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Lecture

Political Culture


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL214Y1
Professor
Victoria Wohl

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Political Culture (Part 2)
CONSERVATISM, LIBERALISM, SOCIALISM (CONTEMPORARY)
Contemporary Conservatism
Contemporary conservatism is the antithesis of classical conservatism;
more like right-wing classical liberalism
Contemporary conservatives believe government should promote
economic goals but not participate in economy as much
Stress freedom of the individual (classical conservatism stressed
authority and hierarchy)
Dont believe in programs like affirmative action, individuals are
responsible for their own lives
Best form of gov. is small and weak; gov. that has minimal access
Maximizing individual choices
Moral issues, believe the state shouldnt be morally neutral; in favor of
traditional family values
Contemporary Liberalism
Seeks to find a balance; more group focused than classical liberalism
Most contemporary liberals are more open to government regulating
the economy, improving social and economic welfare of the lower classes
Promoting the diversity of peoples through affirmative action
programs; hiring in governmentreflects more the population at large
In support of public education; unlike classical liberals
Right to health, education, welfare (first pushed by socialists)
Want a balance; individual freedom on one hand, and social equality
Believe in equality of opportunity
State is a positive actor; since WWII they supported the welfare state
Contemporary Socialism
Changed the least; believes that social and economic equality are the
most important goals and values
Individual rights have to be subordinated to group goals
Contemporary socialism is more supportive of small scale capitalism
For them state is still a vital player
Equality of conditionnarrowing gap of rich and poor
Now they talk about discrimination of being systemic—discrimination
thats inherent in the tradition and customs of the state e.g. women not
allowed to vote
oDiscrimination not of just classes but of groups; gender, race,
sexual orientation
Contemporary socialists are more about decentralizing power among
regions and cities
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