Ompare and contrast modern conservatism and modern liberalism

The Essay will be no more than 4 single-spaced pages and will not be based directly on the text. The essay question is as follows: Compare and contrast modern conservatism and modern liberalism. Check syllabus for exact due date. You must get started on it straight away!

The only research materials you may use are contained in this document and in the class PowerPoints on liberalism and conservatism. You must read all of this material. When citing for your essay simply put (Guide, pg. #) or (PowerPoints, Classical Liberalism, pg.#). Do not be tempted to use other sources outside of this document as your grade will suffer if you do. (Iam trying to avoid the poisonous partisan nonsense that so often passes for facts and learning on the internet).

Failure to do the following will result in the paper being returned ungraded: a. Type the online course number and name on top of the page or title page. b. Type the question at the top of the page or title page. c. When citing material, use the citation suggested above. d. Have an additional copy for your files (on disk or whatever). e. Stick to the recommended length of 4 single-spaced pages.


Please be fair and proportionate a each side in politics sees itself as the only moral and just side. Donat be fooled by such infantile indulgence. Try to see the major ideas of each ideology as honestly held and legitimate even if you disagree wholeheartedly with them. Avoid caricatures of the ideologies eg., conservatives only care about the rich; liberals only care about the poor etc...Try to relate tenets of the ideologies to current politics policies and the debates around them. Illustrate your arguments with examples from the real-world of politics. Be as thorough as possible given the limitations of four pages. Finally, try to develop critical reflections for both sets of ideas.

This assignment is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the two dominant ideologies of US politics both are centrist ideologies so avoid characterizations of their main philosophical positions as extreme! They arenat extreme positions on the political spectrum like fascism, anarchism or communism, they are centrist. In fact, US conservatism comes out of classical liberalism so the modern versions of both ideologies share deep philosophical roots. Understanding their origins and development should help one avoid the kinds of gross mischaracterizations that are all too common today.

First published Thu Nov 28, 1996; substantive revision Mon Sep 10, 2007
As soon as one examines it, a?liberalisma fractures into a variety of types and competing visions. This entry focuses on debates within the liberal tradition. It begins by (1) examining different interpretations of liberalisms core commitment a liberty. It then considers (2) the longstanding debate between the a?olda and the a?newa liberalism. In section (3) it turns to the more recent controversy about whether liberalism is a a?comprehensivea or a a?politicala doctrine. It closes in (4) by considering disagreements as to a?the reacha of liberalism a does it apply to all humankind, and must all political communities be liberal?
a? 1. The Debate About Liberty
a ¦ 1.1 The Presumption in Favor of Liberty
a ¦ 1.2 Negative Liberty
a ¦ 1.3 Positive Liberty
a ¦ 1.4 Republican Liberty
a? 2. The Debate Between the a?Olda and the a?Newa
a ¦ 2.1 Classical Liberalism
a ¦ 2.2 The a?New Liberalisma
a ¦ 2.3 Liberal Theories of Social Justice
a? 3. The Debate About the Comprehensiveness of Liberalism
a ¦ 3.1 Political Liberalism
a ¦ 3.2 Liberal Ethics
a ¦ 3.3 Liberal Theories of Value
a ¦ 3.4 The Metaphysics of Liberalism
a? 4. The Debate About The Reach of Liberalism
a ¦ 4.1 Is Liberalism Justified in All Political Communities?
a ¦ 4.2 Is Liberalism a Cosmopolitan or a State-centered Theory?
a ¦ 4.3 Liberal Interaction with Non-Liberal Groups: International
a ¦ 4.4 Liberal Interaction with Non-Liberal Groups: Domestic
a? 5. Conclusion
a? Bibliography
a? Other Internet Resources
a? Related Entries

1. The Debate About Liberty
1.1 The Presumption in Favor of Liberty
a?By definitiona, Maurice Cranston rightly points out, a?a liberal is a man who believes in libertya (1967: 459). In two different ways, liberals accord liberty primacy as a political value. (i) Liberals have typically maintained that humans are naturally in a?a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actionsa¦as they think fita¦without asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Mana (Locke, 1960 [1689]: 287). Mill too argued that a?the burden of proof is supposed to be with those who are against liberty; who contend for any restriction or prohibitiona¦. The a priori assumption is in favour of freedoma¦a (1963, vol. 21: 262). Recent liberal thinkers such as as Joel Feinberg (1984: 9), Stanley Benn (1988: 87) and John Rawls (2001: 44, 112) agree. This might be called the Fundamental Liberal Principle (Gaus, 1996: 162-166): freedom is normatively basic, and so the onus of justification is on those who would limit freedom, especially through coercive means. It follows from this that political authority and law must be justified, as they limit the liberty of citizens. Consequently, a central question of liberal political theory is whether political authority can be justified, and if so, how. It is for this reason that social contract theory, as developed by Thomas Hobbes (1948 [1651]), John Locke (1960 [1689]), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1973 [1762]) and Immanuel Kant (1965 [1797]), is usually viewed as liberal even though the actual political prescriptions of, say, Hobbes and Rousseau, have distinctly illiberal features. Insofar as they take as their starting point a state of nature in which humans are free and equal, and so argue that any limitation of this freedom and equality stands in need of justification (i.e., by the social contract), the contractual tradition expresses the Fundamental Liberal Principle.
(ii) The Fundamental Liberal Principle holds that restrictions on liberty must be justified, and because he accepts this, we can understand Hobbes as espousing a liberal political theory. But Hobbes is at best a qualified liberal, for he also argues that drastic limitations on liberty can be justified. Paradigmatic liberals such as Locke not only advocate the Fundamental Liberal Principle, but also maintain that justified limitations on liberty are fairly modest. Only a limited government can be justified; indeed, the basic task of government is to protect the equal liberty of citizens. Thus John Rawlss first principle of justice: a?Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive system of equal basic liberty compatible with a similar system for alla (Rawls, 1999b: 220).
1.2 Negative Liberty
Liberals disagree, however, about the concept of liberty, and as a result the liberal ideal of protecting individual liberty can lead to very different conceptions of the task of government. As is well-known, Isaiah Berlin advocated a negative conception of liberty:
I am normally said to be free to the degree to which no man or body of men interferes with my activity. Political liberty in this sense is simply the area within which a man can act unobstructed by others. If I am prevented by others from doing what I could otherwise do, I am to that degree unfree; and if this area is contracted by other men beyond a certain minimum, I can be described as being coerced, or, it may be, enslaved. Coercion is not, however, a term that covers every form of inability. If I say that I am unable to jump more than ten feet in the air, or cannot read because I am blinda¦it would be eccentric to say that I am to that degree enslaved or coerced. Coercion implies the del