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Liberalism: The evolution and its effect on the modern world


Liberalism – political ideology, philosophy, ethics, is the ace of the bourgeoisie in the struggle against socialism. Liberalism absolutizes individual freedom denies the role of social community and state intervention and thus is ideology opposed to socialism. Liberalism plays a certain positive role in social and economic development in capitalist countries, but its negative consequences are not small.

Therefore, the construction of socialism and the education of political, philosophical, and socialist ethics require identifying this dangerous adversary in order to explore and inherit the reasonable elements on the one hand, on the other hand, prevents its negative effects.

What is Liberalism?

Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical viewpoint, and a political tradition based on fundamental political values ​​of freedom and equality. Liberalism originated from the Enlightenment movement in the West, but the term had different meanings in different periods. As in the US, the concept of liberalism refers to social liberalism, modern liberalism, while in other places it still has the original meaning of classical liberalism.

In general, liberalism emphasizes individual rights. It seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought, civil and political rights for each individual, and limits the power to rule (especially the state and religion), the rule of law, and freedom. exchange of ideas, a market economy that supports free private enterprise, and a transparent government system in which citizens’ rights are protected. In modern society, liberals advocate a liberal democracy with fair and open elections where all citizens enjoy equal rights before the law and equal opportunities for success.

Many neo-liberalists favor greater state intervention in the free market, often in the form of anti-discrimination laws, universal education, and progressive taxation. This philosophy often extends to the belief that the government has a responsibility to create the common good, including unemployment benefits, housing for the displaced and medical care for the sick. These public activities and interventions have not been supported by modern classical liberalists, which emphasizes private enterprise freedom, and property ownership. individual and free contract; The classical liberals argue that economic inequality is natural resulting from free-market competition and is not a reason to rely on it to infringe individual property rights. .

Liberalism denies many fundamental theories that dominated early theories of the state, such as the theocracy of kings, inheritance, and state religion. The basic human rights that all liberals support are the right to life, the right to freedom, and the right to own property.

The most widespread use for the term “liberalism” is in the context of liberal democracy. In this sense, liberalism refers to a democracy in which state power is limited and the rights of citizens are recognized by law; This is almost uniform in Western democracies, so not only liberal parties can be understood as associated with this.

Liberal models assume

According to Moravcsik, liberalism is based on three main assumptions:

The individual and the society play a more pioneering role than the state; Government policy formulation stems from the formation of interests of domestic social groups; and The role of the international system is understood as an interdependent world, different from the realist assumption that the world system is rooted in the division of power between states. Accordingly, the international system from the perspective of liberals is a system of agreement between forces originating within each nation.

From these three assumptions, Moravcsik divided the liberal school into three main models:

Republican liberal assumption

A nation’s foreign policy choices start with the institutions it represents. The pattern of republican freedom emphasizes the impetus of political institutions through the level of representation of the people and civil groups in the external decisions of the State.

Ideal liberal assumption

Similar to the republican model which emphasizes the intrinsic elements of institutional representation, the ideal liberal model also emphasizes representation in the same axis of reference, but with a different focus is the scale of values and the norm.

Beneficial liberal assumption

The starting point of this model is the view that decisions of war or peace, open door or seclusion, freedom or protection, … of each country are the result of the process of interested lobby groups in each country.

How many types of liberalism are there?

Liberalism is not a coherent ideology. Credit industry has many diverse manifestations: some delegates emphasized freedom in the economic field, while others emphasized freedom in the fields of politics, culture, society and ethics.

Its difference is also reflected in the way the individual freedoms are exercised.

Classical liberalism

Liberalism was born in the early nineteenth century with the advent of the capitalist market economy. It was against totalitarianism with feudal prerogatives and supported a parliamentary, constitutional state. It advocates completely liberal capitalism of what one wants to do (laissez-faire capitalism) and condemns any interference by the state.

The philosophical basis of liberalism is individualism. Liberalism considers the individual to be a unique, completely independent entity, plays a decisive role, and must be given priority above all over the community, collective, society, and state. Liberalism believes that the individual has the full reason and capacity to master himself and decide all his actions, so that the individual has complete freedom in all actions, as long as the One’s actions do not harm another.

Liberalism advocates that all individuals are equal in dignity, but because individuals are not equally capable, income is not equal. Liberalism advocates building a society in which every individual is free to develop, to choose, to pursue the good in his opinion, without the interference of society and the state.

New liberalism

In the twentieth century, liberalism with certain changes is called new liberalism or Social liberalism. The reason for this landmark change was mainly due to the emergence and development of the fascist regime in the years 30-40 with the total concentration of political and economic power in the hands of the state and the emergence of Socialist states with the concept of a state that takes care of all aspects of people’s lives has changed the liberalists’ view of the role of the state and of the community.

They explain the emergence of this phenomenon because the poverty of the masses forced the masses to accept the solution of authoritarianism, in which the state has the responsibility to protect the economic welfare of the citizens.


Since the 1970s, liberalism has again tended to revive its classical stance as it advocates the reduction of the role of the state and advocates the use of free-market principles.

Contrary to Keynesian theory is the view of the Austrian-born liberal F.A. Hayek (Friedrich August von Hayek, 1899-1992). In 1944, Hayek published “The Road to Serfdom” to strongly criticize Keynes’s theory of state interventionism in economics.

With Hayek’s doctrine, a new concept is known – neo-liberalism, also known as modern liberalism. However, it was not until 1974 that Hayek’s neoliberalism took the monopoly position and completely defeated Keynes’s socialist theory of socialism. It is necessary to distinguish neo-liberalism (roughly translated as neoliberalism from new liberalism – the form of liberalism in the early twentieth century).

However, liberalism has a one-sided view of the relationship between individuals and society, individuals and the state. In the absolutization of individual freedom, liberalism forgets that in a society where there are the rulers, the strong and the weak, the freedom of this class is a loss of freedom. Because of another class, the freedom of the strong is the loss of the weak.

Therefore, the role of state intervention to ensure social equity is indispensable under certain conditions.


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