Liberation Based Ideologies Essay

3649 words - 15 pages

Liberation Based Ideologies

"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed... There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair... Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured... Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself." These were the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as seen in his letter entitled Civil Disobedience in Defense of God-Given Rights, in which he argues the need for the American nation to live up to the ideal it professes but imperfectly realizes. His letter was written in hope of provoking moral reflection and legal reform within the nation. It was a plea for liberation, utilizing deliberate self-sacrifice as a means to provoke such a change. However, Dr. King's example of an ideology based on liberation is only one of many. Fascism, Nationalism, both liberation theology and fundamentalism, Feminism, and student radicalism are all examples of liberation based ideologies. Any liberation-oriented cause works to achieve some sort of liberation from oppression or reform in a lack of freedom. It is this goal which eventually inspires action within the cause or ideology. Yet, just as in other ideologies such as democracy or Marxism, the specific events or conditions igniting such a need for reform and liberation seem to determine the way, or the system, in which the goal of liberation is achieved.
Fascism is an ideology of liberation which centers around three key themes of elitism, irrationalism, and myth. Fascism is a political movement which originated in Italy, deriving its name from fasces - bundles of sticks tied around an axe symbolizing authority of leadership and the unity of the people tied to it. It holds that the individual exists for the State, to whose good all his work and interests should be directed. It is an ideology of liberation, yet one which is constructed around direct subservience to leadership. This form of hierarchy within the state is the first key theme within fascism. Elitism entails a strong distrust of democracy, fearing that it manipulates law and society through influencing public opinion, they believe in the iron law of oligarchy, in a hero / leader, and in elite values. However, there are many paradoxes within fascism. It has characteristically been at opposition with democracy, yet fascism has also characteristically enacted the same system of oppression within its political regimes. It is similar to Marxism in the ways in which the victims of each system suffer under dictatorships, and...

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