Is Liberalism compatible with democracy? Liberalism is a political view that seeks to foster the development and well-being of the individual. Liberals regard the individual as a rational creature who can use his or her intelligence to overcome human and natural obstacles to a good life for all without resorting to violence against the established order. Liberalism is more concerned with process, with the method of solving problems, than with a specific programme. In the 18th and 19th Centuries, Liberalism emphasised the full development of the individual, free from the restraints of government. In the 20th Century, Liberalism has seen a change of direction in that it looks to government as a means of correcting the abuses and shortcomings of society through the use of positive programmes of action. Today's Liberals would see the government as a positive force in issues involving, for example, civil rights when the government can use its authority and power to change society for the good so that individuals can experience a positive benefit to their lives brought about by government action. In this sense, modern Liberals do not see the government necessarily as a major threat to individual freedom. Democracy as a term comes from the Greek. 'Demos' meaning the people and 'Kratos' meaning authority or rule. A democracy is a system of government in which ultimate political
Could one censor pornography, on Millean grounds? For years the censorship of pornography has been heavily debated, with philosophers like Mill commonly being quoted. Although Mill does not specifically refer to pornography in his work he gives a variety of principles, all of which are open to interpretation, by which we can come to conclusions on censorship. Views on censorship mainly depend on the harm or offence it causes and what kind of pornography is being considered. Pornography ranges from hardcore to soft, involving consenting adults on one hand and on the other hand forcing children to participate in it. Similarly some viewers simply look at it and it has no other effect on them except to "stimulate sexual excitement"1. However it is claimed that some pornography depicts a degrading picture of women and in some cases has incited men to use violence against women. In my essay I shall outline what Mill stated concerning freedom of action, spend some time defining and explaining pornography and then link the two, showing both arguments for and against censorship of pornography on Millean grounds. J.S.Mill is often referred to as the founding father of modern liberalism particularly due to his emphasis on freedom of speech and action and minimal government interference so as to maximise human development. Although not specifically mentioning pornography in his work,
What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism? The utilitarian approach to deciding what the right thing to do is to try and make the most amounts of people happy. Both Bentham and Mill believed this, they were both hedonists, believing that the most important thing in life is to be happy. However their theories differed in the way they measured pleasure. Bentham measured happiness considering the quantity of pleasure whereas Mill measured it by the quality of happiness that would occur. The main weakness of utilitarianism is to do with the problem of consequences. When we use Bentham's theory we are unable to predict the future so as to see how our decisions will affect people later on. There is no way of telling for sure what the consequences of our actions will be, we just do what we think is right at that specific time. An example of this is shown through one of Roald Dahl's stories, 'Genesis and Catastrophe'. A doctor saves both the mother and child in a very difficult birth. His concluding words were 'you'll be alright Mrs. Hitler.' If the doctor was a utilitarian he would say he was doing the right thing because the most amount of people were made happy by both mother and child being alive, but the doctor couldn't see into the future to see what consequences this act would have. He thought more people would be happy because he saved his life but as
Liberalism has a dual commitment both to individual freedom and equality. How does liberalism try to reconcile these two commitments? Does it succeed? Can freedom and equality really co-exist?
Liberalism has a dual commitment both to individual freedom and equality. How does liberalism try to reconcile these two commitments? Does it succeed? Can freedom and equality really co-exist? The ideas of liberalism have been around for more than three hundred years1 and inevitably these ideas have changed over time. These changes led to the development of two strands of liberalism, which are referred to as 'classical liberalism' and 'modern liberalism'. It is important to distinguish between the two strands as these liberal traditions clash over their views on certain aspects of society, particularly on the role of the state. From a classical liberal perspective the state should play a minimal role in society, this idea is exemplified by the New right. From a modern liberal view point the state should play an active role in society, for example the welfare state. Many key political ideas were derived from liberalism, both classical and modern. The work of the classical liberalist Adam Smith on protections in international and national trade could be clearly seen in Margaret Thatcher's economic policies and ideas on the free market. Her ideas on the role that the state should play in society also followed a classical liberalist approach. Due to the emergence of the two strands the ideology of liberalism was now subject to inherent contradictory beliefs. Almost all
Anti-Anti-Anti-PC; A Critique of Political Correctness amongst the Right According to George Orwell, "All language is political". Indeed as if we ever needed a better example, a new and more progressive era has been entered upon; where conservatives have introduced a catchy two word phrase to undermine a world supposedly committed to egalitarianism and respect for the dignity and welfare of others. Political Correctness (or PC) is a concept, while having been around for some centuries, recently finding immense support - but for the wrong reasons. What irks me is the fact that the term - now turned derogatory - has been used to manipulate a generation of progressive minds leaving them blind to the hypocrisy the prominent users of the term, themselves, derive. Where the manipulation achieves its success is in simplification; simplification of an issue into mere black and white. Political Correctness apparently is sweeping a world caught up in righting its wrongs. The concept of righting your wrongs seems to be a positive force; but then so does the term Political correctness. Where the phrase seems to glitch though is when suddenly justice is hypocrisy, and compassion is an attack on freedoms of speech. Yes; if you've noticed the parallel with Orwellian Newspeak. The irony here lies where newspeak is applied. When you hear "the bane of our society", it is usually followed with
Liberalism was inappropriate for Russia." Do you agree? Illustrate your view with reference to Russian history in the period,1860-1917.
"Liberalism was inappropriate for Russia." Do you agree? Illustrate your view with reference to Russian history in the period,1860-1917. One cannot say definitely that liberalism was inappropriate for Russia. To insist on this view is subjective and arbitrary. Liberalism had not been put into full practice in Russia in the period, 1860-1917, so no one can say decidedly that it was not appropriate for Russia. We can only make assumptions. By observing the history of Russia in this period, one can say that liberalism could not develop as a powerful or influential force because of the absence of favourable conditions, the most important one being the rise of a rich and strong middle class. Liberalism meant a plea for the liberty of the individual and his rights to self-expression. It showed itself in demands for constitutional rights such as the right to vote, the right to take part in the government and civil liberties. In the 19th century, it became the political principle of the middle classes. They felt that in terms of status, income and education, they were uniquely qualified to govern. They wanted a limited democracy which meant a narrow franchise and 'constitutional rights' protecting them against the arbitrary rule by the king and the tyranny of the masses. In Russia, industrialization started very late-in the 1890's. Therefore, there was a lack of a rich
To what extent are the socialist/ social democratic parties nationally distinct? "Social Democracy is characterised by mass parties with a large extra-parliamentary base of activists and in principle at least, a democratic structure giving the members control over the party and party control over its representatives in national and local governments. Its electoral base is in the industrial working class through the extent of this varies according to the size of that class and the presence of a communist party competing for the same votes" [Keating, 1993, 41]. This is one author's perspective on social democracy and the factors which determine it's presence in government. Social democracy is a hybrid of socialism and liberalism; hence it encompasses a number of ideas and objectives. The working class movement developed from having its industrial wing, usually based in the trade unions, into forming a political wing - the party. Originally, the party derived its ideology either from the writings of scientific socialists such as Marx and Engels or utopian socialists such as Fourier or Saint-Simon. Commonly, they believed in social harmony, co-operation, collective society and above all egalitarianism. Following the history of social democracy in Western Europe gives an account of a journey of transformation, compromise and controversy. Each country has had to adapt the
This essay will firstly look at the divisions within Canada and how these divisions work to create a unique political culture. Secondly, it will compare the American and Canadian political cultures.
"Hey, I am not a lumberjack or fur trader, and I don't live in an igloo or eat blubber or own a dog sled and I don't know Jimmy, Sally, or Suzie from Canada, although I am certain they're really, really nice. I have a prime minister, not a president; I speak English and French, not American; and I pronounce it 'about,' not 'aboot.' I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack. I believe in peacekeeping, not policing; diversity, not assimilation; and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal. A toque is a hat, a chesterfield is a couch, and it's pronounnced zed, not zee, zed! Canada is the second largest landmass, and the first nation of hockey, and the best part of North America. My name is Joe, and I am Canadian! Thank you." Canadians have all heard, rejoiced and chanted the 'I am Canadian' commercial. The commercial enforced the patriotic feeling now engulfing Canadians. The commercial further signified a changing political culture from the historically calm and accepting neighbour of the south. It is important to look at patriotism because it could mark a reduction in the Canadian malaise and the fragmentation we as Canadians inhibit and lead to a changing political culture. Canada, as a whole can become stronger the more unified the country becomes. This essay will firstly look at the divisions within Canada and how these divisions work to create a
Darwin's Theory of Evolution "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life," usually shortened to "the Origin of Species," is the full title of Charles Darwin's book, first published in 1859, in which Darwin formalized what we know today as the Theory of Evolution. Although Darwin is the most famous exponent of this theory, he was by no means the first person to suspect the workings of evolution. In fact, Charles owed a considerable debt to his grandfather Erasmus, a leading scientist and intellectual, who published a paper in 1794, called Zoonomia, or, The Laws of Organic Life. This set down many of the ideas that his grandson elaborated on 70 years later. However, it was Darwin that formalized the theory, and presented the most convincing case for the theory. Charles Darwin was born on the 12th of February 1809 (incidentally, the same day and year as Abraham Lincoln), in Shrewsbury, England. He had a privileged upbringing, and enjoyed science - particularly biology. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1831, and on December the 27th of that year, he set off for a five-year journey aboard the Beagle, a ship bound for South America. His voyage was long and eventful, including once, in Chile, encountering both an earthquake and a tidal wave in a single day! He spent the entire journey
Account for the rejection of the "democratic experiment" by the independent Southeast Asia states. Throughout the Southeast Asian region, a wide range of political doctrines, compromises and institutions were tried, modified, rejected or opposed by the governments of Southeast Asia. Although democracy was adopted by many governments in the 1940s and early 1950s, with the exception of Malaysia and Singapore, it could be noted that most Southeast Asian states had made the gradual shift to authoritarianism by the end of 1980s. This therefore indicated the rejection of the democratic experiment. This rejection could be mainly attributed to the incompetence of democratic leaders, pre-colonial political system that favoured collective institutions and to the rise of military regimes. This essay aims to examine the reasons why democracy failed in Southeast Asia by first examining how the incompetence of democratic leaders had largely contributed to the eventual collapse of democracy; then it will go on to examine the challenges faced by democratic leaders; how pre-colonial political systems that favoured collective institutions made it difficult for democracy to thrive in Southeast Asia; as well as how many Southeast Asian countries succumbed to the imposition of military regimes justified in the name of national interest had all led to the rejection of democracy. It is mainly