What is Liberalism?
Liberalism is defined as a broad category of political philosophies that values the respect for equality and individual liberty to be one significant concept of the political goals. Liberalism puts emphasis on the need for equality of opportunities and individual rights. Within the domains that encompass the concept of liberalism there are streams of terms and thoughts that compete for the right usage of the term ‘liberal’.
In democracies along the Atlantic region such as New Zealand and Australia, liberalism is perceived as a precious achievement of an enduring nature and value. It is one important legacy among the European histories and philosophy which is commonly abbreviated as an enlightment. It has a wider resonce and scope that continues to inspire the political emancipation in regions across Europe and far beyond (http://freestudents. blogspot. com/2006/03/what-is-liberalism. tml). It is one achievement of its kind that is not influenced by the sudden rapture of the common place charges of philosophical confusion, individualism, reductionist, cultural imperialism and the ranging political naivete and irrelevance. On the extreme contrast liberalism appears to be very ambiguous in matters of public and even to the academic realism so much in that it is always perceived as an intellectual orthodoxy or a hegemonic ideology.
All the diverse streams that encapsulate the concept of liberalism are in a way united in one accord and supported by a structure of constitutional realism which however encompasses broad concepts such as the freedom of speech and thought, the rule of law, the limitations of the power of government and the support to individual rights and private property and lastly the challenge toward agitating for a transparent system of governance.
Majority of all the supporters of liberalism and other political ideologist unanimously support the divergent forms of governments and especially the liberal democracy which agitates for fair and open elections in a country where all citizens hold equal similar rights towards the rule of law (http://www. polity. co. uk/keyconcepts/samples/kelly-chapter. pdf). According to various philosophers, liberalism comes in two broad forms. The first form is the classical liberalism which entirely emphasizes on the significance of individual liberty and contemporary welfare. This type of liberalism is focused on the significance of material equality.
The second form of liberalism is referred to as the conservative liberalism which is more prominent and common in the American Economic outlook. To Europeans and Americans, conservative liberalism stands out to represent various things. That is, it is commonly associated with matters relating to states welfare and policies . Liberalism is rooted on the grounds of age enlightment a concept that repels the assumptions made on the foundational theories of government theories such the concepts of heredity status, the divine status of rights of kings and economic protectionisms which were laid down by religions.
On the extreme construct liberalism defines itself as an independent entity that seeks for equal dignity and the value of individual worthiness. Thus liberalism is commonly perceived as an historic advocate of freedom. To much extend it has greatly influenced the rule of law and private property through agitating for the free exchange of ideas and goods (http://freestudents. blogspot. com/2006/03/what-is-liberalism. html).
As the name stipulates liberalisms is best understood as the fundamental belief in a political ideal that permeates individuals to possess the freedom towards pursing their own goals in their very own unique ways in due respect without infringing on the equality and liberty of others. The basic concern is projected towards the preservation of human rights. That is rights are considered to be the most fundamental concepts and language through which liberalism can be spoken. The entire concepts about liberalism both circumlogate around the primacy of the human rights.
According to Thomas Jefferson, human beings hold true in order to be self evident. However, man is created as been equal to his fellow man and by large he/she is endowed with innate capabilities which come as inalienable rights to life, pursuit of happiness and liberty (http://www. polity. co. uk/keyconcepts/samples/kelly-chapter. pdf). Therefore, in order to ensure that these rights are well secured the governments are instituted in the midst of men to derive their just powers by seeking consent from the governed.
Liberalism transformed the prevailing doctrines of human rights by setting them upside down. For quit sometime man was believed that he lived for the sake of the state. That is, which ever capabilities he possessed they were gifts granted to him by the king manning the government. According to liberalism the opposite was held wrong in that man initially possessed the rights far much before the government came into being and however, it received sanctions from the people. Various movements have erupted as movements towards repelling the concepts of liberal influence.
Majority of these movements affirm and reclaim holding to what they have held in the past as the traditional orthodoxy. Some claim that the political liberalism miss understands the nature and the demands of the political array. The egalitarianism behind this notion is profoundly an anti – political doctrine which aims at replacing the demands of politics. Another reaction emerges from the philosophical claims underpinning liberalism which claim that liberalism is based on false conceptions of neutrality by focusing on narrow and culturally specific prejudice which are generalized as universal values.