Pol113 Take Home test

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL113H5
Professor
Mark Lippincott
Semester
Fall

Description
Aima Zaidi Mark Lippincott th November 12 2012 Tutorial: Mondays 12-1:00 pm Liberalism was initially developed based on the concept of modernity; which argued that individuals are free and equal, and their rights and liberty should be protected. Liberalism was the first ideology of modernity and provided the view that individuals are free (46). Classic liberalism had emerged from the era of feudalism, where individual’s rights were not acknowledged and authority was in the hands of the church and monarch of the time. Initial ideas of liberalism came from the individualistic conception of nature of human kind, which was described by John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes described life without a government to be brutal, due to the fact that individuals would be selfish entities and would fight, maybe even kill, for power and wealth (51). Whereas, Locke believed that individuals have the ability to cooperate based on the principle of mutual benefit, however their tendency to acquire wealth can lead to competition especially in a market based society (53). Locke believed that a government should be formed to protect the individuals and their interests should be of priority, whereas Hobbes believed in a more authoritarian form of government with little input from the individuals themselves. Thus, although Locke and Hobbes had diverse opinions on the type of government that can achieve order, both views of classical liberalism had come to the mutual conclusion that it is necessary for a legitimate government to be in place that can protect the people’s rights and their liberty (50). Without government it would be difficult, or according to Hobbes, impossible to restore and maintain order due to the self-interested human state of nature (51).Although Locke states that humans are capable of judging and cooperating, the Lockenan view also claims that a government is needed to protect individual rights and possessions (54). Classical liberalism also leads to colonization; since property and wealth was distributed amongst citizens allowing them to contribute to the development of the economy (61). This principle was based on the principle of market society; capitalism. In definition, capitalism is system in which production of goods, natural resources, and trade is controlled by the individual citizens in order to accumulate self- profit (61). This strive for power and wealth was the mere description of what classical liberalist such as Hobbes claimed would result in war between individuals, unless there was social and economic order in the market society and community as well, mainly through the development of an influential government. Modern Liberalist defined a more democratic approach, in which individuals were given more rights to participate in government issues and the political system. This form of democratic liberalism allowed non-property holding males, and eventually women, to have input in the election process and kept their wishes into account in terms of forming public policy (68). Democratic liberalism states that all individuals should have a voice in governance in order for a liberal democratic society to be formed. This notion was supported by Thomas Jefferson who described the principle of self evident truths; that all men are equal and endowed with certain rights, if the government is unsuccessful in protecting these rights and their liberty then it is right for the people to abolish it (158). To return to the initial question of whether no government is more suitable solution, even democratic liberalism opposes the idea. According to this form of liberalism a popular government should be formed that enforced the ideology of majority of the population. If a powerful government would not be present, then factions; small groups of individuals that share the same ideological beliefs, would impose their beliefs on the population (96). Madison claims that even though a government is in power, small factions still exist, but they keep a balance in the political system. However without the presence of government in domination of these groups, the political system can erupt in chaos as every faction tries to compete with the others to evoke their ideological beliefs since a representative government would not be existent; a government that would reflect the ideological beliefs of majority of the population (103). Hence, according to liberalism it is essential for a government to be in power of the political system in order to maintain peace and protect the rights and liberty of its citizens. If a government was not formed then prosperity of the nation would be compromised since minority factions would attempt to enforce their beliefs on the population, competition in the market society will result in conflict between individuals, and the human state of nature will result in a state of war. Additionally, the most prominent amongst the various critical perspectives was introduced by Karl Marx in the 1800's. Marxism was based on the principle
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