This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Liberalism And Its Critics Essay

2042 words - 8 pages

Throughout our lives the limits to our freedom of thought and action are being defined by a variety of forces and pressures, many, if not most, of which we are completely unaware of. In society, there is a tremendously high degree of conformity of thoughts and ideas, values and attitudes between the members of the same society. We are free, free to do whatever we want with our lives, and no one can change that. When we talk about freedom of thought, we tend initially to think of legal and physical freedom and restrictions, what we are allowed to do and not allowed to do. It has been implicit in much that has been said that the person as he is, is a product of what he has been imposed upon him from without (from the home, from the church, from school, from the radio, from the press, T.V., and films) with the aim of restricting and challenging his freedom of thought and freedom of action. According to McAdam (1963), this kind of individual has been faced with a constant bombardment of propaganda of one sort and another to help him build nice healthy attitudes and to follow acceptable modes of behaviour.Liberals believe that human beings are, first and foremost, individuals, endowed with reason. In other words each individual should enjoy the maximum possible freedom consistent with a like freedom for all (Heywood, 2007:23). He goes on by saying "liberalism is characterized by a belief in a 'minimal' state, whose function is limited to the maintenance of domestic order and personal security" (Heywood, 2007:23). The ability to think or act as one wishes a capacity that can be associated with the individual, a social group or nation is what most of us understand by the single word: Freedom (Heywood, 2007:29). It is a natural right and essential for a truly human existence. A study in the freedom of the individual would be worth it because it varies from one person to another, according to their social or economic conditions. It is ultimately the end for human beings and no one should be deprived of it by others."Philosophers with an optimistic view of human nature and a belief in the possibility of harmonizing human interests, such as Locke or Adam Smith and in some moods Mill believed that social harmony and progress were compatible with reserving a large area for private life over which neither the state nor any other authority must be allowed to trespass" (Berlin 1984:19).This essay will be discussing to what extent the state can interfere with the freedom of the individual. As Berlin (1984), argues that liberty is endangered by the mere existence of absolute authority as such. This essay will be looking at some arguments of liberalism and will discuss whether their argument is convincing or not; from the argument of freedom to the role of the stateHeywood (2007) argues that individuals should be entitled to equal legal and political rights too. The liberal understands quite clearly that without rules, the existence of society would be endangered....

Find Another Essay On Liberalism and its critics

Explain the link between liberalism and rationalism - St Hugh's school - Pollitics,15 marker, A2, ideologies

645 words - 3 pages Explain the link between liberalism and rationalism Rationalism is the belief that the world has a rational structure, which can be disclosed through the application of reason and analysis. Liberalism is traditionally split into two strands. The first, classical liberalism was classical liberalism, is often referred to as economic liberalism and the second is modern liberalism and its establishment is usually associated with Thomas Green and is

Liberalism in society Essay

951 words - 4 pages Liberalism is strict the notion of equality for all individuals and the recognition of their voice in society. The source states “at every opportunity, the principles of liberalism should be challenged”. The interpretation of the source would say that is it disagreeing with liberalism and its principles. The source would agree that economic equality, co-operation, and collective interest are the principles that should be seen in society. Since

International Relations and Its Three Theories

1657 words - 7 pages of achieving their self interest in the global environment that lacks a strong global system. ( G&P.88) However, Liberalism promotes and supports the idea that short-term individual interest should not take place over long-term collective interests of the international community that are promoted by international institutions, (GP, 87) Liberalism with is foundation from the enlightenment hold those key concepts as its bases: peace, cooperation


2790 words - 11 pages body, composed of the individual persons who are consider as constituting as it were its members" (Data and Documents, 107). After this statement, Jeremy says that the interest of the entire community is then the sum of all the individuals that compose it. All these reflections about community let us see the important role that individual plays under the liberalism doctrine which supports that people that live in a community have to think about


1409 words - 6 pages Neo-Liberalism verse Classic Liberalism Neo-liberalism is associated with economic liberalism whose campaign support provides economic liberations, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation and promoting the role of private institutions present in new society. Classic liberalism criticizes the neo-liberalism objective of introducing liberalization to bring about gradual increase of wealth and freedom among nations, however

On Foucault and Governance

1645 words - 7 pages limit the use that an individual may make of the creator’s work. Classical liberalism holds the dogma of Adam Smith to be true. Left to its own devices, the market will establish a natural price that will reflect the balance of supply and demand and will be optimal for society. As described by Foucault, the invisible hand will guide the market, and in its glory, will allow for Europe as a whole to prosper: “this idea of progress, of a European

John Locke: Founding Father of Modern Era Liberalism

1654 words - 7 pages private property. Thirdly, Locke provides the most compelling account of modern era liberalism through his description of the function of government. Locke believed that government should be strictly limited, as long as it performs its vital function, which is to serve the people (Second Treatise on Civil Gov., XIII, 129). Although Locke believed that people could act efficiently on their own and that the government should not interfere, there

How Much Influence Do International Organizations Have on States?

1302 words - 6 pages promote communication among states. Theses organizations promote cooperation among states and try to get states to cooperate with one another. Liberalism says that International organizations carry some power, but its eventually the state deciding that it’s better to cooperate. The theory that seems to be the weakest when it comes to explaining these international organizations is the Institutionalists see international organizations. They look

Engagement with Iran

1807 words - 8 pages around the globe encompass themselves in a web of economic and social connections, the costs of disrupting these ties will effectively preclude unilateral state actions, especially the use of force. By incorporation of Liberalism, Iran will need to rely on its neighbor’s economic interdependence, which will discourage Iran from using force. Liberalism gives focus on economic interdependence with Iran. It is in the best interest of states to

Comparing Classical vs. Modern Liberalism

1673 words - 7 pages period in between the late 18th century and the mid 19th is that magnanimous with Classical liberalism. It was the earliest liberal tradition, and reached its high point during the early industrialization of the 19th century and is therefore sometimes referred to as ‘19th century liberalism’. Politicians and thinkers associated with it are Smith, Ricardo and Locke. Modern liberal ideas were related to the further development of industrialization

Understanding International Relations

1597 words - 6 pages neo-liberalism and institutional liberalism. This essay will compare and contrast the two major international relations theories known as realism and liberalism and its branches of thoughts and argue in favour for one of the two theories. The liberalism and the realism approaches the international relations from very different perspective, and even though many of its views contrast from each other, the two theories do share few beliefs. The

Similar Essays

American Liberalism And Its Effectiveness In American Problems

621 words - 2 pages I would have to disagree that American liberalism broke down and could not solve the problems of the country effectively. "Before the New Deal gave the term liberalism its modern American meaning, it was a little-used word that referred to a belief in laissez-faire economics and limited government." ( The New Deal, The Fair Deal, The New Frontier, and The Great

The Politics Of Edmund Burke As Related To Classical Liberalism And Its Derivatives

862 words - 3 pages without these traditional institutions you would have change for its own sake, which would destabilize society. Furthermore, when a change to a social institution was to be implemented, it was best to first try it out in a small region and see if it succeeds. If there are benefits from the change, it would then spread naturally throughout the entire country at a slow, steady and most importantly stable rate. This concept was known as

Neoliberalism: A Social, Political And Economical Concept That Is Based, Among Others, On Classic Liberalism And The Neoclassical Theory And Its Purpose Is Minimizing The Influences Of The State On...

3904 words - 16 pages Neoliberalism January 2010 Introduction By neoliberalism we understand a social, political and economical concept that is based, among others, on classic liberalism and the neoclassical theory and its purpose is minimizing the influences of the state on economic events. Unlike the laissez-faire of classic liberalism the intervention of the state for guaranteeing functional markets is considered necessary. The

A Discription Of Contemporary Liberalism And Communitarianism

919 words - 4 pages Liberalism is the leading and background theory in contemporary political ideologies. As Bellamy states, twentieth-century liberalism has a broad area, from New Right conservatives to democratic socialists; it makes everyone seems a liberal. One of its major critics is communitarianism.Communitarianism sees individuals as strongly linking in community, and their debates with liberalisms are basically founded in the contemporary liberal John