Den af-ideologiserende ideologi: Casestudier af revolution og kapitalisme

Maja Makwarth

Student thesis: Master thesis


The following graduate thesis functions as a multiple case study of revolution and capitalism. The analysis is dual, in which the first part focuses on identifying revolutionary potentials in today’s society base on characteristics of revolution inferred from theories on revolution, in order to highlight what makes these phenomena constituting a source of irritation to the predominant ideology, capitalism. The second part focuses on the way capitalism reacts to this irritation, hereunder what strategy it uses to eliminate the revolutionary potentials that constitute the irritation. The thesis is based on Ricoeur’s thoughts on ‘Hermeneutics of Suspicion’. The basis for these thoughts was Marx’ notion of the consciousness being a 'false' consciousness. With this in mind, Marx sought to reveal current thought forms as a mere expression of the ruling capitalist class’ interests. This can also be applied to this thesis as it based on an interpretation technique, which aims to reveal something. The theoretical apparatus of the thesis is based on revolutionary theories of the German philosopher Hannah Arendt put into play with among others the Danish philosopher Bertel Nygaard. The theories on capitalism on the other hand are based on theorists counting the German philosopher Karl Marx, and the German sociologist Max Weber, and the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek. In the thesis’ three case studies, social phenomena such as the political organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, the dumpster diving culture and the prostitute are identified as constituting revolutionary potentials. Due to the irritation they constitute, as revolutionary potentials against the predominant ideology, capitalism, capitalism must undermine these potentials in order to maintain its position in society. Capitalism does so by making use of a de-ideologization strategy, where it reduces Hizb ut-Tahrir to an non-democratic organization constituted by terrorists, the members of the dumpster diver culture to mere criminals and the prostituted to a non-political individual which needs to be taken care of. Through this de-ideologization, capitalism avoids dealing with these revolutionary potentials at an ideological level, and herby manages to maintain its position as predominant ideology.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages73