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Which Provides The Best Conception Of Freedom, Liberalism Or Socialism? Research Paper

1613 words - 7 pages

Freedom is a term that has been could be defined and viewed in many ways as it has been interpreted and reinterpreted all throughout history. Freedom is about an individual’s freedom to think, speak and act without limitations, associated with terms such as liberty, free will and autonomy. Different ideologies have different conceptions of freedom. In liberalism, individual freedom plays an extremely large role, advocating a free market by limiting government intervention and achieving freedom by economical growth. (Brown 2014:23) Whereas in socialism, the community plays a larger role, collectively assisting members of society to all achieve freedom by not stressing over human rights. (Marx 1845:596) The argument of whether socialism or liberalism show a better concept of freedom has been heavily debated. Evidence supports the argument that liberalism provides a greater conception of freedom than socialism due to these reasons. Firstly, liberalism allows for a greater market which allows individuals to freely exchange goods and services. In addition, liberalism discourages government intervention that limits freedom due to taxation. (Friedman 1980:10) This essay compares and contrasts interpretations of freedom from both socialism and liberalism. This essay debates how both liberals and socialists interpret freedom and how they achieve freedom. Which ideology provides the best conception of freedom? Issues surrounding this is the subjectivity of freedom as certain conceptions are based on assumptions.

Liberalism, “is the fundamental belief in a political ideal where individuals are free to pursue their own goals, in their own ways, provided they do not infringe on the equal liberty of others.” (Peron 2001: 1) Peron believes that in order for man to achieve freedom, he must survive and should have the rights to his product of labor. Furthermore, the prime purpose of the government is to defend preexisting rights of members belonging to society, not to offer extra rights and benefits. Peron suggests that with minimal government intervention in the market, individuals could exchange goods and services without any restrictions and ulterior motives. Arguing that individuals will acquire new sets of values and morals if the government is only protecting the rights of it’s citizens. Liberals argue that liberalism provides more work and employment opportunities, creating instead of distributing wealth, allowing basic rights and freedom to the ones in poverty. Unlike socialism, liberalism acknowledges that equality in rights within society will not give equal results. Therefore, Peron finalizes his argument by stating that socialism stresses equality in terms of equal results as well, limiting freedom.

Individuals who follow liberalism believe that the state has acquired too much power which limits their economic freedom, believing that in order to be free, we have to be free from the government. Milton Friedman believes that economic...

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