I was discussing with a friend the other day about how values and world-views shape governance and societies, and I innocently blurted out that our major political parties do not seem to be built on any sound ideological base, hence it is easy for our politicians to jump from one party to the other without much hesitation.
The friend replied, “Both parties indeed have an ideology! Yes, I mean ideology and not ideologies. This means that both parties are Siamese twins embroiled in a struggle; but besides the struggle for power, they share the same values and the same view of the world”.
I was indeed miffed though in quiet agreement with this thesis, but still felt the need for a better explanation of this thesis until another friend introduced me to the Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci. THE IDEOLOGY OF OUR PARTIES IS WOVEN AROUND THE CONCEPT OF HEGEMONY.
ENTER ANTONIO GRAMSCI… Some have argued that there is a difference between hegemony and ideology but the Nigerian power elite – whether in the PDP or the APC – only thinks of power from an hegemonic perspective. I will explain. Antonio Gramsci sees hegemony as an easier route to dominating peoples thoughts than ideology because it involves our spontaneous consent to dominant values in society. Ideology involves our basic identity, but hegemony refers to the various ideals and values we might have. Thirdly, hegemony is more fragile than ideology precisely because it is less fundamental.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF OUR POLITICAL HEGEMONISTS: Ever wondered why Religion and Ethnicity are used as platforms on which power is won and consolidated? This strategy only mirror’s Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony.
Bolaji Okusaga is a strategy and brand devotee with wide experience in the Mass-Media, Marketing, Public Relations and Banking. He is also interested in Politics, Policy and Corporate Governance.