Liberalism has caused more suffering than positive changes through revolutionary hostilities compared to the former systems of governance including the imperialist absolute monarchy.
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There are several interpretations of liberal views based on the way people understand liberty. Nonetheless, liberal views are based on common acceptable freedoms. These include free and fair electoral processes, freedom of trade, freedom of the media, religious freedom, and the right to private property among other things. Liberalism was introduced in the political scene as a philosophy to contest the imperial systems of governance. This paper will discuss liberalism as a political philosophy, its effects on the political environment and the issues that lead to its introduction.
Embracing the liberal ideology
The first country to employ the liberal principle in its governance was the United States of America (Pierson 57). This is proved by the Declaration of Independence declaration, which clearly states some fundamental rights that all citizens are entitled to. These rights as stated in the American Declaration of Independence include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (Mackenzie 30). After America had set the pace, France followed by overthrowing of the hereditary aristocracy with their popular catch phrase that promoted ‘liberty, equality, and fraternity’ (Mackenzie 30). In 1978, France declared the rights of man and citizens. This was he original text that laid the underpinning of liberalism as well as human rights (Mackenzie 49).
The above-mentioned are among the very successful countries today in terms of economic progress and development. They are also among the most powerful countries in the world. The freedom to pursue one’s dreams and the allocation of resources to the people have enabled these countries to propel to superior heights in investments and development. The liberal philosophy brings a democratic rule that equalizes the citizens from different lifestyles giving equal chances and opportunities to all. In a democratic government, everything is decided through legal systems where the rule of law is upheld.
Introducing liberalism as the new political philosophy
This new way of governance grants the common fundamental rights, which were impolitely violated in the previous systems. Liberalism enhances the rule of law, which grants fundamental rights to the people. As Pierson argues in his book, “liberalism discounts the principle of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy as well as the divine right of kings” (67). Pierson quotes the founding father of liberal principles who argued that “every human being has a natural right to life, liberty and most importantly the right to own private property” (68). This ideology presents the social contract principle that prevents governments from violating people’s rights by enhancing adherence to the rule of law. Therefore, based on the principle of liberalism, political absolutism is outdated among the current generation (Mackenzie 50).
Classical conservatism versus liberalism ideology
Through liberalism, political tyranny has been abolished and the new Democratic rule is yielding a lot of success in all the countries that have embraced it. The elimination of the social and political classes has led to better human interaction and governance as well as equal distribution of the national wealth. This has facilitated the elimination of tyrannical regimes. In the nineteenth century, classical conservatism was the major political ideology and it was characterized by despotism (Wolfe 26).
In the same period, many liberal democracies began to form in countries that were under the tyrannical governance because they appreciated the advantages of liberal governance. These governments include the European government, the Spanish Americans as well as North America (Pierson 66). In Europe, for instance, the classical liberalism lost its popularity in favor of social democracy and social liberalism (Pierson 67). This was also experienced in the North America.
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Major themes in liberal ideology
However, with all the different dimensions of the liberal thought, the underlying meaning of liberalism is based on understanding the meaning of humanity (Wolfe 24). This also involves respecting humanity and giving human life the value it deserves. Any governance system that does not uphold human value and engages in activities that show favoritism is not suitable for this day and age. Liberalism is responsive to humanity, and its principles are based on equal rights and justice. Therefore, liberalism presents better opportunities and equal chances to the people as opposed to imperialism, which only addressed the affluent quarters in the society.
Liberalism is a model of governance that gives way for democratic rule and enhances the implementation of the rule of law. Driven by the need to limit the control of the government, liberals in the 19th century aggressively engaged revolutionary actions. Liberalism is based on Locke’s idea of placing life, liberty, and property as the ultimate worth of authority creating the model of a social contract (Pierson 76). This model of governance seeks to harmonize the competitive nature of human beings by placing and upholding the rule of law and democracy. This paper has clearly outlined the major benefits of liberalism supporting it with proof from some past events and comparing it with the past systems of governance.
Mackenzie, Calvin, and Robert Weisbrot. The liberal hour: Washington and the politics of change in the 1960s, New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2008. Print.
Pierson, Paul. The New Politics of the Welfare State, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001. Print.
Wolfe, Alan. The Future of Liberalism, New York, NY: Random House, Inc., 2009. Print.