Political myth

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A political myth is an ideological explanation for a political phenomenon that is believed by a social group.

In 1975, Henry Tudor defined it in the book Political Myth. He said that myths are believed to be true even if they may be false, and they are devices with dramatic constructions used "in order to come to grips with reality". Political myths simply deal with political topics and always use a group of people as the hero or protagonist.[1] In 2001, Christopher G. Flood described a working definition of a political myth as "an ideologically marked narrative which purports to give a true account of a set of past, present, or predicted political events and which is accepted as valid in its essentials by a social group".[2]

Examples cited as political myths include manifest destiny,[3] The Clash of Civilizations,[4] and national myths.[5]

In 1973, T.L. Thorson wrote in the 4th edition of A History of Political Theory: "It is the mark of a modern mind to be able to explicitly create a 'myth' as a way of influencing others (as, for example, Plato does in The Republic). In it original sense myth is a literal description.[6]

See also


  1. Niemann, Yolanda Flores; Armitage, Susan; Hart, Patricia; et al., eds. (2002). Chicana leadership: the Frontiers reader. University of Nebraska Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-8032-8382-2. 
  2. Flood, Christopher (2001). Political Myth. Routledge. p. 44. ISBN 0-415-93632-2. 
  3. Bass, J.D. & Cherwitz R.A. (1978). "Imperial mission and manifest destiny: A case study of political myth in rhetorical discourse". Southern Speech Communication Journal. Routledge. 43: 213–32. 
  4. Chiara Bottici & Benoît Challand (August 2006). "Rethinking Political Myth; The Clash of Civilizations as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy". European Journal of Social Theory. 9 (3): 315–36. doi:10.1177/1368431006065715. 
  5. David Archard (September 1995). "Myths, Lies and Historical Truth: a Defence of Nationalism". Political Studies. John Wiley & Sons. 43 (3): 472–81. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.1995.tb00315.x. 
  6. T.L. Thorson (1973) A History of Political Theory, 4th edition, page 14

Further reading