Difference Between Liberalism And Fascism

Better Essays
Freedom: Liberalism and Fascism
Liberalism and fascism present two very different understandings of freedom. On one hand, liberalism provides freedom whereas on the other hand fascism provides a lack of liberty. This essay will argue that liberalism and fascism provide two different ideas of freedom and to discuss this through the differences and similarities between the two. In order to argue that point, we need to address the meanings of freedom, the idea of freedom in both ideologies, and then the key similarities and differences between liberty in fascism and liberalism. Before freedom in liberalism and fascism can be discussed, freedom must be clarified firstly. John Stuart Mill (1859) and Isaiah Berlin (1958) classified two sorts of
…show more content…
Freedom of individuals is of high value within the principles of liberalism. The political movement, liberalism is centred around individuals, freedom, rights and reason (Heywood 2012). John Gray (1986) identified that the main elements of liberalism are individualism and egalitarian. Liberal societies are organised around the principles of consent and constitutionalism, created in order protect people from a government tyranny (Heywood 2012). Classical liberals supported negative freedom, freedom from constraints, whereas modern liberals support positive freedom, in the regards of human development and opportunities (Heywood 2012). Regardless of the switching of which freedom classical and modern liberals support, it is still freedom. That is much more than what fascism gives the individuals. It is the freedom from oppression, the freedom of thought, expression and economic activity which can also constitute freedom. There is also ideas of freedom of press and freedom of opportunity that can also contribute to the concept of liberty. Although, it is argued that there is no absolute freedom. There will always be some sort of resistance and a small margin to which they do not agree (Harrison & Boyd 2003). However, it is through the idea of liberalism that this resistance should only be small and mild. While there may not be absolute freedom, it still provides more freedom than other political ideologies. John Locke…show more content…
Locke (1690) argued that there should a large area of private life as possible to which the state has no right to control which leads to having freedom. It is also the living under the government which provides freedom through the use rules, no restraint besides the law, and free from arbitrary power (Locke, 1995). However, liberalism tends to support the idea of limiting constitution government and their power. It was liberal thinkers James Madison and Baron de Montesquieu that designed the idea of the separation of powers, to equally distribute the power the government has (Young 2002). This then leads to helping to ensure that there is individual freedom and rights, and that individuals have autonomy. Liberals tend to be suspicious of the government and the power that they posses to limit an individual and their freedom. By limiting the government, it makes sure that they are not using their power to target citizens and to constrain their liberty. Friedrich von Hayek (1960) debated for the rule of law, where individuals under this law can make choices and act upon them without constraint. With the rule of law and separation of powers, it ensures that no single person can rule over the people and rob them of their freedom. Unless, of course their state is a form of fascism to which there is an absolute power ruling. Although, while more modern forms of