Charles Sprague: Review of Beyond Politics

Review of Beyond Politics, an outline of systematic ideology.

From CLARITY, Magazine of the Christian Forum, Vol 22 No.5; by Charles Sprague.

Everybody has emotions about politics. Sometimes we give voice to them: public figures, like Norman Tebbitt and Nicholas Ridley, with great publicity and considerable consequences. Many of us also support a party and vote for it. We know, or think we know, what these parties stand for, at least on the one point that really matters to us or gets our goat. But have we really read their programmes, understood what they say and, more important, unravelled what they don’t say but will do, after we have voted them into power on those points they have made publicly, and which we think we have understood? And how many of us truly know and understand what these parties really stand for, the thinking behind their thinking, and how far this thinking hasĀ been – can be! – translated into reality?

George Walford – a longstanding subscriber to Clarity… has devoted many years to the study of this question. He has previously published a book and a pamphlet about it, basing himself on the theory of Systematic Ideology founded by Harold Walsby, and has published some fifty issues of a review called Ideological Commentary. His latest book, neutral – nay, objective – towards all parties, gives the explanations which help you to understand, and understand in depth, what is – politically speaking – on offer. But, as its title says, it goes beyond politics.

Politics rule our life. They are behind the laws that govern what we may do and not do. And ideology is the conscious, or unconscious, system of assumptions behind our political views.

The book is clearly and competently written and free from the emotional posturing so often found in political books. Much of its structure can be gathered from chapter titles: – Politics as IdeologyThe British Political SeriesThe World Political SeriesFrom Politics to IdeologyIdeology Beyond PoliticsThe BeginningsFrom Village to EmpireAfter the EmpiresThe Origins of IdeologyThe Evolution of Ideology.

You may have certain political attitudes. If you wish to know why you hold them, read this book.

from Ideological Commentary 50, March 1991.