts that have more use, like physics. Thus "artificial" is relative. – mavavilj Dec 1 '18 at 15:12
  • What I'm looking for is, is there an epistemology for political isms / similar, which approaches "hardness" of natural science. That incorporates e.g. notions of a priori, a posteriori, empirical. – mavavilj Dec 1 '18 at 15:13
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    What is 'artificial' is the attempt to define any ideology - any '-ism' - in an essentialist way in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. There is no belief that is common and distinct to all socialists, or conservatives, or liberals. Ideologies are more like instances of Wittgensteinian 'family resemblance' concepts. – Geoffrey Thomas Dec 1 '18 at 15:42

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