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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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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Why and to what extent have conservatives supported tradition?

    Established customs and practices are ones that individuals can recognize; they are familiar and reassuring. Tradition also generates social cohesion by linking people from the past and providing them with a collective sense of who they are. Change, is unknown and therefore it creates uncertainty and insecurity, and so endangers our happiness. Tradition, therefore, consists of rather more than political institutions that have stood the test of time. Some modern Conservatives have also valued tradition, these include, the 'one nation' conservatives and the Christian Democrats. 'One nation' conservatism began in the 19th century when Disraeli coined the term.

    • Word count: 1279
  9. Corruption is the grease that lubricates the squeaky gate

    and health (37.3) sectors, although the intensity of the bribes reduced, this is because there is little manoeuvrability for favouritism in these areas. 2 This shows that the need for corruption for basic services in Ghana is hundreds of times greater than in the United Kingdom, and that without providing bribes there is little chance of receiving the service. In this case, in LDC's corruption does seem to provide the 'lubrication for the squeaky gate'. Secondary, corruption is seen to reduce the amount of bureaucracy that is systemic in LDC's, as it allows people to jump the extensive cues which plague the majorities of basic services and allows funding the flow into the country.

    • Word count: 1201
  10. Nationalism is a recipe for peace and international order. Discuss

    Thus implying an emphasis on national allegiances instead of global or international allegiances. However, internationalism is compatible with nationalism in the sense they both call for cooperation. Internationalism requires solidarity between pre-existing nations, instead of the abandonment of national identities altogether. Hence, why nationalism could be a device that peace and international order can be achieve through. To claim is possible it is important to analyse all the different types of nationalism to see if they contain forms of internationalism. Firstly, liberal nationalism the oldest form of nationalism stemming from the French Revolution and The Enlightenment period.

    • Word count: 1125
  11. Free essay

    To what extent has Europe adopted a single social model?

    This was movement towards the creation of a single market. The dream was to promote freedom of access and movement in four key areas; Firstly, legal residents of EU member states would be allowed to live and work in any other member state, and have their professional qualifications recognized. Secondly, currency and capital would be allowed to flow freely across borders, and EU residents could use financial services in any EU country. Thirdly, business could sell their products throughout the EU, and consumers would be free to buy those products in any member state without incurring costs or penalties.

    • Word count: 1128
  12. Realism, idealism and neoliberalism

    Realism in all of its forms emphasizes the continuities of the human condition, particularly at international level, it can be defined as: a practical understanding and acceptance of the actual nature of the world, rather than an idealized view of it (Morgenthau, 1964:86). The actual nature of the world pertains to human nature and their viewpoints of the international political world. Realists argue that on the international stage the main actor is the state and its distinctive characteristic is supreme sovereignty.

    • Word count: 1445
  13. What is liberal about John Rawls Theory of Justice? How may it be criticised?

    However, Rawls theory is different from the ideas of earlier liberals in many ways, for example he does not accept the state of nature. Instead he starts from an "original position" whereby individuals are under a "veil of ignorance" which blinds them to facts about their lives - "no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status". Therefore the outcome will be fair principles for all members of society. Although the state of nature and veil of ignorance are similar in the way that they are both hypothetical and non-historical, they are not necessarily liberal in this way.

    • Word count: 1083
  14. Nationalism. Where do nations come from? Are they natural or artificial formations?

    the rise of nationalism as the modernization and advancement of the world meant that most pre-modern communities could no longer serve their role as a basis for community spirit in the modernized world (Uzelac, 2005:203). The emergence of the 'Nation' was the alternative and it instilled feelings of membership to the community that continuously developed into a form of nationalism. In this way, people belong to a certain nation at their birth and consequently that sense of belonging explains nationalism.

    • Word count: 1129
  15. To what extent is Liberalism compatiable with democracy?

    The social contract also leads to constitutionalism which preserves the freedom of the majority and guarantees stability, through the mass ruling and therefore less chance of a rebellion. This shows that democracy is compatible with liberalism through the element of consent and legitimacy. Another argument that can be made is that it is the best way of reconciling interest groups. Interest groups can be mediated in a way that promotes social harmony through avoiding conflict. Liberals support pluralism which is needed in society for different views and opinions to be expressed for example socialism, liberalism and conservatism.

    • Word count: 1021
  16. To what extent has socialism been defined by its opposition to capitalism?

    Socialist disagree with capitalism on numerous fronts. It places a huge emphasise on private ownership and property which socialists strongly disagree with as private property encourages engrained inequality due to hereditary nature of property ownership. Socialist would argue that their should be collective ownership of the means of production as this would result everybody benefiting from the production and abuse and license would be removed. They also disagree with the capitalist belief that individuals competing will produce the best results, they argue that this isn't efficient and creates waste and that it encourages a distortions in the humans natural nature which would be to co-operate and aid each other to create the best possible outcome.

    • Word count: 1005
  17. Is Fascism an Ideology?

    Fascism is seemingly comprised of and defined by what is disagrees with rather than its actual beliefs. "Fascism thus has a strong 'anti-character': it is anti-rational, anti-liberal, anti-conservative, anti-capitalist, anti- bourgeois, anti-communist and so on." (Heywood, 2007) This nihilist approach is a key challenge to Fascisms claim of political ideological status and whilst to a degree this is common of many ideologies its antagonistic nature is so pronounced that it seems to consume the majority of its doctrine, leaving it with little or no ideological substance.

    • Word count: 1151
  18. To what extent can social policies ensure health inequalities are reduced significantly?

    A person's social class is based on a mixture of factors such as income level, education, housing and occupation. The report's other findings were there were some cases of lower social classes experiencing worst health than in the 1950's. The report looked at four explanations for patterns in inequality. The artefact explanation which suggests health inequalities don't really exist, but only appear to because of the way class is constructed. The social selection explanation was that people are in lower social class because of their ill health rather than social class being the reason for poorer health. The behavioral/cultural explanation is that ill health is the sufferers own fault and is down to their lifestyle.

    • Word count: 1650
  19. How far did Conservative governments conform to traditional conservatism between 1945 and 1990?

    Coming out of World War II, Trade Unions suddenly had more political influence and power, certainly more than they'd ever had before. Their aim was to reform socio-economic conditions for working men in British industries, and while the conservatives learned to accept trade union existence, traditional conservatives generally viewed them as an inconvenience and, particularly from 1950-1970, saw them as having too much control over government issues. Governments in this time were forced to work closely with Trade Unions to regulate wages and avoid strikes, though the government in 1971 did try to increase powers so as to limit strikes, but this ultimately failed.

    • Word count: 1276
  20. Political Ideologies

    Legal equality, political equality but not social equality as everyone has different skills - equality of opportunity not outcome * Talented should rule, positions should be distributed on the basis of ability > Toleration * A way to protect individualism and allow social enrichment * Promotes debate about issues to test each one * Debate will not lead to conflict as there are usually a natural harmony between beliefs and views > Consent * Authority and social relationships should be based on willingness * Favour representation and authority 'from below' > Constitutionalism * Government is needed to maintain order and

    • Word count: 1486
  21. Evaluate the different interpretations of the role of the state

    Also by no having any welfare provisions they were upholding a strong state that was full on inequality and exploitation of the working class especially during industrialisation. A one-nation approach then emerged that tried to solve some of the criticisms of traditional conservative ideology. Having a state as a welfare provider was a key principle to this variation. It is much he same as modern liberalism in the idea of protecting the working classes. However where as modern liberals wanted to liberate the working class from social evils to give them back their freedom, one-nation conservatives were more concerned with a social uprising by the lower orders (Disraeli)

    • Word count: 1141
  22. To what extent is there continuity between traditional Conservatism and the New Right?

    These flaws are intrinsic to the human condition but the differences between these two strands of conservatism stem from how best to accommodate these imperfections. Whilst both agreeing that society is a natural, inevitable and desirable feature of human life, classical conservatism believes that the best way to protect the individual and society from the flaws of the individual are through authority and strict law and order. They believe negative freedom, subscribed to by liberals, is a recipe for chaos.

    • Word count: 1140
  23. Even in the 21st Century There are Grounds for Arguing that Governments are Dominated by Small Elites

    This links in with the claim from the extract where "the sons of the power elite" are "socialised" to enhance their "movement into positions similar to those held by their fathers." In the US, if Hillary Clinton becomes president, two families would have dominated the president for nearly thirty years. In both Parliament and Congress women and ethnic minorities are underrepresented. 19.7% of MPs are women and 13.8% of those in Congress are women. 2.3% of MPs are from an ethnic minority, while 14.4% of Congressmen are from ethnic minorities.

    • Word count: 1208
  24. Ethos, Pathos & Logos in Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

    How does his inclusion of his feeling change the reader's feeling or understanding of Dr. King and this statement of fact? It clearly builds Dr. King's ethos as a caring human being. Dr. King also quotes his opposition, giving the reader a direct experience of their words, inviting readers to judge for themselves. In this, Dr. King creates a sense of his fairness. For example, Dr. King uses the quote "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" a quote from the clergy he is addressing in his letter, to introduce his discussion of the new administration, like the old, being segregationists.

    • Word count: 1186
  25. "The US Constitution is entrenched and rigid; the UK has no Constitution worthy of that name." To what extent do you agree with this view? (40 marks)

    There may have been so few changes because of attitudes. American's have a reverence for the Constitution and a great reluctance to tinker with it. Most support Horace Walpole when he said 'Everybody talks of the Constitution, but all sides forget that the Constitution is extremely well, and would do very well, if they would but leave it alone'. This contrasts significantly with the situation in the UK, where Constitutional reform and modernisation has been a central plank of the New Labour governments, and essentially a vote winner.

    • Word count: 1381

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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