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Batikent for He also found it increasingly necessary to court the favors of the Catholic Church, which was reestablishing its traditional authority and was antagonistic to the progressive science of the modernists. Eventually, Napoleon became severely critical of the ideologues, dismissing them as windbags and charging them with impracticality and idealism. Ideology, Napoleon accused, had become a sinister metaphysics.2 The French emperor criticized the ideologues for the same reason that Francis Bacon had earlier criticized the scholastics”for making imaginary laws for imaginary commonwealths. The problem, Bacon charged, was that their discourses are as the stars, which give little light because they are so high.3 Though intended to illuminate the minds and direct the behavior of an entire people, de Tracy’s science of ideas fell into disfavor and obscurity owing to its abstractness and failure to achieve practical results. Under Napoleon, then, ideology eventually became a pejorative term, denoting an unrealistic set of beliefs that was practically useless if not socially pernicious. Batikent 2016.

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