What Is Ideology & History and How Does It Affect

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 9
Words: 2576
Reading time:
10 min
Study level: PhD

Background information

Ideologically, history studies the socio-economic, cultural, and religious activities of the past. This enables individuals to gain full knowledge of the past incidences to shape their future. For instance, people use historical concepts as guiding principles in decision-making. This claim is supported by McNeil, Marchak, and Zinn in their literary works. Personal opinions regarding this issue have also been staged. Scholars assert that individuals must be pragmatic and learn from past events. Contextually, ancient activities define people’s course of action in the present environment. For instance, the deeper we look back into the past, the more we focus on the future. Additionally, the vigor with which an individual pursues the future connects credibly to past mistakes. This explains the appropriateness of Orwell’s quote. Personally, I agree with Orwell’s quote that there is a considerable connection between the past and the future in the realms of who controls them.

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Indeed, history remains a fundamental aspect of the human lifestyle. It facilitates understanding of past activities. Historians provide credible information through writing as well as quotes that explain past human activities in diverse aspects. They emphasize that individuals or communities who seek to foster their ancient practices pertaining to social and cultural issues have an obligation to understand their underlying historical backgrounds and ideological principles. This is to enable them to develop relevant and sustainable life practices that are acceptable. Orwell, through his renowned historical quotes, indicates that he/she who controls the past controls the future (Zinn 479). This depicts how historical issues related to the present dealings.

In regard to my personal opinion, Orwell’s quote has social, ideological, mythical, and historical impacts. It influences the execution of activities in various settings and the adoption of modernism. Its impact in various societies has been analyzed by scholars and authors including McNeil, Marchak, and Zinn. The need for understanding their interpretation of the quote and its affects on decision-making constitutes a major reason for this study. It is set to establish the impact of Orwell’s assertion in advancing civilization, modernity, and the existing relationship between the past and the current ideologies in various societies. It is crucial to discuss Orwell’s quote that holds a historical meaning on how the past activities shape up the present dealings.

The quote and its meaning

Personally, Orwell’s quote, as depicted, means that any individual or group of persons who hold the capacity of controlling what people learn or think about in the ancient days can twist the information to control the current settings. Evidently, controlling principles of human dealings in the past can be adopted to guide the present activities. Another school of thought argues that writing historical books affect the way people view the world. Further, it is evident that individuals who release basic information concerning social and governance issues control contribute to what is recorded in the history books.

Thesis statement

Critically, lack of adequate understanding of the relationship that exists between past dealings and the current activities has been a major impediment to the realization of effective growth in some settings. I think this has affected the protection of social and cultural identity of diverse communities that tend to neglect historical practices. This occurs due to poor connection on how historical information contributes to shaping up individuals undertakings in diverse perspectives. Therefore, the analysis of Orwell’s quote that seeks to present the connection between the past dealings and the present activities is paramount in transforming an individual’s mindset.

The purpose and significance of the thesis

The study is undertaken to provide a comprehensive analysis of Orwell’s quote pertaining to various aspects of life and its relevance within society. The study also seeks to give adequate information on the impact of the information on ideologies and policies that guide operations in diverse settings. Indeed, the quote presents a historical meaning that affirms the relationship between the past dealings and the present practices of individuals. Orwell stated that the past activities appertaining to social, economic, and cultural issues will influence our decisions as long as we live.

In this regard the analysis is purposefully set to establish how past dealings influence operations in societies as depicted by various writers. The authors are selected to facilitate an in-depth analysis of the relevance of the quote and its impact on democracy, social organization, and mythical elements. In particular, the study is set to bring a clear understanding of how the quote affect ideology and social organization as depicted by Marchak as well as its mythical or true nature as presented by McNeil (Marchak 6). It also seeks to give information on disobedience and democracy as shown by Zinc. This entails how it affects Columbus and the western civilization.

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Orwell’s claim in the context of the reading as presented by Zinc

As noted, Howard Zinn started his piece of writing by recognizing Orwell’s quote. He stated that the quote had immense significance in shaping the lives of the Columbus people and driving them to civilization. He also focused on western Americans’ modern democracy and civil disobedience as practices borrowed from ancient dealings. Categorically, Zinn stated that there are undisputed relationships between the past activities and the current dealings in Columbus society (Zinn 480). Individuals in the western states have developed their status through recognition and adoption of the ancient dealings that are deeply rooted. His reasoning is based on the policymaking trends and social activities that borrow essential elements from the past dealings.

Zinn (480) described the Columbus society as one that was founded under strong ethical, cultural and social practices. The practices that included wealth and prosperity celebrations formed shared values that the society members were under expectation to conform to. The society members also had strong leadership guidelines, and democratic ideals that enabled effective management of their affairs. However, the society members had some irresponsible civil disobedient behaviors that threatened its stability. I believe that the civil disobediences, which were evident in the past, still have some impact on the current generation.

Zinn noted that he is not fully eligible to condemn, accuse, judge or affirm Orwell’s quote in respect to the development of Columbus people and western civilization trends (Zinn 487). However, he holds an opinion that seeks to credit Orwell’s statement due to the interrelations between the practices of Columbus people in the past and present. The analysis of his work focuses on civil disobedience, modernism, patriotism, modern democracy, western civilization and Columbus festivities.

Firstly, the western peoples’ ancient festivities especially wealth and prosperity celebrations are still being practiced to date. The festivity that marks the wealth and civilization of individuals with great achievements shows how past activities still influence the current dealings. The society members regard the festivities as significant events that shape their destiny. They have undertaken to protect the festivities as assign of their identity and source of pride.

The festivities mark and affirm the things that contributed to the Columbus people’s comfort, pleasure, luxuries. The festivities advance the achievement of social and cultural coherence between community members through the creation of a deep sense of belonging (Zinn, 486). Since the festivities are still deemed necessary for pleasure, luxury, and identity of power, it is evident that Orwell’s quote contained some relevance in this society. Indeed, the ancient social festivities, for example, the wealth celebration is a practice that is gaining popularity among the locals. They view it as a critical pillar that distinguishes them from others and restores their identity. The reasons for the practice have not changed significantly from the explanations given by the ancient people.

On patriotism, Zinn noted that Columbus people were strong patriots who have been inspired by various leaders through the centuries (Zinn 479). The community members were under expectation to protect and practice the societal norms with no reservation. Patriots were under the expectation to subscribe to the social, cultural, and festival practices to help in protecting the community’s identity. The spirit of less doubt to ancient events and practices has enabled the Columbus people to advance their historical practices. In this society, to doubt was an element of gross disloyalty. This has been picked to date where most society members recognize that “doubting” is an element of failure and social dysfunction. They described patriotism as to “DePew” which means the “systematic exaltation of expansion and achievement” (Zinn, 480). This was connected to the celebration of the conquest that was enforced during the Second World War. Indeed, the patriotism principles and norms that encouraged effective coexistence still guide modern society in ensuring that sanity prevails (a personal opinion regarding the matter). The maintenance of the elements of patriotism shows how history can be used to shape present dealings as noted in Orwell’s quote.

Civilization and democracy have remarkably grown in the western jurisdictions (Zinn 486). This is due to the consistent evaluation of historical practices pertaining to political issues and civil complications that threatened to paralyze operations in the nations. Personally, I believe that the historical evaluations have facilitated the understanding of the noble and inconsistent practices that hold influence in modernizing activities. This has been instrumental in ensuring the eradication of uncivilized actions while encouraging civil practices. That is authorities develop modern operating policies in recognition to historical facts. This explains their driving force to democracy and civilization. It is imperative to note that civil disobedience holds the capacity of arousing people or provoking their patience. History has it that civil disobedience, if not mitigated, may compromise the realization of modernity (Zinn, 490).

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This element is borrowed by the current generation who are presently acquainted with the need to eradicate civil disobedience due to its detrimental nature to democracy. As noted the elements that have driven western civilization and democracy were borrowed from the initiatives of ancient leaders. The initiatives that are in the historical facts provide a renewed sense of hope to the current generations that strive to accomplish the dreams of the founding fathers.

Orwell’s claim in the context of the reading by Marchak

With respect to Orwell’s quote, Patricia Marchak made emphasis on her prior descriptions of the Canadian reality that appertains to the nation’s liberalism and socialism. She noted that the reality check of activities in Canada in the present day lives a lot to be desired if Orwell’s quote is put into consideration. The quote makes affirmation that past events and activities hold some element of influence in the current undertakings. The reasoning seems not to apply fully in the Canadian society. The society operates under structured systems that have promoted liberalism and the advancement of social activities. The modern structured systems are depicted as effective and efficient systems whose performance cannot be compared to the old fashioned bureaucratic procedures of operation. Today’s corporatism in Canada differs from the ancient practices in value and social definition (Marchak 12). She presented strong ideological perspectives on Canada pertaining to its liberal and social development in consideration of Orwell’s quote.

Her concern was to establish the relationship between the modern and old social practices in Canada to facilitate the authentication of Orwell’s quote that presents the notion that past dealings have a bearing in shaping the future. Although the author fails to establish the relationship between the past and present ideologies fully as depicted by Zinn, she recognizes that liberalism and socialism have various commonalities that have ancient roots. The evident commonalities include the equality goals and the need for freedom for citizens. The fight for liberty and social equality is a struggle that the Canadian people started long ago. They held shared views on the need for liberation and achievement of individuals’ independence that was proper in attaining absolute integration.

In corporatism perspective, Marchak argues that the old authoritarian hierarchy that presented conservative ideologies in Canada would have not led to its current position (Marchak 2). She stated that if the old ideals would have been adopted, the social gains that are evident would have not been attained. The author’s idea depicts that the past poor dealings on corporatism matters could not have led to the immense transformation of Canadian corporate systems. I think that the idea faults Orwell’s affirmation that tries to relate present activities to the past dealings. In this regard, it is eminent that the author failed to arrive at an appropriate interpretation of Orwell’s quote. Personally, the quote tries to suggest that the past dealings irrespective of their soundness or detrimental nature influence the future outcome.

This brings an understanding that the Canadian society members and authorities may have revisited their history and established their past inconsistent dealings that delimited their corporatism growth. The impediment, described as authoritarian hierarchy, may have been identified and modalities put in place to mitigate its effects. That is the negative attribute may be used as a lesson to enable the current generation to resume back on track. Therefore, Orwell’s notion should not receive resistance fully when evaluation on Canada’s activities is undertaken. Marchak also presented credible information based on her ideological evaluation of the factors that are propelling socialism and liberalism in Canada from an objective standpoint (Marchak 9). She tried to adopt scientific reasoning with limited recognition to historical facts asserting that old events hold no place in the modern world.

Orwell’s claim in the context of the readings by McNeil

McNeil, who divided his book into three major sections including history, truth, and mythical sections, affirms the relevance of history in shaping up an individual’s lifestyle (McNeil Mythistory 10). He subscribes to Orwell’s reasoning since he also places major emphasis on history as an influential element in various perspectives. Critically, historical events and practices hold immense significance to most individuals globally. The events and ancient policies influence the formulation of current operating guidelines that aim at instilling sanity. That is, the societies make regulations that build on the existing guidelines. This is to foster continuity and adherence to the environmental changes (McNeil Mythistory 3).

Personally, truth, myth, and history have a considerable influence in shaping up individuals’ lifestyles. The elements are major parameters in decision making that individuals must take into consideration. Truth refers to information that is factual and holds realistic ideals. Factual data is crucial in the formulation of accurate decisions. However, myth holds no factual background but some element of truth. Truth enables individuals to reduce the risks that are involved in executing activities of social, cultural, and economic nature. True dealings irrespective of the period will always affect individuals in various capacities. Individuals should have the capacity of establishing true information and its management (McNeil Mythistory 4).

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He asserted that shared truths that provide certain sanctions of common effort should be preserved effectively to avoid them being viewed as myths (McNeil The Care and Repair 25). Truth never changes. It remains intact and influences decisions from time to time. This explains the recurrence of information from generation to generation as stated by Orwell. Truthful information, for example, the execution of wealth celebrations among the Columbus community members that started in the ancient days, cannot fade easily.


Indeed, history remains a fundamental aspect of the human lifestyle. Historians provide credible information through writing and quotes that explain chronological activities in diverse contexts. Personally, individuals or communities who seek to foster their ancient practices pertaining to social and cultural issues have an obligation to understand their underlying historical backgrounds and ideological principles. This is to enable them develop relevant and sustainable living practices that are acceptable as noted by Orwell.


Howard Zinn, “Columbus and Western Civilization” from The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy, 2nd edition, Seven Stories Press, 2009, 479-498.

M. Patricia Marchak. “Ideology and Social Organization” from Ideology Perspectives On Canada, McGill- Queens University Press 2011, 1-24.

William H. McNeil. “Mythistory, or Truth, Myth, History, and Historians” from Mythistory and Other Essays, ACLS History E-Book Project, 2009, 3-22.

William H. McNeil. “The Care and Repair of Public Myth” from Mythistory and other Essays, ACLS History E-Book Project, 2009, 23-25.