Essay on The Definition of Liberalism
Liberalism is essentially a 19th century political viewpoint or ideology associated with strong support for a broad interpretation of civil liberties for freedom of expression and religious toleration, for widespread popular participation in the political process, and for the repeal of protectionist legal restrictions inhibiting the operation of a capitalist free market economy. In the 20th century US, the term has come to describe an ideology with similar views on civil liberties and personal freedom issues but now supporting a much stronger role for government in regulating and manipulating the private economy and providing public support for the economically and socially disadvantaged, though still stopping well short of full socialism. In its purest form, it is not for the collective to decide what is good for all under liberalism; on the contrary, it is up to the individual to decide what is best for him/herself and do what best fills these needs. Liberalism has three distinct cores: the moral core, the political core and the economic core. It is the moral core, more than anything else, that keeps these biases alive and well. The moral core contains "an affirmation of basic values and rights attributable to the 'nature' of a human being -freedom, dignity, and life - subordinating everything else to their implementation" (pg. 26). The question at hand is whether or not liberalism can correct the class, racial and/or gender biases, or is it hopelessly a victim of its own economic and political history/systems that produces inequality? I assert the latter, that liberalism is a victim of its own economic and political history/systems. It produces inequality by providing what it considered 'equality' for the masses. In its attempt to make everyone equal, it has created racial, gender and class based biases that exist because of liberalism and which liberalism itself can never hope to contain. It is a theory that has proven...
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