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Liberalism and Conservatism - Essay Example

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Liberalism and Conservatism both are social and political philosophies that seek to define the functioning and structure of a society and its politics. The two ideologies are poles apart. Liberalism instructs to limit the interference of the state in the private lives of the…
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Liberalism and Conservatism
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Liberalism and Conservatism

Download file to see previous pages... It calls for minimal change in the society. It is established that both ideologies oppose each other, while one calls for change and liberty, the other calls for traditionalism and minimum change.
In essence liberalism states independence and growth. It covers the basic meaning of humanity and society. Though there have arisen different strands liberalism, the basic fundamentals of liberalism remain same. The liberal philosophy ignites individualism, egalitarianism, meliorism and universalism. Individualism asserts independence and self reliance while egalitarianism imparts political, social and civil equality among individuals. Meliorism and universalism both have common motives. That is to allow greater sociopolitical interaction. All these separate ideologies converge towards a few common postulates. These are equality and individual liberty, support of private property and individual rights, limited constitutional government and pluralism, toleration and autonomy. In history there have been various critiques on the liberal chain of thought. The most significant of which has been by the conservatives. They have argued that liberalism is in fact pursuit of progress and material gain. This argument was further augmented by a Hungarian philosopher, Karl Polyani. Polyani attacked the liberal economic thought. He stated that human behavior is supported through social interactions not through greed and rational, which in fact drove the free markets (Hill). He also argued that the created free markets brought with it fictitious money. In his view the liberal economic system would ultimately bring with it artificial commodification of land, labour and capital. This would lead to the destruction of the society.
The counter ideology is conservatism. It promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and structure. The ideology allows minimal and gradual change in society. As with liberalism, there are many different strands of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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