Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Ethnic Studies
This essay takes the position that global resurgence of ethnic hostilities can be seen as a manifestation of discontent with the proclaimed national ideologies. The breakdown in the conviction that adherence to an ideology and the application of a related social agenda would ameliorate the critically felt ills of a society, has resulted in the redirection of frustrations towards scapegoat minorities. Whether the ideology has been democratic secularism or socialism, the inability to "deliver the cargo" of economic and social well being, political stabliltiy[stability] has proven to be a direct indictment against the ideology itself. And, like opportunistic diseases, ethnic suspicion, hatred, and hostility have invaded the body politic of the national communities weakened by a crisis of ideological faith. In India, for example, the trend towards "Hinduization" indicates disillusionment with a forty-year experiment with secularism. This essay proposes that resurgent ethnicity has filled the vacuum created by the loss of ideology, and it takes a different trajectory to the "end of ideology end of history" theme of K. Marx, D. Bell, H. Marcuse, and F. Fukuyama. Its objective is to enquire into the conditions needed for ideological realization and the consequences of its loss.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1995