Liberalism, The “Best” Political Philosophy

The Preeminent Political Perspective

Liberalism is the conviction in the significance of freedom and impartiality of rights and privileges of every individual (Rawls 1). Liberalism, as defined by Heywood, is a political ideology whose central theme is a commitment to the individual and to the construction of a society in which individuals can satisfy their interests or achieve fulfillment (60). Central to liberalism in comparison with other political philosophies, is the hope that human beings will shed their traditional allegiances and their local identities and unite in a universal civilization grounded in generic humanity and a rational morality (Engebretson 28). The core values of liberalism as enumerated by Heywood are individualism, rationalism, freedom, justice and toleration (60). The liberal notion that human beings are, first and foremost, individuals, endowed with reason, implies that each individual should enjoy the maximum possible freedom consistent with a like freedom for all (D’Anieri 74). In spite of this, although persons are born equal in the sense that they are of equal moral worth and should have the benefit of formal impartiality and equivalent chances, liberals generally stress they should be bestowed according to their differing levels of talent or motivation to work, and thus, favor the principle of meritocracy (Arditi 1). Simply, liberals deemed to give each and every individual what is due him or her (Hobhouse 11). A liberal society as highlighted by Heywood is distinguished by diversity and pluralism and is organized politically around the twin values of consent and constitutionalism, combined to form the structures of liberal democracy (60).
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