Difference Between Liberalism And Anarchism

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The multiple strands of both liberalism and anarchism prevent any continuous agreement between the main ideas of the two ideologies. The fundamental belief that mankind comprises rational free thinking individuals is common to both view points. However, the level to which the individual can be trusted differs between the two. Anarchists place greater emphasis on the ability for individuals to excel without the interference of an overarching body. Liberals argue that the state is a needed device to ensure that the liberty of each individual is maintained and not limited by other individuals. Liberals believe that individuals are rational and able to recognise their own self-interest, this being the main reason why liberals support high levels of individual freedom only constrained to some extent by the state. Liberal individualism, especially within classical liberalism, means that individuals are atomistic and that they will act rationally in support of their own self-interest rather than in the interests of society as a whole. Although the liberal adoption of laissez-faire economics promotes an atomistic view on individuals, it also argues that an atomistic approach to economics will benefit the entirety of society. However, modern liberals have developed…show more content…
In addition, both ideologies struggle to have a distinct set of agreed ideas and therefore a clean comparison of the key ideas of each ideology is difficult. The various anarchist views of economic systems fundamentally disagree with the economic principles of both classical and modern liberalism. Although both have a positive outlook on human nature they disagree on the extent to which humans require a structure within which to operate. Anarchism can therefore be seen as the extreme-liberal and extreme-socialist forms of liberalism. Anarchism, in all forms, is the critique of the centrist liberal
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