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Classical Liberalism Vs. Classical Conservatism Essay

1381 words - 6 pages

Classical Liberalism vs. Classical Conservatism

In today's society, most people are unable to explain the differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. In fact, the two parties' ideologies seem to be very much alike; and therefore, people tend to believe that a Republican candidate and a Democratic candidate running for the same office will not make a large difference from one another. Furthermore, both Democrats, the supposedly liberal party, and Republicans, the supposedly conservative party, have been appointed to the highest office, the President of the United States of America. In most cases, the President has been effective in building notable progress in our nation's growth, regardless of the political party that they belong to. Hence, most people believe that the two parties are similar enough that they are practically the same. Upon closer examination into the history of the Democratic and the Republican parties, we are able to determine that the political philosophies from which they originate have completely opposing ideologies.
The ideologies of the Democratic Party originate from the principles of the classical liberalism philosophy. The most dominant idea of classical liberalism is that the government's role is to protect the individual's natural rights because individuals are the primary unit of society (Franks 27). According to John Locke, a philosopher who contributed to classical liberalism's vitality, the protection of individuals' "life, liberty, and property" is their natural rights (Jones 227). The ideas of classical liberalism revolves so much around the individual that Locke believes the people had the right to combine into a revolutionary force and organize a new form of government, or a social contract, as they pleased. Because of the importance of the individual, classical liberalism favors immigrants and people of all classes. Ideally, the judgment of people is based on their personal characteristics rather than their group affiliation, minimizing the problem of racism and other forms of bigotry (Franks 28). However, this is a problem with ethnic groups, like American Indians and immigrants, which concerns classical liberals that believe their collectiveness hinders their individual natural rights. Finally, classical liberalism also protects the free marketplace, allowing buyers and sellers to freely circulate ideas in order to achieve the most success (Franks 28). Therefore, the development of capitalism is an important ideology protected by classical liberalism, along with the natural rights of individuals.
On the other hand, the ideologies of the Republican Party originate from the principles of the classical conservatism philosophy. Classical conservatism's underlying idea is to protect and conserve established traditional values in the name of "liberty, equality, and fraternity," or to reinstate ideal values that are in decline (Franks 28). According to Edmund Burke, who is regarded...

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