Political ideologies

Key points

  1. Political ideologies are radically different from political theories, they aim at improving society and the life of people, but they easily tend to bee too ideal and irrational to be actually feasible.


The main Political ideologies:


Liberalism

Liberalism was born by the writings of Adam Smith, and it developed specially after his The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776.
There is one simple fundamental principle underlining this ideology: the government should not intervene in economy and trades, since there is what he calls an unseen hand which naturally keeps the market going. According to Smith, supply and demand determine prices better than any government official.


Modern Liberalism

In the XIX century, economists started to realize that pure, classic liberalism led to the development of unstoppable monopolies.
Thomas H. Green slightly modified Liberalism by theorizing that the government should at least guarantee the citizens’ freedom, therefore protecting their rights. It follows that, even if the institutions still did not directly influence the economy, it nevertheless imposed some policies and workers’ rights to prevent the great oscillation characterizing classical liberalism: at periods of great prosperity and wellness often followed moments of depression and crisis.


Conservatism

Edmund Burke was in line with the fundamental principles of Liberalism, but by attending the revolutionary outcome it led to in France, he realized that it may result too strong, since it easily becomes drastic and radical. From Burke’s point of view, Liberalism neglects human irrationality. Therefore, Conservatism aims at solving existing problems with tools previously used, which, even if not perfect, they proved to be worked up to now.


Modern Conservatism

Modern Conservatism can be described as pure classic Liberalism from an economical point of view and an application of Classic Conservatism from a sociological point of view.
Its father, Milton Friedman, valued free market possibly even more than Adam Smith, while he strongly agreed with Burke about the preservation of a nation’s traditions, especially religion.


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