A2 Politics Unit 3

Contents INTRODUCTION TO IDEOLOGIES (Background) ............................................. 3 GLOSSARY.................................................................................................................. 6 LIBERALISM .............................................................................................................. 8 1. Summary of Key Themes .......................................................................................... 8 2. Introduction .............................................................................................................. 10 3. Elements of Liberalism ............................................................................................ 11
(i) Human Nature ................................................................................................................................ 11 (ii) Individualism ................................................................................................................................ 11 (iii) Freedom ....................................................................................................................................... 13 (v) Justice (Equality) .......................................................................................................................... 15

4. Development of Liberalism ..................................................................................... 17
(i) Introduction.................................................................................................................................... 17 (ii) Classic Liberalism ........................................................................................................................ 18 (iii) Modern Liberal Ideas................................................................................................................... 21 (iv) Similarities and Difference between Classical and Modern Liberal Ideas .................................. 23

5. Liberal Views on the Government and the State ..................................................... 24
(i) Social Contract Theory .................................................................................................................. 24 (ii) Liberal Democracy ....................................................................................................................... 25 (a) Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 25 (b) Constitutionalism .................................................................................................................... 26 (c) Consent (Democracy) .............................................................................................................. 29 (iii) Liberalism and Democracy .......................................................................................................... 29 (a) Background ............................................................................................................................. 29 (b) Reasons why liberals been concerned about democracy ..................................................... 29 (c) Reasons why liberals have supported democracy ................................................................ 30 (d) Critics of Liberal Democracy................................................................................................. 30

NEW A2 LIBERALISM QUESTIONS ...................................................................... 31 OLD A2 LIBERALISM QUESTIONS ....................................................................... 31 CONSERVATISM ..................................................................................................... 34 1. Summary of Key Themes ........................................................................................ 34 2. Introduction .............................................................................................................. 36 3. CONSERVATISM – AN OVERVIEW .................................................................. 37 4. Elements of Conservatism ....................................................................................... 38
(a) Human Nature ............................................................................................................................... 38 (b) View of society ............................................................................................................................. 39 (c) History and Tradition .................................................................................................................... 41 (d) Property Ownership ...................................................................................................................... 43 (e) Authority ....................................................................................................................................... 44

5. Different Types of Conservatism ............................................................................. 45
(a) Authoritarian Conservatism .......................................................................................................... 45 (b) Paternalistic (or Traditional) Conservatism .................................................................................. 45 (c) Libertarian Conservatism .............................................................................................................. 47 (d) New Right (NR) ............................................................................................................................ 47 NEW A2 CONSERVATISM QUESTIONS ...................................................................................... 55 Old A2 CONSERVATISM QUESTIONS ......................................................................................... 55

SOCIALISM............................................................................................................... 58 1. Summary of Key Themes ........................................................................................ 58 2. Introduction .............................................................................................................. 60 3. Overview of Socialism ............................................................................................ 61 4. Critique of Capitalism .............................................................................................. 62
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5. Theory of Transition (Means) .................................................................................. 63
(a) Revolutionary socialism.......................................................................................................... 63 (b) Evolutionary socialism ........................................................................................................... 65

6. Alternative (Ends) .................................................................................................... 67
(a) a positive view of human nature ............................................................................................ 67 (c) Common ownership ................................................................................................................ 72 (d) Equality of outcome ................................................................................................................ 73 (e) Class Politics ............................................................................................................................ 74

7. Utopianism ............................................................................................................... 75 MARXISM.................................................................................................................. 75
Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 75 Dialectic.............................................................................................................................................. 75 Class ................................................................................................................................................... 76 Marxist Account of the Capitalism ..................................................................................................... 77 (i) Introduction.............................................................................................................................. 77 (ii) Classes Under Capitalism: ..................................................................................................... 77 (iii) The Laws of Capitalism ........................................................................................................ 78 (iv) After the Revolution .............................................................................................................. 78

20th CENTURY COMMUNISM .............................................................................. 79 1. LENIN...................................................................................................................... 79 2. STALINISM ............................................................................................................ 82 REVISIONIST SOCIALISM ................................................................................... 83 1. Introduction .............................................................................................................. 83 2. Social Democracy .................................................................................................... 83 3. Neo-revisionism ....................................................................................................... 84
NEW A2 SOCIALISM QUESTIONS................................................................................................ 90 OLD A2 SOCIALISM QUESTIONS ................................................................................................ 90

ANARCHISM ............................................................................................................ 93
1. Utopianism ..................................................................................................................................... 95 2. Introduction to Anarchism .............................................................................................................. 95 3. Elements of Anarchism .................................................................................................................. 96 (a) Human Nature......................................................................................................................... 96 (b) Anti-Statism ............................................................................................................................ 96 (c) Natural Order .......................................................................................................................... 98 4. Anarchism and Other Ideologies .................................................................................................... 98 (i) Anarchism and Conservatism ................................................................................................. 98 (ii) Anarchism and Liberalism .................................................................................................... 99 (iii) Anarchism and Marxism .................................................................................................... 100 5. Different Forms of Anarchism...................................................................................................... 101 (a) Individualist Anarchism ....................................................................................................... 101 (b) Collectivist Anarchism ......................................................................................................... 102 6. An Evaluation of Anarchism in Practice ...................................................................................... 104 7. Anarchism and Change ................................................................................................................. 105 8. The Significance of Anarchism .................................................................................................... 106

NEW A2 ANARCHISM QUESTIONS .................................................................... 107 OLD A2 ANARCHISM QUESTIONS ..................................................................... 107 OLD ‘A’ LEVEL ANARCHISM QUESTIONS ....................................................... 108

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INTRODUCTION TO IDEOLOGIES (Background) 1. Definition
An ideology is a coherent set of ideas that provide the basis for political action. Ideologies can be seen as practical theories – they tell us what to do and why we ought to do it. All ideologies contain the following elements:
   

a description and analysis of the existing system goals based on the what is a good/best/better society policies designed to achieve the above goals a rejection of other ideas and/or explanation of why your view is right

Ideology

Description/analysis of the existing system

Goals

Policies to achieve goals

Traditional Conservatism

Anarchism

Feminism

2. Use of the Term Ideology
The term was first used in 1797 by the French philosopher de Tracy. He used it in a positive way to describe a new science - 'the science of ideas' (idea-ology). However, term was soon used negatively. Napoleon attacked people such as de Tracy as ideologists, ie their ideas were divorced from practical politics. Ideology is now generally viewed in this negative (or pejorative) way. Ideology is associated with extremism, authoritarianism, and violence
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an ideology is an attempt to impose a rational systematic plan on society' 3.Because of this negative view. 4. ideology is any theory which guides or acts in the interests of the bourgeoisie. supporters of a particular view want to present it as realistic/practical and contrast with the 'ideological' views of their opponents.  despite having these set of values or principles. M. ideologies are not a rigid set of beliefs.  the policies of political parties are not necessarily the reflection of one particular ideology. one set of ideas is at the centre. other ideologies have an influence.  To Conservatives.  there is often conflict within ideologies about the meaning of the core values and how they can best be achieved in society. they adapt as society changes. any theory is ideological if it teaches intolerance of other theories. parties and movements. (i) linear spectrum [4] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Drucker. The Political Uses of Ideology  'To Marxists.  To Liberals. Political Spectrums Using the ideas of left and right is the simplest way of classifying political ideologies and the ideological position of politicians. Eg: H. Looking at Ideologies When looking at any ideology the following need to be remembered:  all ideologies have a core set of values or principles.

eg feminism and ecologism do not easily fit into the left/right spectrum. As a result some have claimed the left/right analysis is no longer relevant. Also New Labour ‘third way’ supporters reject the traditional left/right analysis is outdated.(ii) horseshoe spectrum (iii) two-dimensional spectrum NB: some ideologies. [5] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .

Bureaucracy: literally means rule by officials. Markets do not work efficiently and the government needs to intervene to deal with problems such as unemployment. It is often linked to the idea ‘there is no such thing as society. progress and equality and a rejection of feudal ideas Feudalism: a hierarchical and rigid system associated with Europe in the middle ages. clubs and families. overtime it has come to mean an elite group whose status depends on hereditary decent Atomism: an atomistic view of society is the idea that society is just a group of selfinterested individuals (atoms) rather than an interconnected whole. It began to break up in the 17th century and was replace with capitalism and the growth of liberalism Free Market: another name for capitalism. Civil Society: refers to the ‘private sphere’ of businesses. eg nationalisation of the rail industry in the UK in 1945. In everyday use the term is used to describe pointless administration or ‘red tape’. Capitalism: an economic system where most goods and services are produce by privately owned businesses which are driven by driven by the profit. [6] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Keynes. Divine Right of Kings: idea that the authority of a monarch to rule comes from God not the people. This gives the monarch unlimited authority. voluntary bodies. Egoism: selfishness or a concern for your own interests. it is associated with ideas such as the Divine Right of Kings.GLOSSARY Altruism: a concern for other people. Communism: a system based on the common ownership of wealth. eg in a recession the government can try and boost demand (and hence create jobs) by cutting taxes and thus give people more money to spend. Liberals generally argue that the state should not interfere with the freedom of these groups. churches. Hierarchy: ranking of people. Aristocracy: literally means ‘rule of the best’. M.’ Authoritarianism: involves political rule being imposed from above without consent. A hierarchical society is based on fixed social positions and wealth. Common Ownership: where the productive wealth of an economy (machines factories etc) is owned by the people. A meritocracy is based on social mobility. In practice this has usually resulted in the state running industries on behalf of the people. Keynesianism: economic theory based on the ideas of J. Enlightenment: 18th century intellectual movement associated with support for reason.

Supply Side Policies: a set of policies aimed at improving the economy by creating more efficiency and competition. Policies associated with supply side policies include privatisation and reducing the power of trade unions. Libertarianism: a outlook which puts negative freedom ahead of other values such as equality. The focus is provision of the good or service rather than profit. Privatisation: the transfer of ownership of industries from the government to private companies. disease etc by providing services such as health care and education. education etc. eg choice of religion. it is associated with personal choice and responsibility. Meritocracy: rule by the able or talented. the area in which ‘political activity’ takes place. Nationalisation: state ownership of industries. It can be seen an extreme as an extreme form of dictatorship. Mixed Economy: an economy where the government plays an important role. Supply side economists believe that free markets work well. Private Realm: areas of life where the government does not get involved. This is usually contrasted with the public realm. Totalitarianism: refers to a system under which rulers attempt to control all aspects of public and private life of individuals. Nationalised industries become private companies. [7] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Welfare State: a situation where the state plays a major a role in dealing with poverty. Permissiveness: a willingness to allow people to make their own moral choice rather than forcing them to conform to a shared set of moral values. Public Realm (or Sphere): non-private arena of social life.Lassiez-faire: another name for capitalism. It can intervene by providing health. eg pressure group activity. Examples include Nazi Germany and Soviet Union under Stalin.

etc). Power/Government  corrupting nature of power (individualism plus power equals corruption). not merely diminishes it). equality of opportunity).  social reform and welfare (equality of opportunity. especially 'written'. but individualism can justify the state .  minimal/'nightwatchman' state (necessary evil. freedom from social evils. Modern liberalism  developmental individualism (human flourishing.  external/legal checks on government (constitutions. formal equality.  implications for equality (foundational equality.  methodological individualism and ethical individualism. utilitarianism. 'higher" and 'lower' pleasures.  'positive' freedom (realisation of individual potential). parliamentary govt. cabinet govt. maintenance of domestic order. Keynesianism. [8] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .intervention can be 'excessive'). Classical liberalism  egoistical/atomistic individualism (natural rights theory.  individual responsibility/self-help (moral and economic case for antiwelfarism). harm principle). Summary of Key Themes Individualism  nature of individualism. not social beings). hence minimal state.  egoistical individualism vs developmental individualism (pleasure seeking vs human flourishing). rule of law. etc). pursuit of self-interest/pleasure.LIBERALISM 1.  economic management (state rectifies imbalances of capitalism.  economic liberalism (laissez-faire.  'negative' freedom (freedom of choice.  freedom 'under the law' rather than absolute freedom.  tensions within modern liberalism (qualified endorsement of rolled-forward state . etc). territorial divisions etc). bills of rights. (separate and unique creatures. etc). etc).social contract theory).  internal/institutional checks on government – (fragmentation/dispersal of power creating checks and balances (separation of powers. Freedom  link between individualism and freedom.  enabling state (enlarges freedom. self-regulating market.  implications of 'negative' and 'positive' freedom for the state. heightening of sensibilities.  implications for the state (state threat to individual/individual responsibility/freedom. etc). etc).  'negative' freedom (absence of external constraints) vs 'positive' freedom (personal growth/fulfilment).  link between reason and freedom. bi-cameral system. privacy.

 equality (liberal criticism of socialist view of equality. socialist criticism of liberal view of equality: pages 63 . 'democratic peace' thesis). protection against tyranny. from a liberal perspective  Nature of liberal democracy.90)  individualist anarchism (as an extreme form of liberalism: pages 90-91) [9] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .65) Anarchism:  power/government (anarchist views of the constitutionalism & consent and the state: pages 89 .Liberalism and Democracy  liberal arguments in favour of democracy (political equality.  strengths of liberal democracy (political stability. etc). tyranny of the majority.  liberal concerns about democracy (collectivism. freedom and prosperity. builds consensus. over-government and economic stultification. and advantages of liberal-democratic rule Information needed from other ideologies includes: Conservatism:  authority (conservative and liberal views of authority: page 43) Socialism:  collectivism (comparison with individualism and the role of the state: pages 60-62). personal development. etc). Likely Questions in the Exam Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:  Nature and implications of individualism  Nature of freedom and differences within liberalism over freedom  Classical liberal theories and ideas  Modern liberal theories and ideas  Similarities and difference between classical and modern liberalism  Coherence of modern liberalism  Liberal views on power/government and how government power can be constrained  Advantages and disadvantages of democracy. democratization. unequal political wisdom.

According to Fukuyama (1989) . Liberal ideas have conquered. the Liberal Party has faded. When the consensus was challenged it came from a resurgence of classic liberal ideas on the free market.collapse of communism and spread of liberal ideas in third world has led to triumph of liberal ideas and an end of struggle between political ideas or the 'end of history'  Several problems arise when looking at liberalism:  because we absorb liberal ideas from an early age. The major division within liberalism is between Classical liberalism and Modern (or Social or Welfare) Liberalism  Liberalism began as a reaction against two aspects of medieval (or feudal) society:  religious conformity (ie a lack of religious freedom)  fixed status in society(ie an absence of foundational/formal equality – your status in society was not based achievement but the social standing of your parents). liberalism appears as 'the truth'. its development is closely linked with the development of capitalism. while their political vehicle. rather than one political ideology among many.’ Liberalism is an ideology whose central theme is a commitment to the individual and the construction of a society in which individuals are free to follow their own interests and fulfil their potential. Introduction  The word ‘liberal’ is derived the Latin liber. but between old (classic) and new (modern) liberalism.  liberal ideas have influenced all main stream ideologies. Robert Leach . eg post war consensus was based around modern liberal ideas.2. Key ideas and values associated with Liberalism are thus:  Individualism  Freedom  Toleration and Diversity  Justice (Equality) A liberal political system is based on Constitutionalism and Consent.  Liberalism has become the 'dominant ideology' in the capitalist world. meaning ‘free. [10] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .the post war ideological debate can be seen not as a debate between left and right. Keynes (economy) and Beveridge (welfare state).

Individualism is the belief in the supreme importance of the individual over any collective group or body.  Heywood – ‘many of the tensions in liberal ideology can be traced back to these rival ideas’ (uniqueness and equality).3. hence the liberal hatred of slavery. torture etc. eg T.H. eg it creates a dynamic economy.  Self reliant – people are independent Modern liberals. This competition is seen as healthy. Individualism does not simply refer to a belief in the existence of individuals. [11] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Classic liberals believe that the driving force behind decision making is the pursuit of self-interest (egotistical individualism). eg class or nation The focus on the individual has two contrasting elements:  uniqueness of individuals – each individual has distinctive qualities equal of status of individuals – human beings deserve respect because we are human beings. This leads to the view society as simply a collection of individuals. violence. it is nothing more than the sum of the individuals that make it up (Thatcher – there is no such thing as society)  Competitive – rational self-interested individuals will find themselves competing with each other in their attempts to promote their personal interests. (ii) Individualism The idea of the individual is at the core of western political thought. individuals make use of reason – people are capable of defining and pursuing their own interest (they can draw up plans and make choices). This idea of people being rational creatures means liberals are generally optimistic about human nature. Elements of Liberalism (i) Human Nature Classic Liberal views on human nature are based the ideas that people are:  Rational – people are driven by reason rather than instinct In making decisions. however humans are not perfect.  Self-interested – driving force for human action is the pursuit of self-interest. tend to have a more optimistic view of human nature – our egoist tendencies are held in check by our concern for others/a sense of social responsibility (altruism). This outlook is influenced by socialist views on human nature which stress sociability and co-operation rather than competition. Green.

are based on fixed human attributes. This approach has been used to argue for social welfare and state intervention. This is mainly associated with modern liberals. It is based on a Classic liberal view of human nature.Methodological individualism puts the individual is at the core of any political theory or policy. eg Green and Hobhouse. for example.  Egotistical individualism (or atomistic individualism or market individualism) stresses human self-interest and self-reliance. Some theories. the New Right and individualist anarchists there is a focuses on negative freedom and individual choice. thus rational choice theory (which can be used to explain voting behaviour) and neoclassical economics are based on the idea that people are driven by self interest. However what this means in practice depends on your view of the individual and human nature. They saw the individual not as narrowly self-interested but as social beings capable of altruistic concern for fellow human beings. Egotistical individualism is associated with classical liberals.  Developmental individualism focuses on the scope for personal development and fulfilment of potential. WHAT IMPLICATIONS DOES INDIVIDUALISM HAVE FOR THE STATE? [12] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Ethical individualism is associated with the idea that individual rights and interests are paramount when constructing/developing society. In this case two main forms of individualism tend to be highlighted: egoistical individualism and developmental individualism.

Mill advocated freedom of speech. Freedom benefits both the individual and society. Mill (On Liberty) 'human beings should be free to form opinions and to express their opinions without reserve'. eg freedom results in a better understanding of the world and enables progress to take place (each generation can advance beyond the previous one). Support for individual freedom flows from a belief in individualism J. S. religion and thought etc.(iii) Freedom (a) Introduction Freedom is the ability to think or act as one wishes. SHOULD FREEDOM BE UNLIMITED? [13] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Freedom is seen as the most important liberal value – it is the basis for happiness and well-being.

intereference. a free market produces poverty and as a result many individuals are not free in a positive sense. Negative freedom has been used as justification for lowering direct taxes and maintaining public schools and private beds in hospitals. The role of state is minimal. Although . family life. squalor and idleness. personal relationships etc individuals should be ‘left alone’ to do. Berlin defined positive freedom as ‘the ability to be ones own master’ T. a person can make and act upon their own choices. Negative freedom is associated with support for a:  free market (laissez-faire) system which is associated with material choice and the right to spend one's money as one wishes. eg the opportunity to realise your full potential. ignorance. Its main function is to provide law and order to protect these freedoms. disease. eg providing a welfare state to ‘free’ people from constraints such as poverty or ill health. A person is free if they are not subject to constraint. Green: defined it as the ‘ability of people to make the most and best of themselves’.(b) Negative and Positive Freedom In Two concepts of Liberty (1958). aimed to conquer the 'five giants' of want.  large private realm. In religion. which led to the formation of the Welfare State in the UK.' 'Empowering people' may involve the state taking an active role. Isaiah Berlin distinguished between negative freedom and positive freedom. Eg.  Positive freedom is linked to achievement of a certain goal. say and think what they want. It is associated with modern liberals and socialists. Negative freedom is associated with classic liberalism. Beveridge Report (1942). the liberal strand of the New Right and individualist anarchism. IS THERE A CONFLICT BETWEEN THE NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE FREEDOM? [14] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .  Negative freedom – means non . H. The case for negative freedom is based on ability of individuals to make rational choices. David McLellan: 'it is no use having the right of access to the Grill Room at the Ritz if you couldn't afford the bill. the ability of people to reach their full potential might result from individual failing. free from constraint individuals can make their own decisions and fashion their own lives. it might be limited by social constraints.

- toleration also benefits society at large. (iv) Tolerance and Diversity The Liberal view on freedom results in an acceptance of tolerance and diversity. Liberals support toleration and diversity for a variety of reasons: toleration benefits individuals. Tolerance is a willingness to allow people to act in ways of which we disapprove. eg freedom of speech can be seen as freedom from constraint or freedom to express ones views. Rational individuals should be allowed to make choices. They know what is best for them. rights. This happens because it ensures that ideas. The Liberal theory of justice is based on support for different types of equality.NB: negative freedom is often referred to as 'freedom from' and positive freedom as 'freedom to'. A 'free market of ideas' therefore promotes debate that contributes to the growth of understanding and therefore social progress. Summed up by Voltaire – ‘I detest what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it’. ie a fair distribution of something (liberty. Pluralism is the belief that diversity is desirable/good. Tolerance and Diversity will be studied in more detail in Unit 4 with Multiculturalism. welfare payments). Toleration involves the acceptance of a wide variety of opinions. This can be misleading. Social justice focuses on a fair distribution of income & wealth and benefits (eg health care. (v) Justice (Equality) The focus of the Liberal theory of justice is distributive justice. This is important in order to promote individuality and personal development. theories and values are constantly tested against rival ideas and values. wealth etc). Liberals support: (a) Foundational Equality (b) Formal equality (c) Equality of opportunity [15] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . This implies that constraints on the individual should be minimal. Toleration has its roots in individualism.

there is a natural human hierarchy. Procedures in every case should be fair and consistent. People are equal in the sense that all human beings have certain natural rights (now usually referred to as human rights) These rights are seen as ‘inalienable’. talent. it was assumed that human beings were naturally unequal i.  Legal equality is the basis for the Rule of Law. liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ are inalienable rights Foundational equality is based on liberal views on individualism and is associated with the idea of universal human rights.  everyone is equal before the law. Political authority is associated with principles such as:  universal suffrage  one person one vote (c) Equality of Opportunity Focuses on chances available to people. in society there will be great material inequalities which reflect these personal differences. particularly their legal and political rights. Although individuals are formally equal.  Political equality is bases on the idea that those who are subject to the law of the state should have an equal right to participate in the operation of the system. Equality of opportunity = giving people an equal chance to make use of their unequal talents As a result.(a) Foundational Equality Until the eighteenth century. The American Declaration of Independence states:  ‘all men are born equal’  ‘life. they have different levels skill. (b) Formal Equality Foundation equality implies formal equality which focuses on the status of individuals in society. and some are prepared to put in more effort. Liberals reject this view and put forward the idea of foundational equality . It is associated with principles such as  everybody (including the government) is subject to the law.the idea that all people are of equal worth because they are human beings. [16] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . everyone should have an equal start in life.e. This unequal distribution of income and wealth is seen as socially just. ie they cannot be taken away. Everyone should be treated equally and have the same access to the legal system.

for liberals there something absolutely distasteful about too much inequality 'but given a decent minimum. Liberal ideas were originally radical . Equality with be covered in more depth in the section on Socialism. Modern Liberals argued individual failure was NOT the cause of all human suffering/failings. However. Hobhouse. Jo Grimond . they are not afraid of some resultant material inequality'. Eg.they challenged the existing system. Green and L. have supported limited equality of outcome. 4.A society based around principle of equality of opportunity is referred to as a meritocracy. The late 20th century saw the revival of Classical Liberal ideas – this is associated with the growth of New Right ideas and the policies of the Conservative Party in the UK and the Republican Party in the USA. This is socially just because people are judged according to talent etc not factors such as race or religion. modern liberal ideas became more important. Development of Liberalism (i) Introduction  Liberalism emerged in Britain in 17th century and is associated with breakdown of feudalism and growth of capitalism (particularly interests of rising middle classes). At end of 19th century. the liberal support for equality tends to be weaker than that found in socialism.  Two main strands exist:  Classical Liberalism  Modern (or Social) Liberalism Classical Liberalism dominated much of the 19th century. In such conflicts they tend to favour freedom rather than equality. [17] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . eg they questioned absolute power of the monarchy and promoted human rights and limited constitutional govt. unemployment. Liberals believe there maybe a conflict between equality and freedom eg getting rid of public schools infringes the freedom of those that want to use them. Liberals have tended to be critical of equality of outcome (or material equality or social equality). H. This is more usually associated with socialism. The American (1776) and French (1789) revolutions were strongly influenced by liberal ideas . although some modern liberals. ignorance etc not lack of talent laziness etc. the poverty and inequality associated with capitalism meant many people were unable to develop fully. These ideas are associated with people such as T. ie rule by the talented. eg Rawls.can be seen in documents such as the Declaration of Independence. Working class are mainly held back by poverty.

It put forward objective grounds on which moral judgements can be made.  the economy  welfare. These ideas:  are underpinned by natural rights theory and/or utilitarianism. eg for Locke these rights were ‘life liberty. Each rational individual should be free to define what is pleasurable and what is painful.(ii) Classic Liberalism Classic liberalism is based on a belief in egoistical individualism and negative freedom. formal equality and equality of opportunity.  impact on classic liberal views on:  society.  universal  inalienable  utilitarianism emerged as a supposedly scientific alternative to natural rights theories. foundational equality.  the role of the state. and property’. Utilitarian principles can be applied to society as a whole by applying Jeremy Bentham’s principle of the greatest happiness for the greatest number as a yardstick for actions by governments [18] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Natural rights theory and/or utilitarianism  natural rights theory – people are entitled to certain rights because they are human beings. These fundamental rights are seen as universal and inalienable. It is based on:  the idea people can calculate the ‘quantity’ of pleasure and pain associated with a particular action  people are self interested utility maximisers (they aim to maximise happiness and limit pain).

Concept/Idea Classic Liberal View Society Role of the State [19] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .

Concept/Idea Classic Liberal View Economy Welfare [20] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .

As a result a Modern Liberal ideas were developed. disease etc led some liberals began to question the idea that free market capitalism would result in freedom and prosperity for all.(iii) Modern Liberal Ideas Towards the end of the 19th century. Concept/Idea Modern Liberal View State [21] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Modern liberalism is associated with:  developmental individualism  positive freedom These ideas impact on moden liberal views on:  the role of the state  the economy  welfare. the high levels of poverty.

Concept/Idea Modern Liberal View Economy Welfare [22] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .

(iv) Similarities and Difference between Classical and Modern Liberal Ideas  For some writers and classic liberals. welfare provision and govt intervention in the economy) mean that is has closer links to collectivism (which is particularly associated with socialism and a greater role for the state) than individualism (which is at the core of liberalism)  Although some of the elements of Modern Liberalism have links with socialism. the elements associated with Modern Liberalism (developmental individualism. enabling state. there is an unbridgeable gap between classic and modern liberalism. ie they do not see modern liberalism as ‘true’ liberalism For people such as Hayek. eg modern liberals do not believe that free market systems can deliver true freedom for everyone. modern liberals reject idea they have abandoned liberal principles. For modern liberals. positive freedom. eg Hayek. they argue they have merely changed the way in which individual liberty can best be achieved. eg their fear of creating a nanny state [23] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . the Individual is still seen as supreme and the state is viewed with suspicion.

where those at the top (monarchy and church) were responsible for maintaining political and religious unity. Liberal Views on the Government and the State (i) Social Contract Theory Most people accept the need for the state and government to prevent chaos and provide order. poor. if rulers betray this trust they can be replaced. rational individuals recognised the need for strong govt with absolute powers.  Locke did not believe there would be a continual state of war. it was not created by an elite group in order to exploit). As a result. it should just maintain order and protect rights). The only legitimate govt is that based on the consent of the people. [24] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .the state limits individual freedom.5.] Social contract theory:  Implies that political authority thus comes from the people . life would be solitary.purpose of state is to protect individuals and their freedom. without a state there would be chaos  Evil . Rulers are entrusted with power. A rigid social hierarchy existed. Liberals tend to see government as a necessary evil  Necessary . nasty. writers such as Hobbes and Locke looked at what life was like in a state of nature (time before govt was formed). unlike Hobbes. believed that govt should be limited.state was created by individuals and is there to serve their needs.  For Hobbes there would be a continuous war of every man against every man. [Prior to social contract theory the prevailing view was that society was a God-given (unequal) structure in which everyone had a duty to carry out the functions of their particular social rank. its role should thus be limited The liberal argument for the state and govt is based on social contract theory. Social contract is an agreement among individuals to form a state order to avoid the chaos associated with a ‘state of nature’ In the 17th century. brutish and short.  Sees the state as neutral (the state is created as a result of a voluntary agreement among all people. but individuals realised the advantage of a sovereign govt to act as a 'referee' (Locke.

eg a bi-cameral system. For some. eg. This triumph has led to the 'end of history' (ie the struggle between political ideas) Liberal Democracy is based on a fusion of two distinct elements: liberalism and democracy  The liberal element is based on constitutionalism  The democratic element is based on consent. eg there was limited suffrage (male property owners) [25] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . C. The liberal element in liberal democracy generally emerged before the democratic element. eg: in 19th century Britain had there were features associated with constitutionalism.(ii) Liberal Democracy (a) Introduction Liberal Democracy is the most common form of representative democracy.but it was not a fully developed democracy. All advanced capitalist states are liberal democracies. B. Macpherson – the liberal democratic state was liberal before it became democratic. It is possible for the elements to exist independently. Fukuyama (1989). the collapse of communism and spread of liberal democratic ideas in the 3rd world has led to triumph of Liberal Democracy over other forms of govt.

’ What form do checks on govt take? There are two types:  external constraints  internal constraints.(b) Constitutionalism Introduction The individual and individual rights & freedoms are at the core of liberalism. Self-interested individuals will. Constitutionalism is a belief in limited government using external (legal) and internal (institutional) checks on the exercise of power.‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. the greater the capacity for abuse. These include:  codified (or written) constitutions  bills of rights (usually included as part of a codified constitution) Most states have a codified constitution and bill of rights. Although govt is necessary in order to protect these rights. This was summed up by Lord Acton . in particular. All systems of rule have the potential for oppression against the individual. should be protected. The greater the power. They tend to be entrenched and rigid  entrenched  rigid Both act as a constraint on government and protect individual freedom. use their position to benefit themselves. eg [26] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . This view is based on the idea that individuals are driven by self interest. if they have power over others. Why are checks on govt needed? Because power corrupts If individuals/groups are given too much power they are likely to abuse it. Minority rights. liberals are wary of sovereign power given to govt. External constraints External constraints are sometimes called legal constraints. and therefore the greater the corruption.

Internal constraints Internal constraints aim to spread power throughout system. Examples include:  separation of powers  bicameralism  federalism  cabinet government  parliamentary government

separation of powers, Idea that the three main functions of govt (making laws, implementing laws, and judging) should be carried out by separate institutions or branches of govt, ie the legislature, executive and judiciary. The aim of this separation is to prevent abuse of power (govt policy can only be carried through if all 3 agree)

However the separation of power may result in gridlock

bicameralism Most liberal democracies have a bicameral system, ie a legislature made up of 2 chambers. However the balance of power between the two chambers varies from system, eg

Bicameralism act as a check and balance in the following ways:  a second chamber can act as a check on the first chamber and/or government. This can prevent majoritarian rule and protect minority/individual rights.

 Two chambers ensure better legislation. Due to ‘friction and delay’, ie
there may be arguments between the house in the legislature (friction) and the fact that legislation is looked at by each house allows more time for discussion and public debate (delay).  can result in a different type/basis of representation – eg Irish Senate is partly based on functional (rather than territorial) representation – members are chosen from different groups in society, eg education, agriculture, industry etc. This give power/influence to different groups within society. The overall effect of a bicameral system is to create the need for consultation and compromise.
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federalism/decentralisation Federalism results in sovereignty being shared (some powers are exercised at a regional level while others stay at a national level). Federalism/decentralisation  acts as a check on government by spreading power, eg

It also moves decision making closer to the people This can be important in ethnically diverse states which may otherwise development threats to unity

cabinet government The Cabinet is a collective decision making body in which members (in theory) have equal influence; the PM is merely Primus Inter Pares (first amongst equals) and can be controlled by his/her cabinet.

Although the idea that the PM is first amongst equals is rejected by most commentators, supporters of Cabinet Govt believe there are still powerful constraints on the powers of the PM.

parliamentary government Although parliamentary govt violates the separation of powers (because the legislature and executive are fused), parliament can act as a check on the executive. Day-to-day the government is held accountable through the use of question time, debates and select committees. Parliament has the power to remove a government by defeating it on a vote of confidence. However there is a danger that a system of parliament government can result in executive dominance – an elective dictatorship results.

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(c) Consent (Democracy) Introduction Consent is the idea that government power should be based on the agreement of the governed (democratic element of liberal democracy). The idea of consent arose out of social contract theory. The most popular way consent is expressed is through competitive elections. Democratic (or competitive) elections are based on the following principles:  universal adult suffrage
   

one person one vote, one vote one value secret ballot choice of parties frequent elections

(iii) Liberalism and Democracy (a) Background Before the end of the 18th Century few liberals were democrats - liberals defended constitutional and representative govt but did not advocate universal suffrage. It was argued democracy needed to be weighted in favour of the more enlightened members of society, eg Mill proposed a system of plural voting where professional and business groups would have more than one vote Mill, like many early liberals, saw economic success as a measure of enlightenment and competence). By the 20th century support for democracy had become widespread. Universal suffrage is now an accepted principle among all mainstream ideologies.

(b) Reasons why liberals been concerned about democracy

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ALL societies are characterised by a division between an elite (ruling minority) and the masses (majority of people) In all societies a ruling elite WILL emerge. Radical democrats are associated with ideas such as e-democracy as a way of improving participation [30] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .  Marxists Criticism is based on the fact that liberal democracies are capitalist. This is not real political participation. but since democracy allows the people to choose which elite rules. Rule by elites is still inevitable. The rich and poor do not have equal access to political power – those with economic power control government.  Radical democrats Argue that liberal democracy has reduced political participation to merely voting every few years. Marxists argue that true political equality cannot exist alongside the social and economic inequality associated with capitalism. Modern elite theorists have developed the concept of democratic elitism.(c) Reasons why liberals have supported democracy (d) Critics of Liberal Democracy  Elite theorists Classic elite theorists. eg Michels argued democracy is impossible. elites have to respond to the will of the people if they want to stay in power.

(June 05) 13. Outline a liberal defence of toleration and pluralism. (Jun 02) 4.NEW A2 LIBERALISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. (Jan 05) 11. Why have liberals criticised the socialist view of equality? (June 06) [31] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Why do liberals fear concentrations of power? (Jan 04) 8. Why and how have liberals supported the fragmentation of political power? (June 10) Essays 1. Why do liberals support constitutionalism and consent? (Jan 02) 2. and why? (Jan 03) 5. Why do modern liberals support social reform and welfare? (June 04) 9. (Jan 06) 14. What kind of equality do liberals support. Why do liberals emphasis the importance of constitutionalism and consent? (June 05) 12. On what grounds do liberals support democracy? (June 03) 7. Define individualism. and explain the implications of each for the state. On what grounds have liberals supported democracy? (Jan 10) 2. To what extent does modern liberalism depart from the ideas of classical liberalism? (Jan 10) 2. (Jan 03) 6. Distinguish between socialist and liberal views of equality. and explain the implications of each for the state. Distinguish between individualism and collectivism. (June 04) 10. To what extent do liberals support the principle of equality? (June 10) OLD A2 LIBERALISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. and explain the implications of each for the state. Distinguish between negative freedom and positive freedom. and explain its implications for the state. Distinguish between positive freedom and negative freedom. (Jun 02) 3. Distinguish between economic liberalism and social liberalism.

(June 09) Essays 1. (Jan 05) 8. ‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Have modern liberals abandoned individualism and embraced collectivism?(June03) 5. Define ‘positive freedom’. To what extent is liberalism compatible with democracy? (Jun 02) 3. Analyse similarities and differences between classical liberalism and modern Liberalism. Why have some liberals warned against the dangers of democracy? (June 09) 25. distinguish between negative freedom and positive freedom. To what extent is liberalism compatible with democracy (June 05) 9.’ Explain and discuss the implications of this view for liberalism. Why do liberals support toleration and diversity. ‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Using examples. distinguish between negative freedom and positive freedom. 'Liberal democracy is a contradiction in terms. Why have liberals feared the concentration of political power? (Jan 08) 20. Using examples. How do modern liberals justify welfare and social reform? (Jan 09) 23. On what grounds have liberals raised concerns about democracy? (Jan 07) 17. Define individualism and explain its importance within liberal ideology (June 07) 19. ' Discuss. (June 04) 7.15. Define individualism. have modern liberals departed from the ideas of classical liberalism? (Jan 02) 2. How. To what extent are there tensions within modern liberalism over the role of the state? (Jan 04) 6. (June 06) [32] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . (June 06) 16. and explain its implication for the state. How and why have conservatives and liberals disagreed over authority? (Jan 07) 18.’ Why do liberals believe this. Why have some liberals warned against the dangers of democracy? (Jun 08) 21. and explain its implications for the state (Jan 09) 24. and to what extent. (Jun 08) 22. and on what grounds would they limit toleration? (Jan 06) 10. and what are its implications? (Jan 03) 4.

but only within limits. ‘Liberals support equality. Discuss (Jan 07) 12. but only a qualified form of equality. Why. Why do liberals support the principle of limited government. have liberals supported toleration and diversity? (June 09) [33] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . and do they propose that it be achieved? (Jan 09) 16. and to what extent.’ Discuss (Jan 08) 14.11. and to what extent.’ Discuss (June 07) 13. Why. Modern liberals support state intervention. ‘The similarities between classical liberalism and modern liberalism are greater than the differences. have liberals supported toleration and diversity? (Jun 08) 15.

Organic society  the whole is more than a collection of its individual parts (clash between organicism [organic communitarianism] and individualism).  intellectually imperfect (world largely beyond human understanding.CONSERVATISM 1. respect for taw). enlightened self-interest.  hierarchy (rejection of social equality as undesirable and impossible).duty as the price of privilege (noblesse oblige. implications for reason.  paternalism . Human imperfection  psychological imperfection (limited. cautious social democracy).  property traditionally viewed as a duty (to preserve for the benefit of future generations). authority etc)  moral imperfection (base and non-rational urges and instincts. and sentencing policy). Summary of Key Themes Tradition  Conservative arguments in favour of tradition (natural law. hierarchy. dependent and security-seeking creatures.  because it is the exteriorisation of individual personality. [34] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Property  property supported because it provides security in an insecure/unstable world.  but New Right advanced a liberal. tradition). rights-based justification.  importance of shared values and a common culture (fear of diversity and pluralism). implications for tradition.  because it breeds positive social values (eg. the 'deserving' poor). reactionary tendencies)  Neo-conservatism and traditional values. accumulated wisdom of the past. qualified case for welfare). tradition.  reform is preferable to revolution (pragmatism. implications for law and order.  New Right departures from traditionalism (neo-liberal radicalism based on reasoned analysis.  duty and obligation as social cement. stability and rootedness). One Nation tradition  Tory origins (neo-feudalism. organicism etc).  'middle way' stance (pragmatic rejection of free market and state control.

permissiveness. Conservative New Right  roots in pre-Disraelian conservatism. [35] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . particularly belief in human imperfection  Conservative opposition to the politics of principle. traditional/family/Christian values). impact on taxation. deregulation and tax cuts.Liberal New Right  Classical liberal roots. and extent to which conservative support tradition  Conservatism and human nature. anti-statism. 'trickle.  moral revivalism (anti. authority and hierarchy  Conservative view of society and rival organic and mechanical views of society  Distinctive theories and ideas of traditional conservatism/One Nation tradition  Distinctive theories and ideas of New Rights  Similarities and difference between traditional conservatism and the New right  Coherence of New Right thinking Information needed from other ideologies includes: Socialism:  human nature (comparison with socialist view and implications: page 63 ). resurgent nationalism (national patriotism as a source of security and stability. insularity and xenophobia).down'). anti-welfarism – dependency culture. Anarchism:  human nature (comparison with anarchist view and implications: page 93). monetarism. and extent to which it has revised its opposition  Conservative view of property. 'new' puritanism. supply-side economics. individual responsibility/self-help. Likely Questions in the Exam Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:  Nature and implications of tradition. privatisation.  free market economics (natural dynamism of market.  restoration of order and authority (social and state authoritarianismpunishment works etc).  atomistic individualism as basis for libertarianism (individual/property rights. welfare as legalised theft). rejection of Keynesianism.

Edmund Burke is seen as 'founding father' of British conservatism. Introduction As a political ideology.2. In Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) he supported cautious change and upheld traditional society. organic society. there are different divisions within conservatism. Conservatism is associated with concern about change and the need for stability. tradition etc. Conservatism emerged as reaction to Enlightenment ideas associated with the American and French revolutions. Although these core elements can be identified as conservative. eg human imperfection. The major divisions are:  Authoritarian Conservatism  Traditional (or Paternalistic) Conservatism  Libertarian Conservatism /New Right [36] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . ie first person to set down conservative ideas in a coherent form. These themes can be linked to the main elements of conservatism.

3. CONSERVATISM – AN OVERVIEW CLASSIC LIBERALISM AIM: IDEAS: TORYISM AIM: IDEAS: NEO – LIBERAL STRAND FOCUS: NEO – CONSERVATIVE STRAND FOCUS: PATERNALISTIC CONSERVATISM FOCUS: NEW RIGHT (free economy and strong state) TRADITIONAL (or ONE NATION) CONSERVATISM [37] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .

Elements of Conservatism (a) View of Human Nature these are the foundation of conservative ideas other elements are linked to these beliefs (b) View of society (c) History and Tradition (d) Property Ownership (e) Authority (a) Human Nature Traditional Conservative view O’Sullivan describes conservatism as the ‘philosophy of imperfection’.'man is an imperfect creature with a streak of evil' Thatcher . This view has influence conservative views on what is achievable in politics and their view of crime & punishment.' man is inherently sinful'. dependent and security seeking’ – they desire safety. reject ‘rationalist’ ideologies. Conservatives generally have a pessimistic view of human nature. conservatives reject the idea that people are naturally good or can be 'made' good if their social circumstances are improved. Traits such as greed are natural. guidance. conservatives tend to focus on weakness. human intellectual powers are limited – human rationality is unable to fully understand the highly complex world in which we live. Hailsham . Conservatives are therefore wary of change. selfishness etc. eg Marxism and prefer a pragmatic approach based on history and tradition [38]  A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Social order and leadership are thus seen as more important than liberty.4.   people are imperfect and corruptible. Conservative views on human imperfection can be looked at in several ways:  humans are ‘limited. dependent and security seeking’  people are imperfect and corruptible  human intellectual powers are limited humans are ‘limited. familiarity and a sense of belonging.

because society is more than the sum of its individual parts. Individuals cannot be separated from society (family.  Organic society and Change An organic view of society (and a pessimistic view of human nature). leads to caution about change (unlike a machine. The 'cure may be worse than the disease' (Oakeshott) [39] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . This influences traditional conservative view of freedom – they are wary of negative freedom (freedom in terms of being left alone). they are part of an entity which Allison argues gives their ‘lives meaning. society is organic . you cannot take a living organism apart and put it back together in order to suit some theory about improving it). Individuals are not rational and self-reliant but dependent and security seeking. History and tradition provide the linkages that bind us together. place and purpose’. Society is interconnected and bound together by a network of reciprocal rights and duties. Traditional conservatives tend to see freedom in terms of an acceptance of duties and obligations – this is what holds society together.more like a living organism than a machine. friends. community).New Right View of Human Nature  Conservative strand of the New Right is associated with a pessimistic view of human nature  Neo-liberal strand is more closely linked with Classic Liberal views are human nature on based the idea that people are:  Rational  Naturally Self-interested  Self –reliant  Naturally Competitive (b) View of society Traditional Conservative view: For traditional Conservatives.  Organic society and the individual Society is more important than the individuals (or groups) who make it up.

. at times. For some conservatives this society is divinely ordained (god given) Within this system the wealthy/privileged have a responsibility for the common welfare of society.  Organic society and hierarchy Society is naturally hierarchical. [40] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Society is thus made up of unequal but mutually dependent classes – hierarchy is thus inevitable and social equality impossible. This was expressed in the doctrine of noblesse oblige – the rich have a duty to protect the poor. this is an inevitable feature of an organic society – the different organs of the body have different functions and some are more important than others. are associated with the belief in a ‘natural aristocracy’. Conservatives in the predemocratic era.in their appointed place. authority and example’ rather than abstract reason.. eg Marxism. change needs to be:  gradual  based on history and tradition. 'prefer the familiar to the unknown. Burke argued you need to ‘change in order to conserve’ – the resistance of the French monarchy to change partly caused of the revolution. There must be leader and followers.the tried to the untried'). not an ideological blueprint. the English monarchy survived because it was prepared to accept constitutional constraints on its power. eg Disraeli – had to deal with problems associated with rapid industrialisation Thatcher . reform should grow organically out of the past and be based on ‘precedent. However.They. workers and managers etc.decline associated with social democracy. Burke talked of society operating according to a fixed compact (contract) ….which holds all….For Conservatives. Although conservatives view change with caution (Oakeshott .. For Conservatives. they realise change is necessary and is taking place all the time. certain institutions and practices are the lynchpins of society – if these come under attack then society itself is under threat. Conservatives have been associated with radical change. this is no different to society. According to Burke.

The 'wisdom of the past' gives indications of what is the best that can be achieved.  View change  View hierarchy – since early 19th century the idea of a natural hierarchy/aristocracy have progressively become less important in conservative thinking. practices or institutions that have been inherited from an earlier period  Conservatives use their vision of history and tradition to justify the maintenance of the social system.  Tradition refers to ideas. Libertarian conservative ideas on meritocracy now dominate. (c) History and Tradition Traditional Conservative view:  History is experience. [41] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . church. This has had an impact on how conservatives:  View the relationship between the individual and society Thatcher – there is no such thing as society only individuals and families. Eg. institutions such as the family. although the new right conservative strand tends to focus more on strong law and order and less on social reform as a way of maintaining stability. It is constructed by rational individuals to satisfy their personal interests. Judgements based on historical experience are more reliable than those based on abstract theory. the constitution provide stability and should thus be maintained. The Liberal Strand is associated with an atomistic/mechanical view of society Society is nothing more than a collection of self-interested individuals.New Right View of Society The Conservative Strand is associated with an organic view of society and is thus similar to the traditional conservative view.

grow and evolve. Conservatives are thus wary of multiculturalism (positive support for a diverse society). religion. it provides continuity.  it provide continuity. but dead trees provide the conditions for new trees to grow. Humans are ‘limited.How have traditional conservatives justified tradition?  original justification was based on idea of a ‘natural order’ and is associated with ideas such as the ‘divine right of kings’.it must change.'Function of conservatism is to protect.  now justification is now based on two elements  tradition reflects the ‘accumulated wisdom of the past’  tradition gives an understanding and sense of history. Hailsham sees society as an organism . usually resulting from immigration. stability and a sense of belonging. He uses the example of a forest – trees grow then die. Burke – society is a partnership between ‘those who are living. language). History and tradition encourages social cohesion by creating the moral and cultural foundations of society. Traditional institutions and practices have ‘stood the test of time’ and should be preserved for present and future generations. one should carry on from where their forefather left off'. 'One should not begin anew each time. The conservative concern over multiculturalism is based on their view of human nature and the nature of an organic society. guidance. This view has been abandoned.  ‘accumulated wisdom of the past’. A multicultural society is one characterised by cultural diversity (based on race. those who are dead and those who are to be born’. stability and a sense of belonging. familiarity and a sense of belonging and society is complex and fragile. Hailsham . dependent and security seeking’ – they desire safety. Multicultural societies are:  likely to be conflict ridden (focus is what divides people not what unites them)  and a threat to the fabric of society (which is based on shared values) [42] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . apply and revere what is best in the old'.

NB: this view is also associated with the liberal strand of the New Right.  Promotes political values such as individual liberty and self reliance Property provides:  security for individuals and families (they have ‘something to fall back on’ at times of difficultly in an uncertain world)  some independence from govt (‘people can stand on their own two feet’). S. The liberal new right has thus been associated with a rejection tradition in that it believes in reason and is less concerned with radical change. It enlightens the citizen in the value of stability and shows that the security of small property depends on the security of all property’ (Norton & Aughey)  Provides personal benefits such as security and a source of personal fulfilment – property provides enjoyment. The desire to own property acts as an incentive to work harder. (d) Property Ownership Ownership of property is important for Conservatives. NB: this view is particularly associated with the liberal strand of the New Right.tradition limits progress and serves the interests of the ruling class. The unequal distribution of is a reflection of hard work and talent. It:  Promotes social values such as respect for the law – property owners have a ‘stake in society’ and are therefore more likely to be law abiding and respect the views of others.  The roots of the liberal New Right views of tradition can be found in classic liberalism.  Provides economic benefits People have a right to own what their labour has produced. eg J. It is an education. Liberals have been critical of tradition. Mill described tradition as the ‘despotism of custom’ . 'It [property] is not just a possession.New Right View of history and tradition  The conservative New Right re-emphasises the importance of tradition and traditional values. [43] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . This results in greater economic efficiency and growth. satisfaction.

This is why conservatives have been critical of the spread of permissiveness (attitude in society that allows people to act as they want). it comes from a desire for parents to do what is best for their children. Conservatives have tended to focus less on consent and more on what Scruton calls ‘natural necessity’. Rational individuals accept authority because it establishes order. Liberal View The liberal view of authority based on social contract theory [ie authority arises from below and is based on the consent of the governed. Scruton – ‘the state’s relation to the citizen is not …. parental authority is not based on consent but comes from natural necessity. teachers etc and is associated with crime. impose sanctions. however. Authority. Conservatives extend this view of authority to society as a whole. It is based on a widespread acceptance within a community of the right of certain people and/or institutions to issue orders and.. This has lead to an undermining of the authority of parents.The state has the authority …of parenthood. delinquency and general discourtesy. limits liberty. police. Liberal believe that authority should be constrained within clearly defined legal/constitutional boundaries (legal-rational authority)] Conservative View Conservatives are sceptical about the liberal view. (e) Authority Introduction Authority is the right to command or make a decision.contractual…. [44] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . A comparison can be made between a Liberal view of authority and a conservative view of authority.This general support for property ownership has resulted in Conservatism being associated with ideas such as support for thrift (being cautious with regard to spending) and belief in a property owning democracy. Authority is exercised ‘from above’ for the benefit of those below. Traditionally. authority reflects a basic need for leadership and guidance.’ For conservatives. if necessary. it also promotes social cohesion and strengthens the fabric of society.

5. and s associated with resistance to change and authoritarian rule (unquestioning obedience). Tory paternalism is particularly associated with Disraeli (1804 -81). Burke wrote about the need to ‘change in order to conserve’. One Nation Conservatism The dominant form of Paternalistic Conservatism in the UK is One Nation Conservatism. eg in the UK a pragmatic form of Conservatism (Paternalistic or Traditional Conservatism) emerged while in continental Europe a more reactionary form of Conservatism emerged (Authoritarian Conservatism) The main types of Conservatism are: (a) Authoritarian Conservatism (b) Paternalistic (or Traditional) Conservatism (c) Libertarian Conservatism (d) New Right (a) Authoritarian Conservatism This form of conservatism is mainly associated with continental Europe. eg the Industrial Revolution. Although the roots of the ideas are found in the feudal structures of the middle ages. It is called paternalistic conservatism because of way it supposedly mirrors the relationship between father and child. this allows conservatives to adapt values and traditions to take account of changing conditions. [45] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Different Types of Conservatism As an ideology. He is credited with transforming and saving the Tory Party during a period of enormous change. It is accepted that change has to take place but it should be slow and gradual. eg growth of mass democracy and the development of conservative nationalism. In the late 19th century this was associated with Disraeli. (b) Paternalistic (or Traditional) Conservatism Introduction This is a more pragmatic form of conservatism than authoritarian conservatism. This form of conservatism dominated in the UK until the emergence of the New Right in the 1970s. in the post-war period it is associated with Macmillan's 'Middle Way'. different interpretations of Conservatism have developed. Conservatism developed in reaction to the upheavals during the late 18th (eg the French Revolution) and the 19th century (eg rapid industrialisation and urbanisation). As with other ideologies. It has become less important due to the rise of liberal democratic ideas and the fall of fascism (with which it often collaborated).

NB: this approach to welfare is still compatible with the survival of hierarchy – the privileged need look after the less fortunate not to bring them up to their level. Although the roots of this idea can be found in the middle ages. Cons argue their views are pragmatic (derived from the knowledge of past experience) rather than ideological or dogmatic (idealistic and based on utopian visions). towards the end of the 19th it was viewed by conservatives in a more positive light – it could be used to maintain social order and traditional institutions. in order to provide ordinary people with decent living conditions. Conservatism is thus not an ideology. Pragmatic conservatives focus on what works .  The fear that poverty/deprevation could lead to civil unrest and possibility revolution was also a reason why one nation conservatives became associated with social reform. eg the paternal responsibility of a lord over his peasants.have an obligation to help the less fortunate (nobility imposes obligations). They thus stress the importance of leadership. [46] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .the fortunate in society . eg better housing conditions and public health. The growing inequality between the two groups created tension within society and revolution was seen as a possibility. Disraeli argued they did not have to be abandoned in an increasingly industrialised world. respect for authority. The condition of the working class only needs to be improved up to the point where there is no threat of civil unrest and possibility revolution. For most conservatives.Disraeli highlighted the danger of the existence of two nations in Britain – the rich and the poor. Also if the Conservative Party was to succeed it would need to be able to appeal to all groups in society – One Nation Conservatism.the wealthy and privileged .  a focus on national identity /conservative nationalism. the state could become involved in social reform/welfare. and the importance of existing institutions. One Nation Conservatism is associated with:  a stress on the idea of an organic society and the concept of Noblesse Oblige . In the early 19th century nationalism was seen by conservatives a destabilising force.how can social harmony be achieved given human nature.  A pragmatic approach towards the state and the individual.

Burke. (c) Libertarian Conservatism Many conservative ideas are associated with feudal ideas on obligation. Andrew Gamble sums up the New Right as . In the 1970s this consensus began to break up and the within conservatism the libertarian strand became more influential. Liberal conservatives. (d) New Right (NR) Definition The New Right is a blend of  market individualism which draws on classic liberal ideas and is associated with a belief in a minimal state. and  social authoritarianism (which wants to restore respect for authority and tradition and draws on pre-Disraelian conservative ideas). The 1950's and early 1960's was the age of Butskellism. however. This usually referred to as neo-liberalism or the liberal strand. consistent in their support for liberal ideas. in which there was a general consensus between the main parties. eg they believe in economic liberalism. particularly in the economic sphere.  Use of Keynesian demand management policies to regulate the economy. hierarchy etc. It included:  Support for the welfare state. it is pro free market. but do not tend to extend this principle of individual liberalism to other aspects of social life.Macmillan's 'Middle Way' From 1945 to the 1970s post-war conservatism was dominated by Macmillan's 'middle way' expression of One Nation conservatism. for example. but since 18th century conservatives have taken on board some classic liberal ideas.  Keeping nationalised industries (mainly on pragmatic ground that you cannot 'unscramble eggs'). self help and limited government. supported Adam Smith’s ideas on free market despite his views on tradition and change.The Free Economy (liberal strand) and the Strong State (conservative strand) [47] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . are not. This was an interventionist 'middle way' between laissez-faire (or free market) capitalism and socialist state planning. This usually referred to as the neo-conservatism or the conservative strand. eg free enterprise.

- Private health insurance in place of the NHS.  economic problems The welfare state has been blamed for declining levels of economic growth. [48] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . The welfare state should just be a safety net. eg governments print more money in order to pay for increased spending and this causes inflation. eg Charles Murray has argued that welfare relieves women of dependency on men as breadwinners and is thus a major cause of family break-up. Aim of government is to create conditions in which markets can function properly. - - Reduction of income tax. - A smaller welfare state. It creates an underclass of single mothers and fatherless children.The Liberal Strand Main ideas  atomistic/mechanical view of society  Strong support for free markets and limited government This involves a revival of classic liberal ideas on the economy. This allows markets to operate more efficiently. eg higher spending needs to be paid for out of higher taxation and this reduces incentives to take risks such as expanding/setting up businesses. Markets are seen as superior to any other way of organising societies. Privatisation. and higher inflation. This results in a more competition and as a result consumers get better quality services at lower prices. This is associated with minimal government or ‘rolling back the state’. This results in a more efficient use of resources and reduces govt spending. Policies associated with the Liberal Strand include: Limiting govt spending - Reduction of trade union powers. This results in greater incentives and gives people more choice over how their money should be spent. A more comprehensive welfare system (nanny state) creates:  a dependency culture The welfare state weakens individual initiative and creates a welfare dependent underclass.

that even the poor are better off in a free market system. Society would be an open and fluid system where inequalities of wealth and status reflect natural human differences (meritocracy). believed in the principle of self help and wanted the nation to return to the Victorian values of thrift and self reliance. The following arguments are put forward to defend limited government:  so much wealth is generated by unregulated competition. history & tradition with a focus on the family.Why do the New Right want to 'roll back the state'? The function of government is limited to basically the provision of law and order.  success or failure in a capitalist system is a fair measure of individual merit.  rising crime levels/anti-social behaviour  declining moral standards  threats to national identity  rising crime levels/anti-social behaviour This requires a tough stance on law and order – give the imperfection of human nature the only thing that will reduce crime levels/anti-social behaviour is the fear of strong punishment. for example. This is the basis of Major's 'classless society'.  free markets encourage self discipline and self reliance This strengthens the ‘moral fibre of individuals’.an infinite number of snakes and ladders' in which lazy people slither into poverty while skilful and energetic individuals are rewarded with wealth and social status. [49] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . religion and the nation. The main problems faced by society are. Keith Joseph wanted 'an infinitely mobile society . Thatcher. The Conservative Strand Main Ideas  an Organic view of society  importance/restoration of social order This involves a reassertion of conservative principles such as authority.

Both wish to maintain stability and order. it also draws on authoritarian conservative ideas. This undermines UK sovereignty and traditions & institutions - the impact of multiculturalism NB: Although the conservative strand of the New Right draws ideas associated with paternalistic conservatism such as respect for authority and an organic society. etc) and moral decline (linked to permissiveness) both back to social democratic/liberal values associated with the post-war consensus. whereas paternalistic conservatives believe this is best achieved by using social reform to reduce poverty.on the impact of greater European integration. However. This is associated with a rejection of Christian values and a weakened of the fabric of society. [50] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Gamble: 'idea that social democracy was a Trojan Horse for communism has long been popular in right-wing rhetoric'. neo-liberals. Links and Tensions between the Liberal and Conservative strands Not all supporters of the New Right subscribe to both neo-liberal and neoconservative views. Scruton is a neo-conservative who rejects a dogmatic approach to the market. declining moral standards This is linked t the growth in permissiveness since the 1960s. eg. However both strands tend to trace Britain’s economic decline (linked to trade unions with too much power. the conservative strand of the New Right focuses on the need to restore authority and impose discipline through strong law and order. eg Nozick rejects conservative social theory. These views have led to strong defence policies. high tax rates. The collapse of communism in E.  threats to national identity After the end of WW2 the threat was seen as the Soviet Union and international communism. This gives the conservative strand of the New Right a different focus to paternalistic conservatism. Europe in the late 1980s has led to greater emphasis: .

organic society. atomistic view of society. The conservative strand is associated with ideas such as authority. however tensions within the New Right. eg:  Over the Role of the state Gamble summaries NR approach as: free economy/strong state For some this involves a paradox . competition etc. NB: for some people. freedom. there is NO paradox – to work properly free markets require less government but strong government is needed to police the market. eg need for laws restricting union power and deal with problems thrown up by the free market.the state is to be simultaneously rolled back and rolled forward. This paradox arises because of the two different strands within the New Right  liberal tendency argues for a free/competitive economy (less govt). tradition etc This can lead to conflict over policies. eg . eg greater inequality  Conflicting Ideas The liberal strand is associated with things such as individualism.  cons tendency wants to restore social/political authority in society (more govt).There are.Sunday Trading - Closing down mines [51] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . including most New Right supporters.

 Most New Right Conservatives do not see themselves as a breaking with tory tradition.'Old Testament prophets didn't say "Brothers I want a consensus". As socialist govts moved to the left. There has always been a libertarian strand within Conservatism. generally accepted the measures of Labour govts. Keith Joseph (1975). As a result Conservative Govts rejected true conservative principles. eg Pym. Thatcher rejected consensus . Gilmour argue the NR is a break with conservative tradition in terms of:  its ideas. 'it was only in April 1974 that I was converted to Conservatism. Keith Joseph argued that post-war Cons govts. particularly those associated with the liberal strand eg Friedman 'Thatcher is not in terms of belief a Tory. Thatcher also said that her wish was to 'kill off socialism'. so did the middle ground and also the conservatives. ‘there is much in British Social Democracy which is admirable and which Conservatives can accept’.Is the New Right a break with Conservative tradition?  Traditional conservatives (Wets). This can contrasted with Gilmour’s view in his book Inside Right that. If you believe it too. [52] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . I had thought I was a Conservative but I now see I was not really one at all'. They said "This is my faith. in the interest of promoting stability and continuity.what I passionately believe.. Walker. then come with me"' (Thatcher).. She is a 19th century liberal'  its dogmatic/ideological approach. Thatcher’s approach seen by many as dogmatic and thus in complete contrast to the traditional pragmatic approach.

Conservatism under Cameron  After 2005 General election. This acceptance of the importance of society has clear links with One nation Conservatism. Cameron has said mending Britain's "broken society" is the biggest challenge facing the UK. Cameron outlined his aims and values . Cameron has however shown a Thatcherite distrust of greater state intervention . ’83 and ’87). the Conservatives had suffered 3 election defeats in a row – by 2009 the Conservative Party will have been in opposition for 12 years. Tax cuts were an important aspect of Thatcherite economic policy. the Labour Party began a fundamental re-think. eg:  Cameron says he will put economic stability before tax cuts. Cameron describes himself as a ‘modern compassionate conservative’. (ii) strong society. in his policy statement ‘Our Society. In Feb 2006. wealth and opportunity. Voluntary organisations will play a greater role (eg state schools judged by Ofsted to be "failing" should be freed from local authority control and run by charities and parents) and generally schools and hospitals will be given greater freedom from central government. Cameron rejected the Thatcherite view there is no such thing as society. where thriving firms create jobs.  [53] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . After losing 3 elections in a row (’79. eg the Social Justice Policy Group chaired by Iain Duncan Smith. This support for a free market has an obvious Thatcherite theme. However there are aspects of his views on the economy which are much closer to One Nation (and New labour views). its longest uninterrupted period out of office since 1832.  Agreeing to match Labour’s massive spending on education and health and dropping policies such as support for the Patient’s Charter and expansion of grammar schools.To improve the quality of life for everyone through a: (i) dynamic economy (ii) strong society (iii) sustainable environment (i) dynamic economy.public services will be guaranteed by the state. After becoming leader Cameron set up a number of policy groups. not necessarily run by the state. Your Life’. the Conservatives have been doing something similar.

eg re-introducing the marriage tax allowance which was abolished in 1999  dealing with anti-social behaviour/crime.  Norman Tebbit has likened Cameron to Pol Pot "intent on purging even the memory of Thatcherism before building a New Modern Compassionate Green Globally Aware Party”.  David Cameron has been criticised for failing to map out a clear set of policies for the new Conservative Party. Although being tough on crime is important for Cameron. eg the Quality of Life policy group’s report was around 550 pages. Go Green. Eg:  Peter Hitchens (right wing journalist) . Although Cameron’s Built to Last policy document was supported by 93 % of the party memers. showing he believes in little and is driven by no coherent ideology. many of the reports were so detailed. eg scout troops and youth clubs are important.saying only what people want to hear and turning their respective colour.Mending Britain's "broken society would involve:  the promotion of marriage."Cameron has abandoned the last significant difference between his party and the established left". Cameron introduced the slogan – Vote Blue. that the leadership could choose policies it liked and drop others. Stable family background and voluntary groups. Some on the right have criticised Cameron. not the rich’. only 27% of the membership voted. he has suggested that sometimes offenders need ‘sympathy as well as punishment’ – this led the ‘hug a hoodie’ quote in the press. Some people do see Cameron’s view having an ideological consistency. by making public services Britain's priority. Eg. eg Cameron came out in support of increased taxes on short-haul flights but rejected paying to park at out-of-town supermarkets. eg Richard Kelly argues that Cameron have come up with a new third way – this seeks to reconcile conservative ideals (both One Nation and Thatcherite) with the effects of New Labour. (iii) sustainable environment This not an area traditionally associated with conservatives. ie only a fifth actively supported him. Tebbit also argues that Conservative Party members are still Thatcherite. By its nature this approach has an element of pragmatism – a key element of One Nation Conservatism [54] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Opponents claim that is a weakness. According to Cameron ‘The right test for our policies is how they help the most disadvantaged in society. The Labour Party characterised Cameron as Dave the Chameleon .

To what extents do traditional conservatives and the New Right differ in their views of society? (Jan 10) 2.’ Discuss (Jan 10) 2. ‘Conservatives favour pragmatism over principle. Distinguish between the liberal New Right and the conservative New Right. How have conservatives justified private property? (Jun04) 8. Why have conservatives often feared cultural diversity and pluralism? (Jan 07) 13. Why do conservatives believe that human nature is imperfect? (Jan 04) 7. To what extent do conservatives supported tradition and continuity? (June 10) Old A2 CONSERVATISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. (June 03) 5. do conservatives value tradition? (Jun 02) 3. and to what extent. Why. Why has the New Right advocated rolling back the state? (June 03) 6. Why do traditional conservatives and the New Right disagree in their view of the individual? (June 06) 12. Why have conservatives feared moral and cultural diversity? (Jan 03) 4. [55] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . On what grounds have conservatives supported authority? (Jan 05) 9. How do traditional conservatives and the New Right differ in their views of society? (Jan 02) 2.NEW A2 CONSERVATISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. How have conservatives justified private property? (June 10) Essays 1. In what sense is conservatism a philosophy of human imperfection? (Jan 06) 11. Distinguish between a socialist and a conservative view of human nature. Distinguish between a traditional conservative and a New Right view of society? (Jun 05) 10. How and why have conservatives and liberals disagreed over authority? (Jan 07) 14.

Why have conservatives been concerned about moral and cultural diversity? (Jan 09) 19. have conservatives been committed to tradition and continuity? (June 05) 9. have conservatives supported 'One Nation' principles? (Jan 05) 8. Why.(June 07) 15. Has conservatism been more concerned with social stability than with economic freedom? (June 03) 5. Why. (June 06) 11. Distinguish between a socialist and a conservative view of human nature. How do the New Right and traditional conservative views of society differ? (June 09) Essays 1. and to what extent. To what extent are there tensions within conservatism over its support for the individual and its commitment to community? (Jan 07) 12. To what extent is conservatism a philosophy of human imperfection? (Jan 02) 2. have conservatives objected to social equality? (Jun 08) 18. ‘Conservatism is merely ruling class ideology. 'Conservatism has always been characterised by tension between paternalism and libertarianism. How. To what extent have conservatives preferred pragmatism to principle? (Jan 04) 6. and why. and discuss the extent to which this remains true. On what grounds have conservatives defended private property? (Jan 08) 17. Why. have conservatives placed faith in pragmatism rather than principle? (June 07) [56] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . ‘Conservatism is defined by its defence of tradition and continuity.’ Discuss. and to what extent. and to what extent. To what extent is there continuity between traditional conservatism and the New Right? (Jan 06) 10. To what extent is there tension in conservatism between its commitment to the individual and its support for community? (Jun 02) 3. ' Discuss.’ Explain. (Jan 03) 4. (Jun 04) 7. (June 07) 16.

Why.’ Discuss. and to what extent. ‘Conservatism is a philosophy of human imperfection. and to what extent do they continue to do so? (June 08) 15. have conservatives supported One Nation principles? (June 09) [57] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Why have conservatives supported tradition and continuity. To what extent have conservatives supported ‘free market’ capitalism? (Jan 08) 14. (Jan 09) 16.13.

state collectivisation. interventionism as means of social change/reform).  collectivism in practice (statism.  cooperation (moral and economic benefits).  historical materialism ('base/superstructure'.  20th-century communism (vanguard party. Roads to socialism  revolutionary socialism (theory of class state. economic management welfarism). Summary of Key Themes Collectivism  social basis of human nature (common humanity). utopianism.  dialectical change (internal contradictions in society. rejection of bourgeois parliamentarianism).  revolution as modernisation project (pre-democratic origins.  liberal equality vs socialist equality (liberal critique of socialist view.  evolutionary socialism (state neutrality. social equality)  divisions over desirable extent of equality (absolute vs relative social equality. corruption of power/bourgeois state. abolition of private property/capitalism.  transition from capitalism to communism (dictatorship of proletariat. common ownership vs redistribution). 'catch-all' socialist parties.  arguments in favour of social equality (social stability and cohesion: social justice. Equality  Socialist view of equality (equality of outcome/reward. 'withering away' of state). socialism and democracy (the inevitability of gradualism). collectivism vs individualism. scientific theory of history/society). surplus value. central planning). [58] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .  implications of revolutionary 'road' (violence/force as a political means. happiness and personal development).SOCIALISM 1.  collapse of capitalism (proletarian revolution). Fundamentalist socialism Marxist/communist analysis. common ownership. links to underdevelopment. historical inevitability).  stages of history. socialist critique of liberal view).  nature of communism (politics of ownership. modernisation 'from above').  'nurture' emphasised over 'nature' (implications for person/social development. class consciousness). etc). etc). etc).  implications of 'ballot-box' socialism (electoratism.  class analysis (class conflict as motor of history. absolute equality).

'collapse' of traditional social democracy in the UK and elsewhere). Neo-revisionist social democracy  retreat from social democracy (globalization and end of national Keynesianism. liberal communitarianism). rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 'humanise' capitalism. Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:  Nature and implications of collectivism  Socialist view of equality and contrasts between socialism and liberalism over equality  Socialist view of human nature.17) Conservatism:  human nature (conservative and socialist views of human nature: page 3839) Anarchism:  anarchism and Marxism (views on revolution.  Keynesian social democracy (politics of social justice.  Third Way (rejection of 'top-down' socialism/social democracy and market fundamentalism.  neo-revisionism and socialism (modernised social democracy or postsocialism?). shrinking working class.Revisionist socialism  revisionist Marxism (failure of Marx's predictions. contrasts between socialist and conservative views of human nature  Socialist support for common ownership and extent to which this defines socialism  Distinctive theories and ideas of fundamentalist socialism  Distinctive theories and ideas of revisionist socialism  Similarities and difference between revolutionary and reformist socialism  Similarities and difference between fundamentalist and revisionist socialism  Nature of social democracy and coherence of 'new' social democracy/Third Way Information needed from other ideologies includes: Liberalism:  equality (liberal criticism of socialist view of equality. Keynesian economic management. mixed economy.  anarcho-communism (links with Marxism: pages 99) [59] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Croslandism). resilience of capitalism). highlighted during recession of 1970s.  social democratic compromise (tension between equality and efficiency.  ethical socialism (absence of theoretical 'baggage'). welfare state and redistributive mechanism. socialist criticism of liberal view of equality: pages 16 . withering away of the state: page 96). collapse of communism).

eg Marx analysed capitalism and came to the conclusion revolution was inevitable. all forms of socialism have three basic components:  a CRITIQUE (critical analysis) of capitalism   theory of TRANSITION an ALTERNATIVE to free market capitalism  a CRITIQUE (critical analysis) of capitalism All socialists are critical of capitalism to some degree. Introduction Although socialist ideas can be traced back to Plato and early Christian ideas. It. Socialism can thus be seen as an ideology of optimism.. therefore. limited nationalisation etc [60] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Socialism can be seen as the ideology of the new urban working class who were facing enormous deprivation and exploitation. social democrats) are less critical of capitalism. Your critique of capitalism influences both your theory of TRANSITION and your view of an ALTERNATIVE society.  theory of TRANSITION This is usually referred to as MEANS – how do get from capitalism to your alternative society? Your means are influence by your analysis of capitalism.g. Marxists and anarcho-communists) view capitalism as a deeply flawed system. eg support for Keynesianism. This is usually referred to as ENDS – what is your alternative society like? Fundamentalist socialists (e.  an ALTERNATIVE Socialists believe that it is possible to create a society which is superior to capitalism. socialism is seen as a product of the modern world. Revisionist socialists (e. needs to be abolished and replaced with a society based on common ownership.g. The earliest know use of the term is in 1827 issue of the Co-operative Magazine.. The emergence of socialism is associated with the growth of industrial capitalism in the 19th century. it focuses creating a better society – more humane and fulfilling. However. it can be reformed rather than abolished. Since capitalism is not fundamentally flawed.2. Since the 19th socialism has developed into the broadest of all ideologies. introduction of a minimum wage. Socialism involves a reaction against this suffering and involves proposing a radical alternative.

Overview of Socialism Critique Revolution Parliamentary Road Theorists/Ideas: Theory of Transition (MEANS) Theorists/Ideas: Practice: Aim: Aim: Alternative Society (ENDS) Theorists: Ideas/Theories: Practice: Practice: ominant/traditional strands within socialism [61] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 Less important strands within socialism .3.

 A socialist critique of capitalism is based on: (i) the inequality associated with capitalism (ii) attitudes created by capitalism (iii) inefficiency associated with capitalism (i) the inequality associated with capitalism Capitalism is seen as fundamentally unequal. [62] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . it concentrates wealth and power in the hands of the few. eg William Morris the automation associated with the development of capitalism has turned workers into mindless factory workers. not only is socialism desirable but it is inevitable. This encourages greed and selfishness which stifles the true human traits of sociability and co-operation. Critique of Capitalism  Ethical socialism puts forward a moral critique of capitalism which tends to focus a positive view of human nature which implies a superior alternative is possible. the top 1% of the population owns 23% of the wealth. the bottom 50% owned 5% of the wealth For socialist much of this inequality results from exploitation. Ideas such as formal equality. in particular. eg a worker works for 10 hours. (see section on equality on page ) (ii) attitudes created by capitalism Marx argued that under capitalism workers become mere commodities who are forced to be self interested and are therefore alienated from their fellow human beings. This inequality also has a negative impact on the quality of the life of most people. According to Marx. In 6 hours they produce goods whose value is equal to the wages they earn that day. Marx looked for historical patterns of development and used these to understand and comment on the capitalist system. Scientific socialism undertakes a scientific analysis of historical and social development. focus on the booms and slumps associated capitalism. Marx predicted that these fundamental flaws (internal contradictions) within capitalism would cause the system to destroy itself. eg UK. this surplus value is taken by the capitalist. (iii) inefficiency associated with capitalism Fundamentalist socialists. Workers are paid less than the value their labour generates. For some. Workers have to sell their labour in order to survive. eg the unemployment associated with capitalism is an inefficient use of resources. the amount produced in the next 4 hours is ‘taken’ by the capitalist. Personal gain/profit. Capitalism internal contradictions mean it will be replaced by communism. is the driving force behind capitalism . equality of opportunity and freedom are thus meaningless for the majority.4. ie socialism should replace capitalism.under capitalism success is measured purely in material terms.

In the 19th century the mass unemployment. Marxist argue the proletariat develop a 'self-consciousness' . the area where there has been the greatest support revolutionary socialism in the 20th century. Revolution has been supported for a variety of reasons:  Massive inequality and exploitation  no other means of bring about change. it is easier to start from scratch and build a new society. It can be argued that these conditions still exists in the developing world.  nature of the state  Massive inequality and exploitation create the conditions necessary for revolution.ie an understanding of the reality of the capitalist system. eg after the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia in 1975 they began again with Year Zero In practice. [63] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Revolutionary socialism is associated with support for fundamentalist socialism. They eventually see that there is a limit to what they can achieve. Most socialists wanted to abolish capitalism (ie they had the same ends). poverty etc associated with capitalism meant the working class were ready for revolution. the focus was on how to move from capitalism to alternative (ie the means of achieving socialism). (a) Revolutionary socialism This is particularly associated with Marxism. During the 20th century the ‘parliamentary road’ came to dominate in the West. This involved either the revolutionary road (revolutionary socialism) or the parliamentary road (evolutionary socialism) For much of the 19th century revolutionary ideas dominated. This led to a change in focus. most successful revolutionary socialists have followed the Soviet model of collectivisation. Socialism will come about as a result of a revolution.5. and the only way forward is a revolution. Because the existing social structure is being overturned. Theory of Transition (Means) In the late 19th century. However. ie abolishing capitalism. and they take action such as forming trade unions to better wages and conditions. The working class would become a revolutionary force and there would be a spontaneous revolution. from means to ends. debates within socialism tended to focus on means rather than ends. rising living standards in Europe in the late 19th century have weakened the support for revolution.

For some this created long term instability. eg:  revolutionary socialists use force/violence to achieve their aims and are prepared to use it to maintain their position. no other means of bring about change.  the nature of the state. 'The state is but the executive committee of the whole bourgeoisie. This was due to several factors. However the revolutionary road faced difficulties  the impact of rising living standards and the spread of democracy  systems associated achieved through revolution have been associated dictatorship and oppression which results in long term instability. [64] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . True socialism cannot be introduced from within the system. This has resulted in systems being based on repression rather than popular support.Communist Manifesto. However. 20th century revolutionary socialists had to deal with similar problems in the developing world. Even where systems had become more democratic the right to vote had usually only been extended to property owners (ie middle class). many societies were autocratic monarchies.' . the 20th century has seen a mass extension of the franchise – universal adult suffrage is now common. the working class were thus excluded from political life. Colonial powers tended to control the political system and did not want to give up their territories. In the 19th century. eg rapid collapse of communists regimes in E. these regimes did not respond to popular demands as result when ‘cracks’ have appeared the systems have collapse quickly. Europe after 1989. For revolutionary socialists the state is seen as working in the interests of the ruling class.  most revolutionary parties are run along military line and thus tend to be associated with strong leadership and strict discipline.

The Fabians believed gradual reform using constitutional methods would lead to socialism without the upheavals associated with revolution. It believes in 'socialism through the ballot box'. B. ie the working class  The working class would see that their best interests would be looked after by socialist parties. The Fabian Society attracted liberal intellectuals. The inevitability of gradualism approach is based on the following ideas:  The extension of the franchise would lead to universal adult suffrage. who was associated with a cautious approach to military tactics. Wells. For example. reformist or parliamentary or democratic socialism). This along with ‘one person one vote’ would result in political equality. these ideas became more important. At the end of the 19th century. G.  the extension of the franchise and the growth of mass membership socialist parties meant the parliamentary road was a possibility. Shaw. Also class system was becoming more complex and there was no polarisation between a small wealthy bourgeoisie and a large impoverished/exploited proletariat which Marx had predicted in his ideas on revolution. These socialist parties would be guaranteed electoral success. This work had a huge impact on European socialism. the parliamentary road was taken on board by the Fabian Society which was formed in 1844. Fabians took their name from a Roman general Fabius.(b) Evolutionary socialism  This is sometimes called. This became associated with the inevitability of gradualism. H.  This political equality would put power into the hands of the biggest group in society. [65] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . the German socialist Eduard Bernstein had close links with Fabians in the UK. Fabians believed in a gradualist non-revolutionary approach They believed socialism would develop naturally and peacefully out of capitalism.  These ideas also had an impact in continental Europe. he set out a revisionist critique of Marxism. In Evolutionary Socialism (1899).  In the UK. This was because:  revolution in the west seemed less likely due to rising living standards among the working class.This rejected the Marxist view that capitalism was going to collapse. eg Sydney & Beatrice Webb. G.  The inevitability of gradualism? This is the belief that the success of socialism is inevitable.

eg approx one-third of the working class tend to vote conservative in the UK) - socialist parties having to revise their policies to take account of this NB: Marxists argue that bourgeois ideology (ideas and theories which disguise the contradictions of capitalism) permeates through society. They would achieve things such as better working conditions and believe that this was true socialism. Marcuse (One Dimensional Man). Lenin thought the working class would develop a 'sub-socialist trade union consciousness'. The Fabians also believed elite groups. eg civil servants could be converted to socialism through education. eg grants to go to university). Why has gradualism/evolutionary socialism failed?  The working class no longer constitute the majority of the electorate.the working class to become supportive of capitalism. Once in power these socialist governments would be able to carry out the reforms necessary to bring about socialism. As a result a more affluent working class exists. This process would be inevitable because once started the working class realise that they benefit from reforms and would not elect a govt opposed to them. one-third society’ Galbraith (The Culture of Contentment) argued we now have a contented majority who are not likely to vote for traditional socialist policies (even if they or their parents benefited from them earlier in their lives.  Capitalism and rising living standards Capitalism has been able to produce economic growth and increased living standards. argued that consumerism had turned people into unquestioning and unthinking consumers. (Some have questioned whether the working class is socialist at heart. We now have a ‘two-thirds. This results in a watering down of socialist principles. NB: Marx also believed in the inevitable success of socialism – but this was a revolutionary process driven by historical materialism. This has led to: . [66] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Socialist parties thus have to appeal to a wider sector of the electorate and/or consider coalition with ‘middle class parties. for example.

the parliamentary road can therefore never succeed. critics argue they would be prevented from achieving any meaningful socialist reforms. Elements of capitalism would still be found within the system. People such as Miliband believe the important personnel in state institutions (civil service. been successful. in some respects.  Fundamentalist socialists believe this requires the abolition of capitalism and its replacement with a totally different system. The aim is to get a balance between the efficiency of the market and socialist values. each outlook is associated with different vision of what is possible in politics. generally equate socialism with common ownership of some form. A naive view of the state Even if socialist parties were able to win power. military. courts etc) have the same background as people running big business and are therefore likely to side with to prevent radical reform. 6. it contents itself with ruling the government’ NB: some have argued that gradualism has. Fundamentalist socialists. (c) Common ownership (d) Equality of Outcome (e) Class Politics (a) a positive view of human nature All ideologies are underpinned by a view of human nature.  Revisionist socialists believe a better society can be achieved by reforming capitalism not to abolishing it. Debates on human nature have tended to focus on:  Nature vs Nurture  Instinct vs Reason  Competition vs Co-operation [67] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . such as Marxists and communists. Socialist alternatives are associated with the following views and ideas: (a) A positive view of human nature (b) Collectivism. Alternative (Ends) Socialists believe a better society is possible. The state is the tool of the ruling class. The development of a welfare state and a redistributive tax system could be seen to reflect the success of gradualist socialism. Kautsky – ‘the capitalist class rules but it does not govern.

Capitalism internal contradictions mean it will be replaced by communism. Is human nature:  fixed by genetic/biological factors (formed by nature). This is most obvious within Marxism. If humans have the capacity to understand their world they have the ability to improve/reform it. Human behaviour tells us more about more about the society in which people live than any unalterable human traits. He looked for historical patterns of development and used these to understand and comment on the capitalist system. It follows that the creation of a better economic and social environment will result in a better society. When human nature is fixed the possibility for progress is limited. Ideologies that stress nurture. According to Marx. not only is socialism desirable but it is inevitable. influences human actions. SOCIALIST VIEW Socialists believe that human nature is not ‘fixed’ but is ‘plastic’ – it is moulded by social circumstances. This has led socialists to put forward utopian visions of a better society. [68] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . or  moulded by social environment and experience (result of nurture). eg socialism and anarchism are much more optimistic about what is possible in politics. Rationalism often underpins radical ideologies. Evils such as poverty and exploitation can be overcome because their origins are social not biological CONSERVATIVE VIEW Nature vs Nurture Instinct vs Reason Socialism is based on rationalism.COMMENT The ‘nurture/nature’ debate is at the core of many arguments on human nature. as opposed to impulse or instinct. Marx developed the idea of scientific socialism. This debates focuses on the degree to which rational thought and analysis.

COMMENT This centres around whether people are self-centred and egoistical or sociable and cooperative. If are sociable and cooperative. Cooperation has both moral and social benefits (see then next section on collectivism) CONSERVATIVE VIEW Competition vs Co-operation [69] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Selfishness and greed are not natural traits but are encouraged within the capitalist system. people can be motivated by altruism and a sense of social responsibility (a moral incentive to work for the common good) not merely by material incentives (which underpin capitalism) Fundamentalist socialists tend to put more faith in moral incentives than revisionist socialists. SOCIALIST VIEW Humans beings are seen as social animals – we identify with other human beings and are bound together by a collective identity. People. Revisionist socialists try to achieve a balance between moral incentives and material incentives (which are needed to generate economic growth). These different viewpoints result in different view of social and economic organisation. thus have the capacity to live peacefully and co-operatively with each other.

gender. Marx envisaged a society based on the principle of ‘from each according to their ability to each according to their needs. nation or race) is vitally important in any analysis of society.(b) Collectivism  Collectivism is the belief that collective human action (co-operation) is morally and practically superior to individual self-striving (competition between individuals).  Socialist collectivism is linked to the belief that human beings are social animals – we identify with other human beings and are bound together by a collective identity.  Economic arguments focus on the benefits of collective effort as opposed to wasteful competition. encouraging them them to deny their social nature). The group is more important than the individual. (Egoistical individualism focuses too much ownership of material goods as being a measure of well being. eg nationalism. The above views lead to lead to socialists putting forward both moral and economic arguments in favour of collectivism. Collective action is more effective than competition which is inefficient because energy is wasted as people struggle against one another. The group (class. Also Competition pits one individual against another. [70] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . belonging and greater fulfilment – people want to work in order to contribute to the common good. This collective identity creates the basis for collective action.  Moral arguments emphasise the social basis of human nature Co-operation creates a sense of social solidarity. racialism. Because human beings are social creatures co-operation is natural and benefits both the individual and society. For socialists collective identity is based on:  common humanity (humans are bound together by a sense of friendship and fellow feeling [fraternity or comradeship]) or  a belief in social class (working class are bound together by shared experiences). feminism. NB: Although collectivism is mainly associated with socialism. other forms can be found in other ideologies.

This is based on the sociability and co-operation of people. eg collectivist anarchists believe that natural order will emerge in the absence of the state.Examples of collectivism in practice: The importance collective interests of society and can be seen in:  social welfare provision  support for trade unionism  common ownership. Collectivism and the State Collectivism is often linked to the state – it is usually seen as the best agency through which collective action can be organised. Collectivism and Individualism Individualism is the belief in the supreme importance of the individual over any collective group or body. eg NB: not all forms of collectivism see the state as important. (See Liberalism notes for more detail on individualism) [71] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Individualism is thus usually seen as the opposite of collectivism.

Egotistical individualism is associated with a minimal state. eg factories machinery. not used in the production process. collectivism can be seen as compatible with individualism This is one of the reasons modem liberals support some state intervention.Critics of collectivism focus on:  the way it restricts individuality/diversity due to its focus on common social identity and shared interests. Thus. Although support for common ownership is a feature of socialism. (c) Common ownership Private property = the means of production (goods used in the production and distribution process.  the restriction of freedom associated with greater state intervention. eg New Labour have moved away from support for common ownership. Although common ownership can involve the setting up of workers co-operatives. eg by providing education or a welfare state. if the state helps individual self development. in most cases. common ownership has meant state ownership (collectivisation or nationalisation). Individualism is often associated with attempts to 'roll back' the state. eg TVs. there are a variety of views. For some socialists. eg:  Marxist commitment to the abolition of private property and the establishment of a classless communist society. eg removal of clause 4 to a greater acceptance of free markets. Egotistical individualism stresses emphasises self-interest and self-reliance – individuals know what is best for them. Developmental individualism is linked to human flourishing and the realisation of individual potential. NB: in practice in Communist states this became collectivisation  Social democracy is associated with a support for a mixed economy – a free market system and limited nationalisation of strategic industries (commanding heights of the economy) Neo – revisionists. the common ownership of the means of production is necessary for true socialism to exist. shops etc) Private possessions = our own goods. eg support for privatisation and globalisation  [72] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Collectivism is commonly associated with 'rolling forward' the state.

Reasons for support of common ownership include:  inequality in society can be traced back to ownership of private property. Although support for equality of outcome is a common theme within socialism there are debates about its nature:  Marxist believe in absolute social equality (achieved by abolition of private property)  Social democracy believe in relative equality. eg between workers and owners  the ownership of private property encourages people to be too materialistic – human fulfilment is not just about material wealth. (d) Equality of outcome There are different ways of looking at equality:  Foundational equality  Formal equality  Equality of opportunity  Equality of outcome Socialism is characterised by support for equality of outcome (or social equality or material equality). [73] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . ie reducing the degree of inequality (achieved by redistribution using a welfare state and a progressive tax system)  New Labour revisionists have tended to focus more on equality of opportunity.it is what distinguishes it from other mainstream ideologies. For many people this is the defining feature of socialism .  ownership of private property is a source of conflict in society. If you want to deal with inequality (because it is based on exploitation and limits freedom) you need common ownership.

Social democracy is associated with narrowing of divisions between the middle class and the working class brought about through economic and social intervention.   without equality of outcome other forms of equality are meaningless.Why do liberals criticise socialist support for equality of outcome?  equality of opportunity is socially just. eg for Marxists historical change results from class conflict. this leads to economic growth and development. [74] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Socialists use social class as an analytical tool. ability and effort. This leads to improvement in living conditions of the working class and creates greater class harmony. All forms of socialism are characterised by the desire to reduce or overthrow class divisions. class divisions are linked to economic power – a division exists between those who own the means of production (bourgeoisie) and those who survive by selling their labour power (proletariat) Non-Marxist definitions of class are usually based on income and status differences between occupational groups. For Marxists.  equality of outcome is necessary for true freedom to exist (e) Class Politics Socialist see social class (a group of people facing a similar social and economic situation) as the most important of all divisions within society. ability and effort. The resulting inequality of outcome is a reflection of an unequal distribution of talent. This infringes on freedom and choice.  material inequality acts as an incentive. For Marxists.  equality of outcome can only be achieved with greater state intervention. Classes are the driving force of economic and social change. the overthrow of capitalism via a proletarian revolution will lead to the creation of a classless communist society. Why do socialist support equality of outcome?  it strengthens social cohesion/stability and a sense of community it is socially just – inequality tends to result from unequal treatment within society rather than an unequal distribution of talent.

a new thesis and antithesis . Dialectic  Marx claimed to have identified a general pattern (or mechanism) of change. with the evils (class division. Utopias are dismissed as impossible form of society based on unrealistic ideas.7. Change is dialectical – the result of a process of interaction between competing forces. or an ideal type against which to measure existing society. History is driven by a dialectic process – contradictions within each mode of production (economic system) are reflected in class conflict. Utopianism Relates to theorising about an ideal society.a synthesis. [75] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . MARXISM Introduction At the core of Marxism is a view of history that explains why capitalism is doomed and why a classless communist society is inevitable. In Utopia (1516). Eventually this synthesis breaks down into its opposites . Eventually the internal contradictions (which take the form of class conflict) created by these opposing forces will intensify until a breaking point is reached and a radical transformation takes place . Marx called other socialists utopian. Conservatives see all socialism as utopian. This position is based on historical materialism – the belief that economic factors are the driving force behind human history. Marx used the term utopian socialist to criticise all no scientific socialists. poverty. He contrasted an imaginary island based on economic equality and everyone working for common good. In modern world this has become dominant way of viewing Utopianism  positively. Utopianism has been viewed in two ways:  pejoratively (negatively). crime etc) of society based on property ownership. Thomas More wrote of a place which was both good and nowhere.and so on. This approach allowed Marx to present his socialism as scientific socialism. Utopias. are a goal to try and aim for. All societies contain two opposing forces – a thesis and an antithesis. even though they may be unachievable they.

In reviewing history Marx distinguished between 5 modes of production (economic arrangements of a society). it is possible for classes to emerge. Wealth. One class (majority) does productive work and is exploited. eg ethnic or religious. primitive communism (or tribal society)  slave society  feudalism  capitalism  communism Eg. ‘The ideas of the ruling class are the ruling ideas in every epoch' . ideas of hierarchy under feudalism and free market economics under capitalism.' (The Communist Manifesto) Marxists claim they do not create class struggle . which will result in a classless society. Feudalism then broke down into opposing forces (lords and serfs). The end of history would occur when a classless communist society existed – in this case there would be no class conflict. feudalism emerged from breakdown of slave societies.eg. out of this struggle capitalism emerged. All non-communist societies are class societies. It can only be solved under the final mode of production. Marx explains his dialectic process in terms of economic (or material) factors. The state. Conflict is inherent in the class system and cannot be solved within that system. [76] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Human history thus involves a continual struggle between the exploited and the exploiter.they merely show its existence. From this a new synthesis will be formed .  Economic relations shape all other aspects of the society (the superstructure). while a minority class rules and seizes the surplus produced. communism. The 'superstructure' of ideas and social institutions support the economic base. Marx argued each new form of society is superior to the previous one. 'The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. They recognise other kinds of conflict. laws and religion come to reflect and justify the basic class relations that exist.communism. Class  When a society is able to produce more than the minimum needed for survival. However. This broke down into two opposites (bourgeoisie & proletariat). political power and status all flow from the class structure. but these conflicts are based on class conflict.

[77] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . NB: This is different from the exploitation found in other modes of production.  Bourgeoisie: derive their class position from ownership the means of production (machines. there's a tendency for wages to stick at a general subsistence level. The state is the tool of the ruling class.  The bourgeoisie and proletariat are:  dependent on each other for their existence. They have to sell their labour-power to survive . Marx recognises there are other classes.' He used his ideas:  show what is wrong with capitalism  to explain why capitalism is doomed and communism is inevitable (ii) Classes Under Capitalism: Two key classes exist: bourgeoisie (capitalists) and the proletariat (working class or landless wage labourers). but this is the fundamental class division. The capitalist pockets the difference between the value of labour and the value of the product (surplus value). Proletariat: Under capitalism workers are landless. while the capitalist (though needing workers) can employ or sack any individual he/she chooses. Marxist Account of the Capitalism (i) Introduction In Capital. However. eg under feudalism physical force was often used. It may seem workers get their 'just reward' under capitalism . this is never a free and equal contest . 'The state is but the executive committee of the whole bourgeoisie. and to bargain for a wage. Unless there is a temporary skills shortage.exploitation continues because the individual worker must work to survive.' (Communist Manifesto) This means that any attempt to achieve socialism via the parliamentary road is bound to fail.  but are also antagonistic towards each other because the existence of the bourgeoisie as a class depends on the exploitation of the proletariat.they become a marketable commodity.they are free to work for whom they like.it is not high income that makes them capitalists. factories etc) . Marx described the proletariat as the ‘grave digger of capitalism’. Marx says his aim is 'to understand the laws of motion of capitalism. This differs from the liberal view of the state – they see the state as neutral.

They eventually see that there is a limit to what they can achieve. and a fall in profit. exploitation etc is created. [78] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . (iv) After the Revolution A 'dictatorship of the proletariat' exists during the transition from capitalism to communism. This involves the creation of a proletarian (workers) state. and the only way forward is a revolution that brings about fundamental social change The working class would become a revolutionary force and there would be a spontaneous revolution. This would guarantee the success of the revolution. unemployment. and they take action such as forming trade unions to better wages and conditions. More machinery leads to increased production. Machinery reduces the proportion of the working day which is taken up paying for labour (necessary labour time).ie an understanding of the reality of the capitalist system. After this period class tensions will lessen and the state will wither away .  Law of Increasing Misery More machinery and the concentration of capital leads to unemployment 'a reserve army of labour' subject to misery. It is needed to prevent a counter revolution by the defeated bourgeoisie. Marx believed that the revolution would spread to all industrial nations. and less purchasing power – this result gluts. As crises become more frequent the proletariat develop a 'self-consciousness' . crises.(iii) The Laws of Capitalism  Law of Capital Accumulation Competition forces capitalists to use more labour saving machinery in order to increase productivity and hence surplus value. Purchasing power of workers is less than value of their product so a surplus of production exists. During this time state power is wielded in the interests of the working class This is not a dictatorship in normal sense because it involves rule in interests of majority rather than the interest of the minority.  Law of the Concentration of Capital The fall in profits leads to the disappearance of smaller businesses and the emergence of monopolies and cartels. there are no classes to be exploited).this is because the state only exists because an exploiting class exists – (in a classless communist society the state in not needed. oppression. One way of getting rid of this surplus is to find new markets hence the drive to set up colonies.

20th CENTURY COMMUNISM 1. NB: Marx did not considered what would happen if the revolution did not spread and what the dictatorship of the proletariat would be in such a situation. LENIN Leninism .interpretation of Marxism offered by Lenin. In What Is To Be Done (1902).ie working class does not need help to become revolutionary. Lenin's theory of the party had 3 main features which became distinctive of communist parties everywhere:  Support for Marxist ideas   The party was an elite organisation Party was highly centralised organisation run on quasi-military lines [79] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . the working class would develop a 'subsocialist trade union consciousness'. ie a communist state. Lenin thought that. left to their own devices.The resulting communist society would be characterised by:  no state     no class conflict common ownership production according to human need absolute equality People will be fulfilled and experience true freedom which is only possible in a communist society. This is the idea of a Vanguard Party. being surrounded by capitalist countries. stressing the importance of the party in creating a revolutionary working class. Lenin stressed the need for a tightly disciplined elite party of professional revolutionaries to bringing 'socialist consciousness' to the working class. it will happen automatically because of its experiences under capitalism. It was on this basis that Marxists had distinguished their scientific socialism and the inevitability of revolution from utopian socialism. This seemed to go against the views of Marx .'the emancipation of the working class is the work of the working class itself' . They would achieve things such as better working conditions and believe that this was true socialism.

No opposition to these ideas was permitted and private ends were subordinate to the ends of the organisation. Marxism-Leninism became official ideology of the USSR and all other communist regimes (although there were national variations. This type of organisation is usually referred as Democratic Centralism. in Lenin's theory. It is responsible for the development of every institution in which political influence may arise. and finally a single dictator substitutes himself for the central committee'. in Our Political Tasks (1904). the party is the vanguard of the proletariat.the organisation works in the interests of the people of the internal democracy in the party. from the school to the work place.  Party was an elite organisation never designed to be based on mass membership. The centralism refers to the concentration of all power in the central party organisation. then the central committee substitutes itself for the organisation. This centralism is democratic because: . He predicted it would lead to the establishment of a dictatorship.  Party was highly centralised organisation run on quasi-military lines subjecting rank and file members to strict discipline and leaders to a hierarchical chain of authority from the top down. Support for Marxist ideas.  Rosa Luxemburg attacked Lenin's idea on the vanguard party because she believed in the revolutionary instincts of the masses. and from the family to the police. the party has the right to rule on the behalf of the rest of the workers. 'Lenin's methods lead to this: the party organisation at first substitutes its self for the party as a whole. Each level of members is filled by representatives elected from the level below. Since. eg China). [80] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . attacked Lenin's view of the party. (c) Critics of Lenin  Trotsky.

Fascists. British colonialism. The Highest Form of Capitalism (1916). what he had failed to see was that imperialism would allow this process to be countered. It was an attempted to explain why revolution had not occurred as predicted by Marx. as Marx predicted. the price of land is relatively low. This can take the form of military conquest.In these countries profits are usually high for capital is scarce. for example. wages are low.(d) Imperialism Imperialism . The exploited masses in the colonies were the new proletariat. eg US economic imperialism of the 1960's. there would be a fall in profitability within capitalist countries. Lenin put forward his ideas in. [81] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . or external economic control. eg British colonialism in 19th century. This increased exploitation pushed less advanced countries towards revolution. whereas in advanced countries the working class had been 'bought off'. NB: Lenin's theory is not the only theory of imperialism. non-colonial countries would have to exploit their workers even more.. Colonialism had given the advanced industrialised countries an advantage over noncolonial countries such as Russia. Capitalists used these profits to buy off the domestic working class with a higher standard of living.. explain it in terms of states being organisms . Imperialism. Lenin claimed to have updated Marx with his theory of imperialism.they need to grow and conquest is a sign of national virility etc. but in the 'weakest link' within capitalism. was defended in terms of the 'whiteman's burden' of the civilising the world. As a result of these developments. on the other hand. raw materials are cheap' (Lenin). During the late 19th century the main industrial nations competed to carve up Africa and the rest of the un-colonised world. Lenin argued that this process constituted a higher stage of capitalism which Marx could not have foreseen. In order to compete against the cheap labour and raw materials available to the colonial powers.the expansion of power by a state with the effect that it achieves sovereignty over other states or societies. Although. This was Russia. Capital would be used in the colonies 'for the purpose of increasing profits. the revolution would not take place in the advanced west.

 collectivisation of agriculture. members of the armed forces (75 of 80 members of the Supreme Military Council were executed. Economic change was an immediate priority. managers and those in industry. STALINISM (a) Socialism in One Country Stalin did not believe with Trotsky that Europe was ripe for revolution and the revolution should spread.Lenin's New Economic Policy. 'Socialism in one country' was seen as a narrow and reactionary view.2. Trotsky believed revolution in Russia had been betrayed. In order to succeed. Stalin's aim was to consolidate the revolution in Russia: . In its place Stalin introduced:  full state planning in industry. Stalin squeezing democracy out of the party. This happened rapidly and resulted in up to 10 million people being deported and millions dying as a result of famine. (75% of plant managers were eliminated in the early 1930s. 1929 . (eg. Five Year Plans were introduced. Stalin turned the USSR into a totalitarian dictatorship by. USSR needed to be transformed into an industrial super power. Also all 8 of the navy's admirals were also executed. a series of purges were carried out against.once established Soviet system would become a model for others to follow. main rivals. Stalin termed this the 'great turn'. Areas of success were in heavy industry. Eg.  created a dictatorship in which the democratic element of democratic centralism had been removed [82] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . (b) Totalitarian dictatorship During the 1930s. Kirov was assassinated) (c) Trotsky’s Criticisms of Stalin By late 1920's.). eg 1828-41 steel and coal production increased four times.Russia needed to make itself save from any capitalist attack . A national revolution is only 'a link in the international chain'. eliminated rivals and strengthened his own personal position. Stalin had:  focused on 'socialism in one country' Trotsky believed the revolution must become world-wide. the revolution must spread to the advanced industrial nations. which allowed some private enterprise was abandoned (Lenin had seen this as temporary measure).

The main policies associated with this approach were:  mixed economy  management of the economy based on Keynesian demand management  a comprehensive welfare system funded by a progressive tax system  [83] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . From 1945. For Crosland.it is often said that British socialism owes more to the Methodist church than it does to Marxism. there is no need to abolish it. ie a more equal distribution of wealth.REVISIONIST SOCIALISM 1. He argued capitalism in its 19th century form no longer existed. ie we no longer lived in a free market capitalist economy. Socialism was thus no longer about ownership of the means of production. Clause 4 was therefore no longer relevant. these ideas became the basis of consensus politics.  In the 1950s Crosland gave a theoretical basis for policies associated with Keynesian Social Democracy in his book The Future of Socialism (1956) He wrote. In the UK these ideas became the basis of the post war consensus. 2. eg the govt was able to control the economy using Keynesian demand management policies and a welfare state existed to provide health care. Introduction Most evolutionary socialists are also revisionists. 'I am revising Marxism and will emerge as a modern Bernstein' and 'the means most suitable in one generation may be wholly irrelevant in the next'. ‘Keynesian Social Democracy’ dominated.early 1970s. modern socialism was about promoting social equality. Social Democracy Revisionist ideas have dominated British socialism . The main form of revisionist socialism has been social democracy. This could be achieved through the introduction of a Welfare State (funded by a progressive tax system). ie they believe that it is possible to achieve a socialist society by managing or reforming capitalism. Since the early 1990s further revisionist developments have take place with the development of neo-revisionism or the third way. pensions etc.

 a mixed economy with limited nationalisation (nationalisation focused on the ‘commanding heights of the economy’. the renewal of social democracy. In the UK. coal)  management of the economy based on Keynesian demand management (the government takes an active role in controlling levels of demand. the main academic associated with this movement has been Anthony Giddens. (i) Why was an alternative needed? Huge changes have been taking place and therefore a new approach is needed. Neo-revisionism Since the 1980/90s. eg by spending on projects such as road building in order to keep employment levels high)  a comprehensive welfare system funded by a progressive tax system. a further process of revisionism has taken place. This has been described as neo-revisionism is often described as the Third Way. His book The Third Way is sub-titled. eg rail. This is associated with universal provision (rather than means testing) The ‘Keynesian Social Democratic’ approach involved a very active role for the state and has been associated with phrases such as: . In the UK it has been referred to as Blairism or New Labour. The main changes are:  Globalisation  problems with Keynesian economics  the changing class structure  the collapse of communism [84] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .‘tax and spend’ ‘cradle to the grave welfare system’ - 3.

most people are in white collar jobs. In order to win. Globalisation: the greater integration and interdependence of the world economy. eg should you increase welfare spending at a time of failing tax revenues. This resulted in a loss in faith in a socialist model where the state played a central role. Prosperity. The poor and manual workers are a minority. Recessions in the 1970s and 1980s caused problems. home ownership etc have risen significantly. eg. ie the development of the world into one market place.  the changing class structure: the Labour Party was faced with a decline in their traditional support base Only 20% of workers are in manufacturing. This has increased dramatically in the last 20 years and has affected the ability of national economies to take decisions on their own. Blair argues that increasing the top rate of income tax to 50% would result in the rich moving their resources abroad. The Third Way is modernised social democracy. It puts forward centre-left values using policies that reflect modern circumstances. John Smith called this as a two-thirds/one third society. the party has to appeal to middle England  the collapse of communism. Neo-revisionism is associated with:  a pragmatic approach     a greater acceptance of the market community and responsibility (communitarianism) equality of opportunity & social inclusion rather than equality of outcome consensus view of society [85] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . also the increased spending associated with Keynesian demand management had become associated with inflation (making the UK less competitive) and ‘tax and spend’ (unpopular with voters). This had knock-on effect on the perception of social democracy which was seen as a variant of this form of ‘top-down’ state socialism. For most of the post-war period. (ii) Neo-revisionist Ideas/Views Third Way The third way as is an alternative to Keynesian social democracy (which needs modernising due to the above reasons) and neo-liberalism (Thatcherism in the UK) For supporters. low unemployment and economic growth meant that governments could easily increase welfare provision.  Problems with Keynesian economics.

There is no automatic commitment to either the public sector (associated with Keynesian Social Democracy) or the private sector (associated with the New Right). Blair .‘what matters is what works to give effect to our values. The Third Way is about achieving ‘economic efficiency and social justice’. (eg lower corporation tax encouraging economic efficiency and introducing a minimum wage helping with social justice)  community and responsibility (communitarianism) Communitarianism is a belief in the importance of community (or society) – individuals are shaped by their community and owe a duty to society. New Labour accepts a market economy and many of the inequalities associated with it – inequality acts as an incentive and differences in wealth are often a reflection of hard work/talent. According to Heywood. The number of leagues and teams has decreased massively) and the government should actively get people to join community organisations. ie they have responsibilities. [86] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . for example. New Labour communitarianism. a pragmatic approach The Third Way tends to be pragmatic in terms of methods (or means). In the UK. the modern era has seen the bonds which hold community together weaken. a sense of community is important to the health of society. the Labour Party has generally accepted the privatisation that took place in the 1980s under Thatcher. eg New Labour has developed public-private partnerships in areas such as hospital building and management of failing schools  a greater acceptance of the market This can be seen in the changing of Clause 4 in 1995 – the commitment to common ownership was replaced with support for a dynamic market economy Support for a dynamic market economy shows a greater acceptance of the market. but they goes with family/friends. has distanced itself from the socialist focus on equality and the conservative emphasis on tradition and focused on a modern liberal outlook (liberal communitarianism) which focuses on rights and responsibilities. For New Labour. They have been influenced by work such as Bowling Alone by Robert Putman – he argued that people no longer engaged in their communities (more people go ten-pin bowling in the USA than in the 1950s.

the focus is on providing chances for those excluded from basic minimum opportunities. [87] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . They argue  the state is biased   revisionist policies do not deal with the primary problems. ie a market or competition state. However. People such as Philip Bobbitt argue that globalisation means the end of the traditional social democratic state or welfare state (ie a system where the state takes the main responsibility for providing social welfare) Increased global competition.reliant. Government should focus more on social investment. Fundamentalist socialists disagree with revisionists. Education and training are more important than social security. neo-revisionists reject the neoliberal emphasis on 'standing on your own two feet' and the social-democratic commitment to 'cradle to grave' welfare. This has led to support for a 'workfare state'. equality of opportunity & social inclusion rather than equality of outcome The Third Way is more concerned with providing opportunities for those who are socially excluded rather than equality of outcome. particularly improving the skills and knowledge of the workforce. in which govt support in terms of benefits or education is conditional on individuals seeking work and becoming self. some of its policies are more selective and targeted . In relation to welfare. Problems/Criticisms of Evolutionary Socialism.  consensus view of society Third Way supporters have tended to have a consensus view of society (focusing on the bonds that bind us together) rather than accepting the socialist view of society which focus on class differences and conflict. One consequence of globalisation has been a need to rethink the role of the state. They are associated with the modern liberal approach of helping people to help themselves or what Clinton: described as 'a hand up. means that the main role of the state in now to create a situation where an economy can deal with increased global competition. revisionist reforms become part of the problem. New Labour supports the universal provision of health and education. eg with welfare reform they favour of an essentially modern liberal belief in 'help people to help themselves'. not a hand out'.

 removed any revolutionary instinct in the working class by convincing them that they live in a fair and just society. support for a dynamic market economy). eg rewriting of Clause 4. it is not neutral. extending trade union power. it is no more than a marketing strategy aimed at winning votes in 'middle England'. [88] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Also parties will need to water down their policies in order attract from the middle classes (the working class no long make up the majority of the electorate)  The state will not allow radical reform to take place  Revisionist policies. making it easier to deal with any crises. Oppression and exploitation are the result the capitalism system itself. social democracy (eg support for increased spending on health and education) and modern liberalism communitarianism (eg focus on rights and responsibilities). they become part of the problem. eg setting up a welfare state. This can cause problems implementing policies. Revisionist reforms leave the capitalist system intact. the state is biased Fundamentalist socialists argue the state is biased in favour of the ruling class. Orthodox view – ‘New’ Labour has watered down/rejected so many of the policies/ideas associated with ‘Old’ Labour that they are no longer socialist. Third way ideas are an incoherent mixture of neo-liberalism (eg. do not deal with the primary problems. True socialism can only be achieved by the abolition of private property whioch involves the destruction of the capitalist system. The Third Way has particularly come under attack. eg introduction of a welfare state.  Not only do revisionist reforms not go far enough. This means that:  the parliamentary road is ineffective. Reforms. Neo-revisionism it has no distinctive ideological core. New Labour is seen either as 'Thatcherism mark 2’ or a marketing/election strategy with no distinctive ideological core. Lenin – parliamentary elections do nothing more than decide ‘every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people’. extending the franchise. have:  strengthened capitalism.

However. New Labour has become ‘an increasingly opportunistic and unstable mix of individualism and intervention. Supporters of the above would agree with writers such as Robert Leach claim that the Labour Party has never been a true socialist party. eg Coates argue that there is continuity between ‘New’ Labour and ‘Old’ Labour. Labour Party has always been revisionist – all Labour Governments have been associated with moderate reforms (although in opposition they may make more radical promises).over most of its history’) [89] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . some on the Left. ‘New’ Labour has introduced a minimum wage but supports a ‘dynamic market economy. Eg.Reid and Pelling (A Short History of the Labour Party) argue the Third Way is ‘remarkably fluid’ and lacks a solid ideological basis.’ They also argue that since 2001 General Election there has been a ‘discontinuation of discussions’ on the nature of the Third Way – giving New Labour an ideological/intellectual basis was seen as important early on but after big election victories this is seen as less important.. Leach believes it is the 1983 manifesto that is out of line with the history of the Labour Party (‘Blair’s moderate pragmatic leadership has much in common with past leaders……New Labour is highly consistent with the ideas of Labour . Leach argues that people who say that New Labour has abandoned true socialism often make comparisons between the 1983 manifesto (‘true’ socialism) and the 1997 manifesto (abandonment of true socialism). He described its ideology as labourism because it has sought to improve conditions of organised labour within the system rather than seek to radically transform it. eg after 1945 Labour never pushed on with greater nationalisation.

and to what extent. Using examples. Why. Distinguish between fundamentalist socialism and revisionist socialism. and how have they sought to promote it? (June 05) 14. Distinguish between a socialist and a conservative view of human nature. (Jan 10) OLD A2 SOCIALISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. Why has socialism been viewed as a form of class politics? (June 10) 3. Distinguish between individualism and collectivism.NEW A2 SOCIALISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. Why did Marx believe that a proletarian revolution was inevitable? (Jan 06) 16. Why have liberals criticised the socialist view of equality? (June 06) 17. (Jan 03) 4. ‘Socialism is defined by its opposition to capitalism. Why did Marx predict the ‘withering away’ of the state? (Jan 07) [90] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . (June 06) 18. have socialists supported collectivism? (Jun 02) 3. Why did Marx believe that the state would 'wither away'? (Jan 04) 10. (Jan 05) 13. Why did Marx believe that capitalism was doomed to collapse? (June 10) Essays 1. Why have socialists supported collectivism. (Jan 03) 5. and explain the implications of each for the state. and in what ways. Distinguish between fundamentalist socialism and revisionist socialism. and explain its implications for the state. (Jan 06) 15. have socialists favoured common ownership? (Jan 04) 9. What kind of equality do socialists support. distinguish between individualism and collectivism. Why. How did Lenin's theory of the party revise the ideas of Marx? (June 04) 11. (June 03) 6. and why? (Jan 02) 2. Why have democratic socialists believed in the ‘inevitability of gradualism’? (Jan 10) 2.’ Discuss. Why did Marx proclaim the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat? (June 03) 8. Define collectivism.

To what extent has socialism been defined by its opposition to capitalism? (June 04) 7. and why. How did Lenin’s theory of the party revise the ideas of Marx (June 07) 20. Why did Marx believe that capitalism was doomed to collapse. 'A commitment to equality is the core feature of socialism.' Discuss. 'The history of socialism has been marked by a retreat from traditional principles. (Jan 06) 10. Why did socialists believe in gradualism. have socialists supported the common ownership of wealth? (Jan 07) [91] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Why have socialists criticised the liberal view of equality? (June 09) 26. Explain the main features of Marx’s theory of history. Why have socialists favoured cooperation over competition? (Jan 09) 25. To what extent did 20th century communism depart from the ideas of Marx? (Jan 03) 4. and why have Marxists thought it is necessary? (Jan 08) 23. What is the dictatorship of the proletariat.19. How. To what extent did twentieth-century communism depart from the classical ideas of Marx? (June 06) 11.' Discuss. (June 05) 9. (June 07) 21. and how would this occur? (June 08) 24. Why have Marxists predicted that the state would ‘wither away’? (June 09) Essays 1.’ Discuss. (Jan 02) 2. Why. has collectivism been associated with a wider role for the state? (Jan 08) 22. (Jun 02) 3. and to what extent. 'Socialists have disagreed about both the means and ends of socialism. and why has gradualism failed? (Jan 05) 8. ‘All socialists have supported equality but they have supported different kinds of equality.' Discuss.’ Discuss. ‘Evolutionary and revolutionary socialists disagree about both ends and means. (June 03) 5. (Jan 04) 6. Distinguish between a socialist and a conservative view of human nature.

’ Discuss. ‘Communism and social democracy offer starkly different models of socialism. and what difficulties has revolutionary socialism encountered? (June 09) [92] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Why have some socialists advocated revolution.12. and why did gradualism fail? (Jan 08) 14. Why did democratic socialists believe in the ‘inevitability of gradualism’. ‘A retreat from core values and goals has been a continuing feature of the history of socialism. Is socialism defined by the rejection of private property? (Jan 09) 23. (Jun 08) 15.’ Discuss (June 07) 13.

anarcho-communism versus anarcho-capitalism).  individualist basis for social harmony (individual rationality. privatising the minimal state)  differences between liberalism and anarchism (minimal statism vs statelessness.  anarcho-capitatism (laissez-faire economics taken to its extreme.  spontaneous revolution (popular thirst for freedom/autonomy.  rejection of conventional means of political activism (winning state power is corrupt and corrupting. role of common ownership).  government power cannot be tamed (constitutionalism and consent (liberal democracy)as tools used by ruling class to render masses quiescent). Political practice  Political failure of anarchism. revolutionary justice). Individualist anarchism  Roots in liberal individualism (parallels with classical liberalism. eg. self-regulating markets). constitutional government vs anarchy). perfectibility of human nature). sociability and cooperation.  collectivist basis for spontaneous social harmony (nurture not nature. [93] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Stateless society  utopian themes in anarchism (absolute freedom can co-exist with social order/harmony. political parties).  moral example and graduatism.  direct action. Summary of Key Themes: Anti-statism  moral basis of anarchism (absolute freedom.  egoism (moral autonomy of individual).  rival views of future stateless society (collectivist versus individualist models.  opposition to hierarchical organisation (eg.  state as concentrated evil (absolute corruptibitity of human nature). 'ultraliberalism').  terror/violence ('propaganda of the deed'.ANARCHISM 1. viability?).consistent Manchesterism).  libertarianism (reconciling individualism with natural order . potitical equality.  all states are evil (rejection of the protetarian state). personal autonomy).

 anarcho-communism (parallels with Marxism.  anarcho-syndicalism (revolutionary trade unionism). proletarian dictatorship.  mutualism (possessions as independence from the state. 'ultrasocialism'). vanguardism. rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Likely Questions in the Exam Themes that will provide the basis for questions will include the following:  Anarchist critique of the state  Grounds on which anarchists support a stateless society  The link between anarchism and utopianism  Anarchism as an extreme form of individualism  Anarchism as an extreme form of collectivism  Relationship between anarchism and socialism  Relationship between anarchism and liberalism  Similarities and difference within anarchist ideology  Practical difficulties of achieving anarchism Information needed from other ideologies includes: Liberalism:  classic liberal views on individual (roots of individualist anarchism in classic liberalism: pages 11-12)  power/government (liberal views of the constitutionalism & consent and the state: pages 25-29) Conservatism:  human nature (conservative and anarchist views of human nature: page 3839) Socialism:  communism (links with anarcho-communism: pages 79)  Marxism and revolution (anarchist views on revolution.  differences between anarchism and Marxism (over proletarianism. withering away of the state: page 78-79). [94] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . 'withering away'.Collectivist anarchism  roots in socialist collectivism (human sociability. class system and state as interlocking enemies). mutual aid. fair and equitable exchange).  self-management and decentralisation (direct/participatory democracy). etc).

He contrasted an imaginary island based on economic equality and everyone working for common good. Proudhon. Utopianism relates to theorising about an ideal society. Thomas More wrote of a place which was both good and nowhere. The goals and means associated with Anarchism have led to it being described as Utopian. Bakunin and Kropotkin. The term anarchism is Greek in origin meaning 'without a ruler'. In Utopia (1516). are a goal to try and aim for.to imply chaos resulting from a lack of rule or in a positive way – that rule in not necessary for the preservation of order.society can and should be organised without the need for the state. with the evils (class division. Utopianism has been viewed in two ways:  pejoratively (negatively).  Anarchism can viewed in a negative way . Introduction to Anarchism  Anarchism emerged as a coherent theory around time of French Revolution. state is an unnecessary evil .  When looking at anarchism. crime etc) of society based on property ownership. Utopianism A utopia is an ideal or perfect society.  For Anarchists. 2. The goal of Anarchism is thus the over throw of the state and the removal of political authority The means of achieving their goal involves a rejection of conventional political means (forming political parties. Utopias. [95] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . Utopias are dismissed as impossible form of society based on unrealistic ideas. eg revolution. four major writers tend to dominate: Godwin. ie anarchism is both possible and desirable.1. In modern world this has become the dominant way of viewing Utopianism  positively. or an ideal type against which to measure existing society. even though they may be unachievable they. fighting elections etc) and a belief in alternative methods. poverty.

Elements of Anarchism (a) Human Nature Anarchists generally have a positive view of human nature. they are made what they are by the environment. For European nations the state 'hardly dates from the 16th century'. Change would be gradual. believe that humans are naturally good. He argued science proved evolution was governed not by the survival of the fittest but by solidarity within species. In the right environment they have the potential to be ‘good’. the 'natural order of the market' will result. [96] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . if they are allowed to pursue this within a free market. later generations would have a better understanding of the world. ie successful species are those that work together co-operatively.3. Reason and education play an important role in human development. (b) Anti-Statism Anarchists want a society where individual freedom is at a maximum (same as liberals but not same views on how to achieve it).  Anarcho . Very few anarchists.  destruction of state will not.  Anarchists see state and society as completely separable:  society is a natural formation  the state is artificial and oppressive. The pursuit of self interest will still exist even in an anarchist society. Kropotkin .  Bakunin felt man is ‘born’ a ‘ferocious beast’ but has gradually been ‘humanized’ himself by living in society. Without society man would remain a ferocious beast and would not have developed into a social being.'men have lived in societies for thousands of years before knowing the state'. harm society.  Kropotkin also argued sociability/co-operation is not inherent but evolves He attempted to develop a scientific theory of human nature byre-examining Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. humans are capable of living without imposed authority or coercion ( punishments and rewards are not needed to shape behaviour and rulers are not needed to organise society) Although most anarchists believe human beings are the product of their environment. therefore.capitalists: people are driven by self interest. therefore. in the wrong environment they are likely to be corrupted. there are a range of views on human nature eg:  Godwin: humans are neither born good nor bad.

Why do anarchists reject the state?  Authority limits the freedom of individual by making them conform.anarchists (like liberals) believe the act of governing itself is corrupting (power corrupts. recognise the authority of some experts.dictatorships as well as parliamentary democracies. police. Faure (19th century French anarchist): 'whoever denies authority and fights against it is an anarchist'. family. Without state. anarchists therefore reject authority. absolute power corrupts absolutely). church. NB: Anarchists reject not only the authority of the state but also the authority of other institutions. without it there would be chaos. Anarchists oppose all kinds of states . be he priest or schoolmaster' (Malatesta).  uses 'trick' of convincing people that the state is necessary. prisons. This would be superior to order based on authority (political order) [97] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .  The state corrupts those in positions of authority . Bakunin – even those of the ‘best character’ are inevitably corrupted by the state.  If the state is so repressive. armies etc. The Church and education play an important role. eg doctors. Those who come into government will become exploiters.  Life will be happier and more fulfilling without state. They may however. why does it survive?  use of force. etc. State education is propaganda and indoctrination. The state has ultimate authority the state is most powerful agency which interferes with freedom of individual and reduces liberty. a natural order will develop. The church encourages subservience and submission. State relies on 'the trader in lies.

believe that the ‘natural order of the market’ will prevail. Conservatives believe humans are:  dependent and security seeking. eg Godwin. Tucker. The market is self-regulating.  Collectivist Anarchists focus on the sociability and co-operation of people. Natural order comes ‘from below’ and is result of ‘voluntary and spontaneous action’ by individuals.  intellectually limited (human rationality is unable to fully understand the highly complex world in which we live).  corruptible.‘Genuine Anarchism is consistent Manchesterism’ (Manchesterism refers to the ideas of free market supporters such as Cobden and Bright who wanted to abolish the Corn Laws in 19th century Britain)  Other individualists. 4. Although all Anarchists believe that natural order will emerge in the absence of the state. Conservative views on the need for a strong state. strong law & order etc are based on a pessimistic view of human nature. Anarchism and Other Ideologies (i) Anarchism and Conservatism Conservatives see anarchism as utopian in the sense that removal of the state will result in chaos.Thus when people all follow their own selfinterest you do not get chaos but a self-regulating system Tucker . Through education and enlightenment. eg Warren. have stressed the importance of reason and universal moral laws. Anarchists reject this conservative view of human nature. Human beings according to Kropotkin have evolved natural instincts of cooperation etc and in a free society they will re-emerge. [98] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . people would come to recognise universal truth and act accordingly. they base this on different outlooks and models:  Some individualists. respect for authority. It is controlled by what Adam Smith described as the ‘invisible hand’ (competition and the forces of supply and demand).(c) Natural Order Political order refers to social control that is imposed ‘from above’ and is maintained by a system of law and government.

This self-regulation will not work. [99] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . (see pages 29 – 30). Social contract theory is the basis for the conventional defence of state. Thinkers such as Hobbes and Locke argued the state has arose out of a voluntary agreement (or social contract) made by individuals who realised that a state was needed to protect them – it provides law & order and thus allows individuals to prosper in peace. bi-cameral system (see pages 26 – 28) Anarchists argue these limits are established by the state to provide protection against the state.  However. Liberals see the need for govt but prefer it to be minimal. eg federalism. Even if ‘representatives of the people’ could be elected.(ii) Anarchism and Liberalism Anarchism derives from liberalism and socialism both historically and ideologically. Anarchists reject need for the state – it is an unnecessary evil (see pages 96 – 98 on anti-statism and natural order). they would become corrupted by power. usually expressed through elections.  Liberals believe authority of the state is legitimised by consent Consent is the idea that the right to govern derives from the agreement of the governed. codified constitution. Anarchists reject the need for a state. Anarchism themes such as the dislike of govt and concern for individual liberty can be found in the works of liberals such as Mill. Elections also act as a check on govt (because they need to be re-elected) Anarchists reject this. Modern liberals have also defended the state on the grounds that it is the best agency for extending positive freedom. elections/representative governments are a fraud – the ‘will of the people’ will never be represented. there are important differences between Liberals and Anarchists:  Liberals support a minimal state  Liberals believe abuse of power can be controlled by constitutionalism  Liberals believe authority of the state is legitimised by consent  Liberals support a minimal state. eg elections are a means by which the people are tricked into supporting one or other member of the ruling class.  Individualist forms of anarchism can be seen as classic liberalism taken to its logical conclusion.  Liberals believe abuse of power can be controlled by constitutionalism Abuse of power by the govt and state can be controlled by constitutional limits.

(iii) Anarchism and Marxism Most anarchists agree with Marxists that existing system exploits and is oppressive and should be destroyed and replaced with a system based on collective ownership However anarchists reject the  view that all forms of oppression are class based  idea that revolution is inevitable.  reject need for Dictatorship of the Proletariat and belief the state would 'wither away'. [100] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 .

Since the individual and individual freedom is of supreme importance.there was no formal system of authority goods were sold at cost price (measured in labour time using labour notes) The system was not based on complete equality – people would be rewarded for hard work. However. Liberals also believe the power of the state can be checked (constitutionalism) Although this form anarchism is associated with intellectuals. Classic liberals believe: in the central importance of the individual in an atomistic view of society in negative freedom the state restricts freedom When individualism is taken to its extreme it implies individual sovereignty (ie absolute and unlimited sovereignty resides within each human being). and poet and art critic Herbert Read. The community appeared to have functioned relatively successfully. The state because of its sovereign power is the most evil of all. In the USA Josiah Warren set up the 'Utopia' community in 1847. artists and eccentrics. Different Forms of Anarchism All anarchists oppose authority and state. but often disagree about nature of anarchist society.5. Main division is between individualist and collectivists. any constraint on the individual is evil. superior talent etc. particularly in 19th century with people such as Warren and Tucker. [101] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . there are differences between anarchists and liberals. Liberals believe the state is a necessary evil – without a state you get chaos. An individual cannot be sovereign within a system ruled by law and government. although it gradually lost members as cheap land became available in the west. In many ways it is a logical development of classic liberalism. (a) Individualist Anarchism The roots of this form of anarchism lie in classic liberalism. it is usually associated with:  the ownership of private property  the support for a free market economy (which creates order via the invisible hand) Individualist anarchism has also been influential in USA. This was different from other communities because: . eg the poet Shelley.

System tended to appeal to skilled craftsmen. but still see a role for the state.hard work would be rewarded. His influence was particularly strong in France during the later 19th century. Being rewarded only for his/her labour. eg it should provide defence and law and order Anarcho-capitalists eg Murray Rothbard and David Friedman. Mutualism can be seen as mid-point between theses individualist and collectivist ideas. Labour notes -valued according to the average working time it took to make a product . The focus tend to be on development of the individual within society (this is closer to a positive view of freedom.  System would create greater equality but would not be one of complete equality . Mutualism is mainly associated with Proudhon. go beyond this and reject the need for any state interference.would be issued by a People’s Bank. Each producer would sell their products. This would be based on the cost of producing the article (labour time) not market competition. The system tried to reconcile property ownership and equality. It is social solidarity which links people and means that they do not need to be regulated by govt. makes the exchange fair and eliminates profit. Everything can be provided via the market. individualist anarchism is linked with a negative view of freedom) (i) mutualism Anarchist proposals range from completely free markets to systems (individualist) based on common ownership (collectivist). (b) Collectivist Anarchism Collectivist anarchism is based on the view that humans are social animals. Most of the people associated with this revival want to see less govt involvement.During the latter part of the 20th century there has been revival in free market economics. land etc). small farmers and shopkeepers [102] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . particularly in the economic sphere.  Each person would possess his/her means of production (tools. eg ideas of the New Right.

(ii) Anarcho-Communism This became the dominant strand in the anarchist movement in mid-19th Century.

Man is seen as a social animal who can only realise his full potential in society, there is therefore a focus on co-operation and solidarity. Anarcho-Communism is based on:  No state  common ownership,  production according to human need  absolute equality

Distribution would be a collective decision based on principle 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs'.

Communist anarchists believe that people will work without material incentive, and that the absence of property will virtually eliminate the problem of crime. The few offenders that do exist can be dealt with informally - is no need for a legal system.

Examples of collectivist anarchism in practice  Clousden Hill colony, near Newcastle. Set up by some disciples of Kropotkin in 1895. Was relatively successful in the beginning, but led to its break up in 1900.  Spain during the Civil War. Over 1000 collectives were formed. Ranging in size from under 100 to several thousand members. All moved towards the communist ideal of distribution according to need, but there were differences in detail. In some all goods were placed in a central warehouse and each member as allowed to take whatever s/he wanted. In others only basics were provided in this way. Some rationed according to family size. Decisions were shared by a general assembly of the committee and a political committee. Day-to-day running of the commune was in the hands of the committee. Work was undertaken by teams of around 10 workers, who would choose a delegate on the committee. The internal economy of the communities appears to have worked fairly well. Eg, there does not seem to have been a problem with slackers. Figures suggests that agricultural production increased between 1936 and 1937.

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Collectivisation also took place in the cities, particularly Barcelona. According to an eye-witness account by Borkenau, a sensible balance was found between industrial democracy and economic efficiency. After visiting the Barcelona bus company, he wrote, 'it is an extraordinary achievement for a group of workers to take over a factory..... and within a few days make it run with complete regularity...For one must not forget that this firm has lost it whole managing staff.'

Growth of the counter-culture in the 1960's This saw an expansion of experiments in alternative life styles. eg hippies believed in 'dropping out', and had very liberal attitudes towards drugs and sex etc. The punk movement has contained elements of anarchism. Evaluation of these experiments is difficult due to the turnover of members and the fact that many were short lived. Many were not successful in an economic sense - members having to live of past savings, social security payments or jobs out side the commune. NB: although there are elements of individualist anarchism within this ‘counter culture’, it is usually classed collectivist because most people associated with it are anti-capitalist.

6. An Evaluation of Anarchism in Practice
Anarchists have often looked back in history - to early stateless societies and the village communities of the middle ages - to find support for their views. According to David Miller, this approach is flawed because of the complexity of modern society. To evaluate anarchism it is necessary to look at anarchist experiments under modern conditions. Miller has argued that:  individualist experiments (ie those based on property ownership) have often been more successful than those base on communist lines. This could be because they broke less radically with existing practices.

although often internally successful, problems often arise with intercommunity relationships, eg the problem of exchange and the difficulty associated with barter.

most experiments were short lived and are therefore difficult to evaluate.

success in Spanish communes was in part due to the people 'pulling together' in adverse conditions. Would they have been as successful during peace time?

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7. Anarchism and Change

Attitudes towards the state and rejection of parliamentary system, eg political parties are rejected because of their bureaucratic and hierarchical structures, means that anarchists have to look to alternative methods of achieving their goals.

Bakunin and Kropotkin, for example, believed that revolution was the only way. The role of intellectual anarchists was mainly one of education - to generate a spirit of revolution by pointing out injustice and instilling antiauthoritarian ideas in the masses. The idea of educating the masses was not particularly successful. this led to the idea of 'propaganda by deed' - showing anarchism in action . The late 19th century is associated with acts of terror; anarchists assassinated several leaders, eg President Carnot (France), Empress Elizabeth (Austria). More recently anarchist violence has been undertaken by groups such as the Baader-Meinhof group in W. Germany, Red Brigade in Italy, and Angry Brigade in UK. These attempts were not very successful; they often led to suppression of anarchist groups by the police and no spontaneous revolutions followed.

Anarcho-syndicalism looked to the trade union movement as a means of organising the masses for revolt. They favour the use of the general strike to bring about change – a total stoppage of work would lead to a collapse of the economic and political system. Pre 1914, anarchists played key role in French syndicalist movement, the CGT. Later were important in Spanish equivalent, the CNT. These ideas were important in some areas during Spanish Civil War. Many villages and factories were collectivised. Some abolished money, and communal production and direct democracy was set up. Anarchists played an important role in the civil disturbances in France in 1968 which led to the resignation of De Gaulle.

Revolution not been endorsed by all anarchists. Individualists, eg Godwin, were concerned about threat to freedom revolutionary organisation poses. Godwin believed in the power of reasoned argument and education.

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Here it has been more successful. The Significance of Anarchism Anarchism has not received much attention from political writers. - [106] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . animal rights: influenced by anarchist ideas on direct action. no large long-term anarchist societies have existed.been a failure.    there is no outstanding theoretical exponent of anarchism.socialism: anarchist ideas have helped to counter the bureaucratic ideas of some socialists pacifism: influenced by anarchist strand which opposes all violence.  as a source of ideas for other political movements. eg organisation of parties.8. parliamentary systems. it has never attracted large numbers of supporters and has had a small impact on world history. Reasons:  it does not appear to deal with most traditional political concerns. its aims seem unachievable David Miller believes Anarchism can be assessed from 2 standpoints:  as a self contained ideology . eg .

Is anarchism an example of individualism or collectivism? (Jun 02) 2. Why do anarchists object to constitutionalism and consent? (June 04) 4. Explain the link between anarchism and collectivism. On what grounds do anarchists believe in the possibility of a stateless society? (June 10) Essays 1. To what extent is anarchism a utopian creed? (June 03) 3. Is anarchism closer to individualism than collectivism? (June 08) 7. has anarchism been associated with utopianism? (June 09) [107] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . ‘Anarchism is closer to liberalism than it is to socialism. Is anarchism merely an extreme form of free-market liberalism? (June 06) 6. Why have anarchists viewed the state as evil and oppressive? (June 07) 7.NEW A2 ANARCHISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. (June 10) OLD A2 ANARCHISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. (June 06) 6. Why. How do the anarchist and Marxist views of the state differ? (June 08) 8. To what extent do anarchists agree about the nature of the future stateless society? (June 04) 4. Outline how the anarchist view of the state differs from the Marxist view.’ Discuss. Explain the link between anarchism and utopianism. (Jan 10) 2. Explain the link between anarchism and collectivism. (June 03) 3. and to what extent. Why have anarchists viewed the state as inherently evil and oppressive? (Jan 10) 3. How has anarchism been linked to ‘free market’ capitalism? (June 09) Essays 1. (Jun 02) 2. Is anarchism closer to socialism or liberalism? (June 05) 5. Why have anarchists believed that the state is unnecessary? (June 05) 5.

Is anarchism an example of collectivism or individualism? (Jun 97) [108] A2 Politics 2009/10 UNIT 3 . How do conservative and anarchist views of human nature differ? (Jan 99) 4. (Jun 00) 3. Do anarchists demand the impossible? (Jun 98) 7. Outline differences between the anarchist and conservative views of human nature. (a) Define utopianism (b) Why is anarchism often described as utopian? (Jun 97) Essays 1. (a) Define utopianism (b) Why is anarchism considered to be utopian? (Jun 01) 2.’ Discuss (Jun 01) 2.’ Discuss (Jun 99) 5. (Jan 00) 4. ‘Anarchism is merely nineteenth-century liberalism taken to its extreme. (a) Why do conservatives value authority? (b) Why do anarchists reject authority? (Jan 98) 6.’ Discuss (Jan 98) 8. ‘Anarchism is strong on moral principles but weak on political analysis. ‘Anarchism has offered many visions of the future stateless society.OLD ‘A’ LEVEL ANARCHISM QUESTIONS Short Answers 1. (a) Why do anarchists reject the state? (b) What kind of state have Marxists been prepared to endorse? (Jun 98) 5. Is anarchism merely collectivism taken to its logical extreme? (Jan 99) 6. (a) Why do anarchists oppose all forms of political authority? (b) Explain and critically assess their belief that a stateless society would be peaceful and orderly. To what extent is anarchism a utopian political creed? (Jun 00) 3.