Tutorial : 13:15
18 March 2013
THE CONTRIBUTION OF LIBERALISM TO LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
“A political arrangement that promotes the liberty of the individual citizen from arbitrary government” , ( Gamble, n.d.) . This is a political ideology that seems to put great emphasis on the protection of the individual through key principles such as individualism, freedom and equality (Heywood, 2007). Principles that are of supreme importance to the practical well-being of an individual.
Liberalism can be traced back to the seventeenth century, making it the oldest of the modern political ideologies (Funderburk, Thobaben, n.d.) . The early ideas of liberalism were advanced by a stress on the importance of man’s individuality over “the collective” which was the core principle of the liberal ideology ( Heywood, 2007 ). Liberalism puts high emphasis on the protection of the individual by allocating each individual maximum negative freedom. Negative freedom can be defined as, “ the absence of external constraints upon the individual” which is commonly known as non-interference from both government and other individuals (Dewey, 2005). However the ideology of liberalism cannot be advanced unless we are able to distinguish between individualism and collectivism. Individualism is often seen as an attempt to strengthen individual responsibility by constraining state power. Collectivism suggests that the state is a mechanism through which collective goals are achieved thus expanding state power (Dewey,2005). The concentration of power proved to be the liberals fear, since they believed that government is always bound to become a tyranny against the individual because the greater concentration of power the greater room for rulers self-interest thus the greater corruption. Hence the development of the ideology of liberalism which, as stated above, is “ a political arrangement that promotes the...