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AS and A Level: Political Philosophy

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 10
  • Peer Reviewed essays 4
  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. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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

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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