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Liberalism As An Ideology Essay

1945 words - 8 pages

Liberalism - an ideology born in the philosophical revolution to advance equality and individual libertyThe origin of the political ideology that found its name in nineteenth century Spain -Liberales - is found much earlier as a philosophical response to the individual restrictions of medieval Europe (Ball & Dagger, 43). The majority of people living in Europe were controlled by the Catholic Church as "religious and political authorities joined forces to ensure conformity to the doctrines of the Roman Church" (Ball & Dagger, 48). "As feudal relationships were passed down the generations" (Ball & Dagger, 49) individual social as well as religious freedoms were severely restricted ...view middle of the document...

The philosophy of Liberalism suggests that individual freedom to act; protecting the rights of other individuals and without harm to other individuals will produce the correct conditions. Equality of opportunity is the key even as Liberalists argue the merits of welfare versus Libertarianism (Ball & Dagger, 84).The identity of people in the liberal philosophy describes a rational person will act in his or her self interest but will share the same interests of a member of society. That free individuals with individual beliefs will form a coherent society respectful of one another in support of the better good for all. Ultimately, with all of our differences, we will recognize our similarities as the basis of our society (Ball & Dagger, 84-85).The platform that Liberalism exists on mandates individual freedom and opportunity. "Historically this has meant that liberals have opposed religious conformity, ascribed status, economic privileges, political absolutism, and the tyranny of majority opinion" (Ball & Dagger, 85). Freedom from oppressions as these bring solace to all Liberalists and even as disagreements persist regarding the limits of government and individual action and splinters occurs Liberalism retains a fundamental ideology.Liberalism is founded in the belief that the individual is capable of making the correct decision and therefore should have the freedom of personal choice. The Latin root for Liberalism, a derivative of liberal, is liber translated to English as "free" (Ball & Dagger, 45). The political concept of Liberalism separates itself from the definition suggesting easy going and establishes the basis for the protection of individual freedoms. The concept of liberalism as an ideology was a response to overwhelming medieval restrictions and although it was not intended to promote equal advancement of the individual it did champion the idea of equal opportunity. Each individual has the right and therefore the freedom to think, to believe and express themselves, to practice or not any religion and compete for any lawful goal as long as it does not restrict another individual from doing the same. The idea is directly in opposition to the concept that mankind needs the controls of a political or religious overseer to protect the welfare of the society from mans' inherent destructiveness. The philosophical quest for religious freedom, to the political ideology of Liberalism grew through the ideas of many thinkers, writers and eventually political revolution before firmly establishing itself as a standard in today's western civilization.The first hints of Liberalism emerge in philosophical works in the early seventeenth century. Thomas Hobbes fled the turmoil of England toFrance published Leviathan in 1651 (Ball & Dagger, 53). Hobbes is credited with the first major written work to suggest that individuals bear an inherent equality and "a natural right to be free" (Ball & Dagger, 54). Hobbes retained the ideals...

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