• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is Liberalism compatiable with democracy?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent is Liberalism compatible with democracy? Democracy played an important role in civilisation at the end of the 19th and early 20th century in terms of the liberation of the masses. In the modern world, Liberalism is seen to be merged with democracy but some disagree with this view. It can be argued that democracy is incompatible with liberalism which has been stated by philosophers such as Rousseau and Mill. It can be argued that Liberalism and Democracy can work together thorough democracy ensuring legitimacy and consent. An example of this is the social contract, a main Liberal belief that individuals hypothetically agree to hand over their natural rights in order to preserve themselves and remain free from the chaos of the state of nature. John Locke stated "whenever law ends tyranny begins". Through natural rights being sacrificed it provides the state power to maintain law and order and to protect the individual's rights. ...read more.

Middle

Through self-development, it promotes toleration and diversity through a greater number taking part in political matters and contributing to how the state is ran. The fourth argument is that it provides balances between the elite rule and participation. Liberals do not claim that everyone is equal but modern Liberals believe in equal opportunity. This is why they believe in meritocracy, where the individuals with the mental capacity are making the decisions. This links to representative democracy where the MP with the ability to handle the task is elected by the people. J S Mill believed in a qualified voting system that would allow the elite to have a greater influence. It would allow those with a higher intelligence levels to have a vote that would count as two compared to an average intellectual individual whose vote would count as one, allowing confidence and stability on society evolving. Representative democracy though makes the elite accountable through regular elections but they do have the power so they don't have to ponder to the majority's view. ...read more.

Conclusion

They believe in meritocracy through those with greater knowledge able to make the best decision for the whole of society but democracy does not promote this. Democracy assumes all people are equally capable of decision making and which is why every individuals vote counts as one. It is thought by some Liberals that the uneducated have sufficient understanding and therefore can be easily manipulated by things like the media. This therefore results in society not benefiting through beliefs that can be discriminating or sexist being accountable through democracy. This is one reason why J S Mill suggested the qualified voting system. There are two Liberals, Classical and Modern which both fit in with democracy in different ways. Modern Liberals embrace democracy as conductive to personal development and true equality of opportunity whereas Classical does not as much. Liberals believe in a specific kind of democracy, liberal democracy, a believe in a limited government and the ideal for popular consent. Liberals reject having less pluralism and more participation forms of democracy through being to dangerous. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Analyse the similarities and differences between Classical and Modern Liberalism

    4 star(s)

    Essentially, argue Classical liberals Smith and Ricardo, the economy works best on its own, because of the natural forces of the market (the market is self-regulating) and thus there should be a removal of all government restriction on the economy.

  2. Does democracy bring peace?

    the universal extent it is capable; it would extirpate the system of war." Much of commercial pacifists' beliefs can be traced back to 18th century writer Adam Smith. Smith argued that the "wealth of a neighbouring nation, though dangerous in war and politics, is certainly advantageous in trade.

  1. Analyse The Main Features of Classical Liberalism

    In the form of methodological individualism, this suggests that the individual is central to any political theory or social explanation. Thus, all statements about society should be made in terms of the individuals who compose it. Ethical individualism is another form of individualism.

  2. Is Liberalism compatible with democracy?

    Democracy may be totalitarian if the rule of the majority ruthlessly violates the rights of the minorities and diminishes their chances of becoming the majority. Liberalism is an understanding of the degree of government. Since Liberals know that in any society, power is a factor and cannot be eliminated, they

  1. In what sense(s) can liberalism be regarded as individualistic? Should individualism be regarded as ...

    This definition of individualism is consistent with classical liberalism. Each person is their own sovereign in a social and political context. Subjects in a classical liberal society are to be seen to have a moral nature with ultimate control over their own life.

  2. Indonesia: Transition and Prospects for Democracy

    Government liberalization and loss of power and authority 2. Opposition expands support, hoping to bring down the government 3. Forceful suppression and containment of opposition power by government 4. Government and opposition leaders explore negotiation and compromise Standpatters in government During the transition period (or reformasi), the following standpatters were found in government: the military, the hegemonic party Golkar, and Suharto himself.

  1. Explain why the Liberals were electorally so successful so often, 1868-85?

    Despite the noteworthy victory of 1868 the Liberals seemingly failed to modify themselves to the newly emerging mass electorate who had become more sophisticated with new priorities and issues requiring attention, and as a result were crushed by Disraeli and the Tories in the general election of 1874.

  2. Why 19th Century Liberals Feared Democracy

    Consequently democracy gradually strangles originality and individuality. However nineteenth century liberals have expressed reservations about democracy not just because of the danger of majority rule but also because of the composition of the majority in modern industrial societies. The liberal theory of utilitarianism and equality led to an abundance for the few but subsistence for the many

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work