Some Political and Philosophical -ism’s – 24 Words


a political theory advocating state ownership of industry

Colonel Qaddafi declared that his political system of permanent revolution would sweep away capitalism and socialism.New York Times (Oct 20, 2011)

a theory favoring collectivism in a classless society

Recent polls show that instituting communism in the United States is more popular than our democratically elected congressional leaders.Washington Post (Nov 18, 2011)

the doctrine of a being that is without restriction

Autocracy—the whole human history proves it—by nature engenders absolutism.Desjardins, Louis-Georges

the quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others

At first, most people agreed that true altruism was a uniquely human characteristic requiring an awareness of one’s actions as selfless.Scientific American (Dec 8, 2011)

the doctrine of renunciation of worldly pleasures

Still the good monks continued to live in rigorous asceticism; and their liberality to others often reduced them to extremities of privation.Bolanden, Conrad von

the theory that increasing use of goods is beneficial

A glittering shopping mall with an indoor ice skating rink stands as a totem of American-style consumerism.New York Times (Jan 3, 2012)

a form of government in which the ruler is unconstrained

Henceforward free government all over the world lay crushed beneath the military despotism of Rome.Various

the theory that self-interest is the basis of morality

Consequently, as is the way of human nature, her egoism is exasperated, and becomes more firmly concentrated upon her own welfare.Boyd, Ernest Augustus

the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience

Darwin is the finest fruit of English empiricism.

a doctrine that all events are predetermined in advance

She never questioned but that the fault lay entirely in herself, and a sort of fatalism made her accept it all with apathetic matter-of-factness.Delafield, E. M.

a doctrine that advocates equal rights for women

In the United States, as elsewhere, feminism could be characterized as the most successful social movement of the 20th century.New York Times (Dec 19, 2011)

an ethical system that values the pursuit of pleasure

In its heyday, Atlantic City was a haven of hedonism, its mystique etched onto the Monopoly board.

doctrine promoting the welfare of mankind

The Reformation took up the educational work of humanism, and carried it forward.Seeley, Levi

the philosophical theory that thoughts are the only reality

Once more, the poet’s mysticism is tempered by a tinge of idealism.Clarke, Helen Archibald

doctrine that government should not interfere in commerce

Samuel Johnson should be known as the apostle of individualism.Frothingham, Octavius Brooks

a policy of nonparticipation in international relations

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the debate ended and isolationism was essentially dead.New York Times (Oct 4, 2010)

a political orientation favoring social progress by reform

But San Francisco’s national reputation for liberalism and libertinism really got going after Prohibition ended in 1933.Slate (Jan 19, 2012)

the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality

” Materialism will be advanced as the only sound basis of rational thought and practice.”Holyoake, George Jacob

the doctrine that your country’s interests are superior

Despite a reputation for deep-rooted nationalism, Turkey has adopted liberal economic policies under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party government over the past decade.Reuters (Sep 28, 2011)

a doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system

In her despair she succumbed to a sort of nihilism that made her ask: “What is the reason of anything?…Couperus, Louis

the doctrine that practical consequences determine value

One homegrown tradition from the United States is pragmatism, which is focused on what works.New York Times (Aug 6, 2011)

the doctrine that reason is the basis for regulating conduct

There have been, since the waters of thought began to flow, two great streams running side by side,— Rationalism and Mysticism.Parsons, Frank

the principle of unrestricted power in government

He denounced totalitarianism in his native land while promoting human rights.

an economic system based on private ownership of assets

Capitalism’s focus on individualism and free contractual arrangements replaced a system in which familial, communal and religious bonds had greater influence over long-term relationships.Salon (Aug 3, 2012)

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