Welfare Liberalism

Topics: Liberalism, Political philosophy, Conservatism Pages: 4 (1453 words) Published: April 19, 2007
Liberalisms generally subscribe to an ideological platform that the individual is sovereign as John Stuart Mill describes it, and the rights of the individual are infinitely more important than the rights of the government. The debate with liberalisms seems to arise from the fact that it does not pay particular attention to the role the individual plays as a member of society – a society that cannot function without unity, self-preservation, and general identification by those members of their responsibility to the overall welfare of society. One can deduce that liberalisms generally do not give as much attention to this notion of a "social fabric" as outlined by Edmund Burke but that is not to say that liberalisms' overall goal is not the welfare of society as a whole. While neoclassical liberalism tends to recognize that society and the individual are benefited by a smaller federal government and less government intrusion on the individual, it usually favors economic competition within society as a whole. Neoclassical liberals generally believe that economic competition and overall economic stability will enhance the standard of living of all individuals. Under this ideology, one could assume that by increasing the standard of living of all individuals, society as a whole has benefited thus ensuring that this ideology does not neglect the authority of the state in general. However, one could also argue that neoclassical liberalism dismisses the authority of the federal government in some ways by attempting to minimize it as much as possible. Edmund Burke would certainly argue that neoclassical liberalism does not focus enough on the social unity needed to facilitate a thriving society. He would also argue that this ideology dismisses the nature of humans to be "self-interested…and short-sighted, which is precisely why they need the power of government to restrain them and keep their passions in check." Edmund Burke would find many flaws with neoclassical...
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