‘a Fear of Democracy Runs Throughout Liberalism.’ Discuss.

651 WordsJun 10, 20123 Pages
‘A fear of democracy runs throughout liberalism.’ Discuss. Democracy means rule by the people, implying both popular participation and government in the public interest. Liberals have been ambivalent about the benefits of democracy. Very few liberals reject democracy, on the other hand no liberals accept democracy uncritically. Liberals do not believe that a balanced and tolerant society will develop naturally out of the free actions of individuals and voluntary associations. They fear the free individual may exploit others. Therefore; liberals believed that such protection can only be provided by a sovereign state, capable of restraining all individuals and groups within society, freedom can therefore only exist ‘under the law’.…show more content…
James Bentham each individual is the best judge for his/her own interests, concept of freedom. The role of government was not to make individuals decisions nor prevent individuals from following their own self interest unless it prevents others from pursuing theirs. Liberals do not fear democracy they fear the negative repercussions that may occur as a result. Liberals unlike socialists do not believe in the notion or the perfectibility of human nature and therefore people will vote in their own interest and this may pose a threat to individual
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