Thatcherism Essay

1117 words - 5 pages

The polarization of the British political system can be traced back to the movement of Thatcherism. Thatcherism can be seen as the conviction politics, economic, social policy, and is the political movement that can even resemble Reaganomics. Just like Reaganomics, Thatcherism is considered a conservative movement that emphasizes heavily on the free markets, restraining government spending, privatization, deregulation, and tax cuts. These are the policies that Margaret Thatcher focused on; this political movement took place between 1979 and 1990 while she was the Prime Minister of the British Government. These policies ended up becoming the British Conservative party’s policy platform; ...view middle of the document...

This ideology advocates civil liberties with a limited government under the rule of law, private property rights, and belief in laissesz-faire economic liberalism. Laissez-faire can be described as an economic notion that promotes transactions between private parties are free from government restrictions, tariffs, and subsidies. The only regulation that laissesz-faire economic promotes is to protect property rights. This view can be seen as Margaret Thatcher being a Tory, in which she told Friedrich Hayek, “I know you want me to become a Whig; no, I am a Tory”, and he believed that “she has felt this very clearly”. ( Hayek, Friedrich (2008). Kresege, Hayek on Hayek Autobiographical Dialogue pg. 141) Tory is based on traditionalism and conservatism generally being similar to monetarism, by slashing the government spending like the Republican party here in the United States tend to focus around; but differ by keeping policies that they would normal be against, such as free healthcare because by removing this policy would be political suicide. They also generally focus around the plan to reduce taxes and cut public services.
Thatcherism can also be described as having a libertarian ideology; this form is known as libertarianism. Libertarianism is the notion that liberty is the highest political end and emphasis towards the primacy of individual liberty, political freedom and voluntary association. The economic aspect of libertarianism focuses towards the response to social liberalism and Keynesianism, which argues that government involvement in the economy should be as small as possible to allow the exercise of individual freedom. A British political commentator Andrew Marr has stated that “libertarianism is the dominant, if unofficial, characteristic of Thatcherism.” (Marr, Andrew 1994 “why unhappy British are yearning for days of order”) Libertarianism on these bases it can be seen as returning to the ideas of classical liberalism by securing the individual freedom by limiting the power of the government. Modern political philosophers, such as Richard Hudelson suggest that “it advocates civil liberties with a limited government under the rule of law and belief in laissez-faire economic policy.” (Hudelson, Richard 1999. Modern Political Philosophy. Pg. 37-38). Libertarianism and laissez-faire economic policy both tie together by limiting government power by doing this will lead the economic environment within the government to transcend the private sector into becoming free from restrictions, tariffs, and subsides, and...

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