Liberals believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. Liberals believe that it is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems. Although there is a clear division between the U.S. in political affiliation, conservatives outnumber the liberals. Saad (2012) concludes that 40% of Americans describe their views as conservative, 21% as liberal, and 35% as moderate.
Liberals credit in socialism, meaning they value social equality in jobs, race, wages, education. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security are all apart of Liberal beliefs. Liberals also reflect that more people should be working and participating in government projects like voting. Each person should get what they need: wealth, food, shelter, education. They also trust that
The main ideological argument that separates liberals and conservatives is the role that the government plays in the lives of people. Typically, liberals believe that the purpose of the government's existence is to serve the people by ensuring their needs, “Dworkin for example, claims justice is the essential motif of liberalism and that the state's duty is to ensure a just and fair opportunity for all to flourish in a civil society” (Wiggins 2). Naturally, government must be enormous to provide for the needs of the masses. Conservatives on the other hand stray from extensive governments partially due to the scorned centralized governments of Brit... ... middle of paper ... ...er government that does more for the people, while conservatives want a smaller one that keeps to its own affairs. On the issues, liberals will vote to gain more freedoms and extend existing ones, while liberals will mostly vote to cut taxes and decrease government spending.
These differences in base beliefs have an enormous effect on their ideas of the role of government. Liberals believe that the government should provide for and help people. By providing for the people they believe that it will create a level of equality between all classes. Liberals also believe that it is the government’s job to be involved in the nation’s social problems and guide change. For liberals it all culminates in the belief for a larger, more involved government.
Consequently, individuals who commit evil should be punished individually (Downing, 2010). From the description of liberalism and conservatism given in this essay, it is seen that both aspects of liberalism and conservatism are useful in governance as the opposing views can be utilized to enhance consensus and good for all. Taking one side and ignoring the other can only result in negative social, political, and economic consequences. In order to build a shining democratic system, both liberalism and conservatism have to be merged since both aspects carry valuable ideologies.
John Rawls and Political Liberalism Describe in detail the role that the ideas of “overlapping consensus” and “comprehensive doctrine” play in Rawl’s theoretical answer to the fundamental question of Political Liberalism: “How is it possible for there to exist over time a just and stable society of free and equal citizens, who remain profoundly divided by reasonable religious, philosophical, and moral doctrines?” (Rawls 4). More specifically, how do these concepts help to preserve the traditional liberal values of freedom and equality? And do these concepts help to preserve stability within a pluralistic society? John Rawls book, Political Liberalism, addresses the need for the reformation of the unjust democratic constitutional regime. According to Rawls, “there is at present no agreement on the way the basic institutions of constitutional democracy should be arranged if they are to satisfy the fair terms of cooperation between citizens regarded as free and equal,” (Rawls 4).
New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 267-277 Pals, Daniel L. "Religion as Cultural System: Clifford Geertz." In Eight Theories of Religion. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Therefore, the only way to have good is for each individual to maximize their own good by doing what they think is right. The conservatives view the government with mistrust, preferring the private industry over government. Government is accountable to the electorate, whereas private industry corporations are only responsible to the shareholders. The conservative view has a built-in problem of what to do about externalities/spill over effects. In the very nature of their argument they want government to take a laissez-faire approach, allowing for negative side effects to be imposed on people.
One example of classic liberalism's beliefs regarding the role of government is found in Thomas Hobbes's theory that government was created by individuals to protect themselves from one another. (Raico,2010) Social Liberalism argues that governments must take an active role in promoting the freedom of citizens, and that real freedom can only exist when citizens are healthy, educated and free from dire poverty. Social Liberals believe that this freedom can be ensured when governments guarantee the right to an education, health care and a living wage, in addition to other responsibilities such as laws against discrimination in housing and employment, laws against pollution of the environment, and the provision of welfare, all of which would be supported by a progressive taxation system. (Gaus,2014). 3.
First of all it ensures public accountability. This gives the people a degree of protection against governments becoming too strong. Liberals believe in limited government, and democracy provides this system, as the government is accountable to the people. Although most liberals would agree that government is essential in order to defend the rights of the people, it can also be seen as a threat to individual liberty, so people need some form of protection against it. According to John Stuart Mill, ‘the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others’.