Kenneth Minogue and the Poison of Ideology

“The great discovery of ideology has been that modern civilisation, beneath its cleverly contrived appearances, is the most systematically oppressive despotism the world has ever known … Only in modern times [has] oppression begun to hide itself behind a facade of freedom.” Thus Kenneth Minogue in his book Alien Powers: The Pure Theory of Ideology, published in 1985, and appearing in a second edition in 2007.

Minogue was a distinguished political philosopher, who died in 2013. Of Antipodean origin and upbringing, he was for many years a professor at the London School of Economics. He held trenchantly conservative views, and was an associate of many people in the Conservative Party in Britain, including Mrs Thatcher, from which it will be deduced that he did not accept the “discovery” alluded to in our opening quotation.

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