Ideology is a term that refers to the labyrinthine system of values and beliefs each of us ascribes to about the world, the way it operates, and our place within it.
Think of it as a sophisticated "filter" through which we view, ponder and interact with the outside world, thus giving us a way to make sense of it. Our ideologies incorporate our prejudices (racism, sexism, nationalism, ethnic intolerance, greed, desire for and abuse of power, etc.), our ideals (justice, progress, liberty, equality, the pursuit of happiness, democracy, the pursuit of wealth, etc.), as well as our hopes and dreams.
Ideological values are sometimes referred to as "assumptions." This is due to the fact that ideological beliefs and values are so fundamental to our self-image (both as individuals and as cultures), that they are taken as "natural and" "inevitable."
In other words, we generally assume that the tenets we hold are true, natural, and universal. Indeed, there are ideologies that uphold the status quo and thus are deemed "dominant" ideologies. On the other hand, there are also ideologies that are not mainstream, and these are sometimes labeled "alternative" or, in a pejorative light, "subversive.")
However, because each of us is unique, no set of ideological beliefs is absolute
But in a world ruled by fictions of every kind – mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the pre-empting of any original response to experience by the television screen, social media; we live inside some kind of enormous novel.