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AS and A Level: Political Philosophy

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 10
  • Peer Reviewed essays 4
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  5. 21
  1. Marked by a teacher

    How and to what extent has modern liberalism departed from the ideas of classical liberalism?

    5 star(s)

    The Modern Liberal view stands in contrast to this original perspective; they believe that they state should intervene for positive impact, for example, the provision of equal opportunities, as without the chance to realise his potential, they believe that the individual cannot be free. This modern liberal concept of freedom as relying on the provision of opportunities and the chance to realise potential means that they see the classical liberals' ideal state as just as much of a threat to individual freedom as state coercion, and can therefore justify a more interventionalist state.

    • Word count: 942
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Analyse the similarities and differences between Classical and Modern Liberalism

    4 star(s)

    gold standard; c: a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties." As an individualist, rather than a collectivist ideology the individual is placed as the building block of society. J. S. Mill says behind this lies the belief that we are all different and this diversity should be seen as a strength, not a danger or weakness.

    • Word count: 1691
  3. Marked by a teacher

    'The history of socialism had been marked by a retreat from its traditional principles. Discuss.'

    4 star(s)

    Although early socialists supported the idea of a popular revolution, the rise of evolutionary socialist ideas in the early twentieth century can be seen as an early sign of socialism straying from it's traditional principles. With a multitude of institutions that worked in the interests of the working class, including trade unions and political parties, it seemed less logical that the working class would employ the violent revolution that revolutionary socialists had advocated. In Britain democracy was getting closer to achieving the goal of a universal franchise, and in reaction to this came the Fabian prophecy 'the inevitability of gradualism'.

    • Word count: 831
  4. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent has the Labour Party today abandoned its core values?

    3 star(s)

    To achieve this electability, New Labour was less dogmatic than the old, socialist core of the Party. Many policies were toned down, especially economic ones. This general shift to the centre ground gained voters back, who had previously been Labour, but had voted Conservative recently. These reformers, were not against socialism however and previously, many were socialists, yet they saw the need for electability, rather than ideology. However, the account above is merely a brief outline, and hence, one must look specifically at major policy change. It would be long-winded, and fruitless however, to detail every single policy difference between the two factions.

    • Word count: 1013
  5. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent has "new" Labour abandoned traditional socialist principles

    3 star(s)

    It was as part of this system that benefits for the unemployed and the National Health Service were introduced. Since Old Labour was set up and funded by the trade unions, close relations with the trade unions were essential. Resultantly, the Labour party argued for policies which benefited the working class, such as better working conditions and the establishment of a minimum wage. Another policy supported by old labour and introduced by Attlee was nationalisation of the major industries such as iron, steel, gas and coal. This policy directly complied with clause IV regarding the "common ownership of the means of production". Progressive taxation was a central concept in old Labour's manifesto and was known as "clobber the rich".

    • Word count: 820
  6. Marked by a teacher

    Analyse the main strengths and weaknesses of Marx's sociological thought.

    3 star(s)

    Hegel believed that although these processes were dynamic, they were an expression of development rather than being solid. To Marx, history developed due to the sequence of modes of production. In every stage of human history there have been certain productive forces e.g. land, animals, tools etc which are a necessary means of survival in order to produce food, shelter and clothing. These are called the forces of production. Together with the relations of production between the workers and those who owned the forces of production, this resulted in the mode of production.

    • Word count: 2020
  7. Marked by a teacher

    According to Henry David Thoreau "that government is best which governs not at all" do you agree with him?

    3 star(s)

    Thoreau proposes that governments tend towards perversion and abuse, before the expression of the will of the governed. Thoreau cites the Mexican war, 1846-1848, during which a small elite group were able, due to their political influence, to extend the slave trade to new US territories, despite popular opposition. Modern western governments appears to be typified by perversion in the form of spin, the 2000 election in the US, supposedly the most democratic nation on the earth, was surrounded by controversy, corruption and error. Thoreau comments surrounding the corrupting nature of government appear relevant to today's world. Having established this correlation between government and corruption Thoreau moves to argue that government acts to suppress the 'creative enterprise' of the people which they claim to represent.

    • Word count: 1196
  8. Marked by a teacher

    "Explain And Discuss How The "Ideologies Of Welfare" Explored In This Module Can Be Used To Understand The Political Legitimation And Debate Within The UK Social Policy From 1979 To The Present Day".

    3 star(s)

    I shall draw on the ideological influences of conservatism, old liberalism, new liberalism and socialism/Marxism, where applicable, to these policies and debates. To draw this essay to a close I shall summarise my writings and offer a conclusion. What is political legitimation (also referred to as legitimate authority)? Unwin Hyman dictionary of sociology defines them as: "Any form of political rule, in which rulers successfully uphold a claim that they govern by right in accord with law, tradition or similar basis" (Jary, 1996, P363)

    • Word count: 2341
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Is war Inevitable?

    Also they may join a war to protect an ally. I feel countries get involved in war for benefit for themselves. The reason why wars start is the exact same thing: where countries want other countries land, or resources. Or perhaps another country's government wronged them. There are also wars of religion. Then there are civil wars, usually occurring because the people are not happy with the government (not always though). Then there are people like Hitler, who have personal reasons.

    • Word count: 786
  10. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent has the UK political system become more democratic in recent years

    Also they argue referendums are expensive and disrupt the government. Others argue that because referendums are held at a time of the ruling party's choice, they have the biggest influence on the outcome of the vote. If these criticisms are true then obviously the use of referendums are actually degrading from the democratic process, however others disagree. Supporters of referendums argue that there use in our political system will re-connect voters, after having participated in this process they will take more notice of real issues, rather than say a party leader's personality therefore allowing them to become more involved.

    • Word count: 810
  11. Peer reviewed

    Can the use of the First Past the Post electoral system be justified in a modern democracy?

    5 star(s)

    These consistently single party governments for many have been vital in allowing laws to be passed and that with a coalition government, very little would be able to passed. The theoretical argument is that single party government leads to strong government and this is what First Past the Post creates. Furthermore, in creating single party governments, it minimalises the influence of third parties in the sense that they struggle to gain representation. Many tend to see it as an advantage as it keeps the extremes out, such as in Britain where although the BNP gained 2% of the vote, they didn't come close to gaining a seat.

    • Word count: 1538
  12. Peer reviewed

    to what extent have conservatives supported one nation principles?

    5 star(s)

    However, a pragmatism that places great importance on maintaining the balance between social reform and a lack of interference in the economy is also at the centre of the ideology. This is characterised by a belief that those with wealth should be allowed to keep it but should also be prepared to help those less fortunate of their own accord. An example of the accommodation that one-nation Conservatives reach with Capitalism can be seen in Disraeli's factory reform acts that limited the hours of women and children but not those of men.

    • Word count: 976
  13. Peer reviewed

    How Similar was Thatcherism To Traditional Conservatism?

    4 star(s)

    Although this was ploy by Thatcher to reform an ageing structure to push through a system of efficiency, capital and competitiveness, it was in fact an example of a Laissez-faire approach to economics, which was a core value of Liberalism. However although this element seems to fundamentally contradict the basis of traditional conservatism by conceding a liberalist approach, it is merely an example of how 'Thatcherism' was a modern day progression of traditional conservatism. The reason for this is that in the modern evolution of capitalism, individualism and the free market plays a pivotal role in determining the success of

    • Word count: 1213
  14. Peer reviewed

    Examine the first five chapters of 1984 - Discuss how Orwell explores and introduces the theme of control.

    3 star(s)

    I believe he remembers as he is strong-minded and his mind isn't easily controlled. This is quite similar to The Party slogans and the names of their governmental buildings are easily excepted because of doublethink. This is very useful method of control as they can change anything they say at anytime, then erase records of what they say and it's as though they never said it. This makes the party seem perfect, as it will never make them seem like they've made a mistake.

    • Word count: 1659
  15. Free essay

    What do you consider to be the defining elements of a socialist outlook?

    A belief in equality is shared by all socialists; equality is also important because the desire for greater social equality by many socialists is debatably what best distinguishes the ideology, or parts of it, from other schools of political thought such as liberalism. This belief in equality also influences many other key beliefs of socialism; for example one could argue that socialists only oppose capitalism because of the detrimental effect it has on levels of equality. Firstly, the opposition to capitalism can be seen to be an important element of a socialist outlook.

    • Word count: 1945
  16. Why and to what extent, have conservatives supported One Nation principles?

    However it is important to note that these improvements are limited to the desire to ensure that the poor no longer pose a threat to established order. This pragmatic approach to politics and social policy is reflected in Burke's statement that 'a state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservatism." The conservative New Right have accepted pragmatism, evident in modern times where the Conservative party under Cameron has kept many social security and welfare programs running in the UK.

    • Word count: 1049
  17. Conservatism - key terms in conservative philosophy

    Classical liberalism referred to as 'neo-liberalism' is about the free market, allowing the individual to be free from state intervention in private family life such as spending. Privacy here gives the individual a motive - work hard, earn money, and spend it in any way within the legal boundaries. Anomie - A weakening of values and normative rules associated with the feelings of isolation, loneliness and meaninglessness. (Durkheim argument against negative freedom.) Organicism - Belief that society operates like an organism, whose parts work together. The organism is sustained by a fragile set of relationships between & amongst its parts.

    • Word count: 808
  18. Devolved power has all the advantages of unitary systems but none of the disadvantages of federalism Discuss

    In a unitary system, the government that is situated sometimes hundreds of miles from the more remote areas can seem incredibly out of touch. They are also less democratic as they are not checked as stringently by regional institutions and arguably do not acknowledge cultural and history difference between regions One clear advantage of devolving power to regions is that it can encourage policy innovation and development. These smaller regions can act as policy laboratories, as their size means if the policy is a failure it only affects a small region, and if it is a success it can be adopted by the national government.

    • Word count: 1450
  19. The political system of China is changing step by step. Discuss

    This Central Committee takes over the functions of the NPC and meets once a year. Just like the party congresses that are held every five years, the main function of the annual People's Congress is announcing and formalizing political decisions. The NPC also appoints people in high functions and approves the constitution. The Tenth National People's Congress elected Hu Jintao as Chinese President and Wen Jiabao as Prime minister. Until now the government has offered no room for other non-state-sponsored political parties. The founders of the Chinese Democratic Party (CDP) were arrested in late 1998/early 1999 because they would oppose the general political line.

    • Word count: 880
  20. Conservatsim favours pragmatism over principle, discuss.

    Society is too complicated for human's to fully understand and can therefore never fully understand the political system. Traditional conservatives are therefore suspicious of abstract ideas and systems of thought that claim to understand how society and the world should be run as it is out of grasp for an individual to understand. They prefer to ground their ideas in tradition and therefore giving a more pragmatic approach to the world, and avoiding vast changes within society, for example revolt. Principles such as rights of man, equality and social justice are fraught with danger because they provide a blueprint for the reform or remodelling of the world.

    • Word count: 971
  21. Fascism Can Largely Be Defined By What It Opposes. Discuss.

    On the contrast, fascists are for the cycle of elites, an idea that Vilfredo Pareto very much felt true. They believe that people are inferior and have different abilities and some people will rise up and lead countries. Friedrich Nietzsche had the idea of an ideal superior man of the future who could rise above conventional Christian morality to create and impose his own values. Following on from this is the way in which fascists are against limited governments which prevent an overpowering government from medalling with peoples' lives like the Liberal thinker John Locke thinks. Instead they believe that there should be a totalitarian state, a state which has all power and where there is no freedom of speech nor can you say what you want to do.

    • Word count: 805
  22. Assess the advantages of direct and representative democracy

    As well as being good for society, it also greatly aids individual development, leading to a vastly more politically aware society as a whole because people have to consider each issue for themselves. People develop a deeper understanding of the society they live in, both the politics that affect it at the present and the type of politics that would need to effect to bring about the formation of society they want. It's very hard to find any drawbacks of this element of direct democracy.

    • Word count: 1090
  23. Free essay

    On what grounds do Anarchists believe in the possibility of a stateless society

    Without a state, Anarchists believe that people would be capable of organising themselves without being ruled over from above, and would for a spontaneous social order, without a natural hierarchy and without there being an inequality due to a class based society with an elite section. Collectivist anarchists claim human beings are naturally sociable and co-operative. Collectivist anarchists argue that common ownership, decentralisation and self-management encourage social harmony and personal development.

    • Word count: 454
  24. Is the practice of humanitarian intervention compatible with an international system that is based on the principle of state sovereignty?

    The definition of state sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a territory (Bueno, 2009). This definition of state sovereignty gives supremacy power and also the full responsibiliy to a government to regulate the human welfare for residing citizens within its territory, and for all outcomes through its own course of action without interference from any other state. The problem, is when leaders misuse this absolute power over residing citizens by committing murderous crimes that cause serious threat to human rights, that spring the demand for humanitarian intervention.

    • Word count: 1558
  25. Free essay

    Representative democracy is more ideal than direct democracy. Discuss

    Educating the whole electorate on such issues would be exceptionally difficult for a number of reasons, and if an uninformed electorate were to vote on issues the results could be incredibly damaging. Making it a lot more difficult for a direct democracy to inform citizens on a complicated issue.

    • Word count: 488

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • This essay is aimed to discuss the meaning of ideology and it different uses and abuses to which it may be put in a politics

    "Conclusion, in my view as long as ideology exists there can never be a consensus among all as how people should live and view the world. Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism are notable example of major ideologies in this world that employed by those who posses power. Due to the way the political process works, ideology can affect many areas of life, social equality is one of such area, which falls victim of changing perspectives and ideologies of those who posses power."

  • "Fascism is nothing more than an extreme form of Nationalism". Discuss

    "In conclusion fascism certainly is something more than an extreme form of nationalism. Whilst fascist regimes, particularly Nazi Germany, demonstrate a strong belief in nationalism, the extremity of actions demonstrates a different belief, a belief in racialism. Furthermore fascism is characterised by other key beliefs which are not shared by nationalists, such as struggle and leadership and elitism. These can be seen to be even more fundamental to fascism that nationalistic beliefs as different kinds of fascist regimes place different emphasis on nationalism, whereas leadership and struggle remain ideologically central regardless of the strand of fascism in question. The central themes of fascism and the ways they have been manifested in different countries indicates that whilst fascism may have some similarities to nationalism ultimately it is ideologically distinct."

  • "In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters through which one perceives the world." Discuss and evaluate this claim.

    "To come back to the claim made by the essay question it is quite clear that political, religious and cultural as well as intellectual filters play important roles in the way people perceive the world. "Things", here, could be issues, people and beliefs. The interaction between any person and the world in which he/she lives in is very complex. Therefore, the word perception should not be restricted to our five senses and the messages they send to the brain to be processed. Past experience, beliefs, the degree to which we can be objective as well as intellectual capabilities of analysis and reflection play important roles in the way we analyze and react to situations outside and inside ourselves. In conclusion the claim of the essay is a true one since it has been shown through the discussion the process in which our value system affects to a large extent our perception of the world."

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