The development of liberal thought began in the seventeen-century England.
Often, constitutional monarchy is perceived as a beginning of liberalism. Growthof commercial middle classes and wealth accumulation and consumption, leaded toa new, individualistic morality. The individual is a basic unit of theliberalism ideology. Supreme goals of a liberal political system arepreservation of the individual and attainment of individual happiness.
Thatincludes the preservation of the individual properties, that is individual life,liberty and estate, and the task of the government was to help the individual indoing so. Individual is to be regarded as inviolable and human life as asacrosanct, so the violence is prohibited except in preservation of liberalsociety. This ideology respects all persons as moral beings with equalsensitivity (but at the same time it doesnt take women in account. ). Individual is assumed to be essentially rational, so it could be considered theprime source of value, which determines justification of participatory ratherthan authoritarian government. Liberalism diminishes importance of social whole,which is considered not to have any rights against individuals.
This outlook canbe called atomistic. Liberal theorists are unwilling to invoke conceptssuch as the common good and public interests. The only common good they wantrecognize is the maximization of the aggregate of individual benefits. On theeconomic side 18th- and 19th-century liberalism based itself on the sovereigntyof the market and the “natural harmony of interests. ” On this view, ifindividuals are left free to pursue their self-interest in an exchange economybased upon a division of labour, the welfare of the group as a whole willnecessarily be enhanced. Classical liberal economists describe a self-adjustingmarket mechanism free from all teleological influences.
While moral goals areinvoked and ethical criteria presupposed in passing ultimate judgment on thesystem, they play no part in determining the sequence of events within it. Theone propelling force is the selfishness of the individual, which becomesharnessed to the public good because in an exchange economy he must serve othersin order to serve himself. It is only in a free market, however, that thisconsequence can ensue; any other arrangement must lead to regimentation,exploitation, and economic stagnation. Spiritual side of individual wasacknowledged in assumption that man is a free, rational and self improvingbeing, and that his natural state is freedom. The duty of government was toprovide the conditions to individual to enjoy the maximum possible freedomwithin a frame of law. The hallmark of the liberalism is a concern with thelimits of authority and opposition to state interference with individualactivities.
Classical Liberals tend to define freedom in negative forms, forexample, freedom from government regulation, and to opposite to almost allgovernment activity. The role of the state is to perform as a device forperforming the residual tasks which individual self-interest leaves undone. Theguiding principle of historical liberalism has been an undeviating insistence onlimiting the power of government. The main concept is that economic freedom is akey to individual liberty. On the other hand–and this is a basic differencebetween classical and contemporary liberalism–most liberals now believe thatthe dispensations of the market, as it has in fact operated, must besupplemented and corrected in substantive ways.
They contend that enormoussocial costs incurred in production are not reflected in market prices, and thatresources are used wastefully. Not least, liberals charge that the marketadvances the allocation of human and physical resources in the direction ofsatisfying superficial wants (for oversized motor cars and unnecessary gadgets),while basic needs (for schools, housing, rapid public transit, sewage treatmentplants) go unmet. Finally, although liberals believe that prices, wages, andprofits should continue to be subject to negotiation among the interestedparties and responsive to conventional market pressures, they insist thatprice-wage-profit decisions affecting the economy as a whole must be reconciledwith public policy. Socialists, on the other hand define human beings ascreatures formed by the environment. The human nature is eminently sociable, andformed by society.
Doctrine subsumes individual interests under generalinterests. The individual gives up most of the power over herself to gain thefraction of power over every other citizen. Socialists assume that human beingsare creative (homo faber) and can find pleasure and fulfillment in work. Socialist freedom is the freedom to develop ones potential through unalienatedwork.
Also, optimistically, natural sociability and good will between people areassumed, so cooperation and collectivism are uppermost. Fraternity and communityare expressions of the socialist belief in human essential sociability andsolidarity. If the premise that people are naturally sociable is correct, thanthe co-operation is the natural form of social organization. Co-operationquarantees equality of benefits for the co-operator.
It is antithesis to thecompetition and individualism, which represents the capitalism. For many modernsocialists, co-operation is still an ideal policy. Egalitarianism is the centralideal of socialism. This ideal moved historically from complete equality ofhuman being, through from each according to his capacity, to eachaccording to his works, to Marxist formulation: from each according to hisability, to each according to his needs. The abolition of class is a furthernecessary consequence of egalitarianism. This ideal also requires a faircontribution from each individual to society and, at last, the abolition ofprivate property introducing the collective or communal ownership of the meansof production.
Socialists have disagreed as to the best way of running the goodsociety. Some envisage direction by the government. Others advocate as muchdispersion and decentralization as possible through the delegation ofdecision-making authority to public boards, municipalities, or self-governingcommunities of producers. Some advocate workers’ control; others would rely ongovernmental planning boards. Although all socialists want to bring about a moreequal distribution of national income, some hope for an absolute equality ofincome, whereas others aim only at ensuring an adequate income for all, whileallowing different occupations to be paid at different rates Socialist Doctrineproposes internationalism with the argument that all humanity is one race. Theroll of the state is by that diminished, and ideas of world confederation ofcommunes is introduced, leading to the promotion of International, based on theeconomic interdependence of capitalist countries and common interests ofworkers.
Internationalism stays the highest ideal of socialist ideology, withdemand for worldwide equality and peace, opposed to the nationalism andinternational capitalism. Seen in the light of these three ideologies, we couldsay that each has its own view how the ideal health care and insurance systemshould be organized. But first, we should distinguish private and social healthcare and insurance. A health insurance system that is organized and administeredby an insurance company or other private agency, with the provisions specifiedin a contract, is private or voluntary health insurance.
Private healthinsurance is usually financed on a group basis, but most plans also provide forindividual policies. Private group plans are usually financed by groups ofemployees whose payments may be subsidized by their employer, with the moneygoing into a special fund. Insurance of hospital costs is the most prevalentform of private health insurance coverage. If a system is financed by compulsorycontributions mandated by law or by taxes and the system’s provisions arespecified by legal statute, it is a government, or social, health insuranceplan. This type of medical insurance plan dates from 1883, when the governmentof Germany initiated a plan based on contributions by employers and employees inparticular industries.
Regarding above stated differences, it is clear thatLiberals would be strongly for private health care and insurance because of therole of the government in the social health and insurance plan. Any interferingof the state in private matters of the individual is inexcusable, and for thehealth care and insurance the same rules should be applied like for everythingelse: the rules of free market. Because of the basic difference betweenclassical and modern liberals, their positions in this mater are different. Modern liberals hold that the rewards dispensed by the market are too crude ameasure of the contribution many or most people make to society, and that theneeds of those who lack opportunity or are physically handicapped are ignored.
So they would propose a mixed system with the opportunity for everybody toreceive the health care and insurance, but according to the free market rulesthat determines what kind of health care and insurance (private or public) isthe ideal for the individual. On the other hand, the position of the socialistsis that state should create the equality for all individuals and that thereshould be no private property. So it is clear that social or government healthcare and insurance is the only one that fulfils these requests and is inaccordance with what socialism stands for. Every individual should contributeaccording to his possibilities (depending on wages), and every individual isentitled to receive the kind of care and insurance it needs, what is in directaccordance with socialism ideal.Social Issues