Applications of Ideology in Economic Policy

Jack Rasmus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Speech consists of both subject and object. Violations of freedom of speech may assume the form of interfering with a speaker's presentation of an idea; or it may assume the form of interfering with the re-presentation of the idea. Interference with the subject or object of speech may occur when a subject is not permitted to present a full or accurate expression of speech or when the object of speech is mis-represented. Ideology operates on a plane involving relationships between the original presentation of an idea, the copying or re-presentation of the idea, and the mis-re-presentation of the copied idea. The following article takes the economic idea, ‘tax cuts create jobs’, and examines how this idea has undergone ideological transformation since the mid-18th century. The article draws both from Marx and Wittgenstein on how ideas change, and questions how the notions of ideology in both Marx and Wittgenstein might be integrated into a more developed approach to understanding ideology. The article identifies specific language techniques by means of which an original idea may be ideologically transformed over time, applying concepts such as: inversion, reversal, insertion, conversion, deletion, substitution, de-temporalization and universalization. The article concludes suggesting further development of the methodology and its application to case examples of ideas such as: ‘Free trade benefits all’, ‘Income inequality is a function of individual productivity’, and ‘Markets are always more efficient than public investment’.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Ideology
  • Misrepresentation
  • Tax Cuts
  • Create Jobs
  • Karl Marx
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Language Games


  • Business
  • Economics

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