“A fear of democracy runs throughout liberalism” Discuss
Democracy could best be defined as Government of the people, by the people and for the people, exercised directly or through elective representatives. Liberalism is the political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favouring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.
Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment (18th century) when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the notions, of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings, all common at the time. The early liberal thinker John Locke is often associated with founding liberalism as many of his ideas entail with core liberal values. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property and according to the social contract governments must not violate these rights. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with democracy and the rule of law.
However, one of the main problems with replacing absolutism in government with democracy is that democracy allows tyranny of the majority, therefore favouring the wants of 51% or more of society and ignoring the rest. Let us imagine a population of 100 people living in a democratic society the majority of these are in a good economic position, however there is a minority that live in poor conditions. Because they live in a democratic society they are all entitled to vote for whom they would like to be represented by and there are two prominent candidates, one promotes equality and social mobility, allowing those in a disadvantaged economic position to access education and other opportunities in order to excel. The other candidate believes that we already have enough equality and...