After the collapse of socialism in Mongolia, democracy promised life after ideology. This article argues that what disappeared during the democratic transition was not ideology but a conceptualization of ideology as an explicit object, field of intervention, and responsibility. By analyzing the urban form as an invention of ideology, it is possible to locate ideology in material artifacts, cinematic representations, and the cultivation of embodied desires in Mongolia's capital city Ulaanbaatar that originated in the socialist era and continue today, albeit unacknowledged as ideology, and modified to fit the needs of capital and democratic legitimacy. The article concludes with a call to embrace ideology as a self‐reflexive concept and practice on the grounds that there is still much to excavate and learn from the ruins of twentieth‐century state socialism.

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