On What Grounds Would a Socialist Criticise the Liberals Emphasis on Individualism? on What Grounds Would a Socialist Criticise the Liberals Emphasis on Individualism?

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ON WHAT GROUNDS WOULD A SOCIALIST CRITICISE THE LIBERALS EMPHASIS ON INDIVIDUALISM?

1. Outline what Liberals (like Locke) say about individualism and individual liberty and why they value it. 2. Outline the consequences of this – INEQUALITY – and why individualism inevitably leads to inequality 3. State that Socialists have (traditionally) valued equality above all and say why. 4. Conclude that this is why they oppose individualism – but add that some modern Socialists have modified their view and now regard equality of opportunity as more important – which is much more compatible with individualism.

DISTINGUISH BETWEEN ‘EQUALITY OF OUTCOME’ AND ‘EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY’ AND OUTLINE HOW LIBERALS AND SOCIALISTS HAVE APPROACHED THESE IDEAS.

1. Begin by defining the two terms and their consequences - -(a)equality of outcome = making people more equal in terms of income, wealth and even power – the levelling up or down favoured by traditional Socialists and Communists (b)equality of opportunity = everyone is given the same chance in life (life chances) but after that its up to them what they make of it – favoured by liberals and modern Socialists (Third Way). The two ideas are incompatible because equality of opportunity can lead to great inequality in the end. 2. Traditionally those in favour of equality of outcome = Communists and Socialists – say why 3. Traditionally those in favour of equality of opportunity = liberals and some Conservatives (mostly One Nation, Christian democrats and now Modernisers) 4. But – modern Socialists or New Labour now seem to favour equality of opportunity no outcome – say why.

WHY DO LIBERALS VALUE INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY ABOVE EQUALITY?

Not difficult –

1. Outline the basic liberal values which focus on individual freedom and individualism – spell out in detail what they say about this and why. 2. Outline briefly arguments for equality – and why liberals think this might damage individual...
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