Idealogies Key terms

A list of key terms and definitions for Liberalism, Conservatism and Socailism

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  • Created by: Isabella
  • Created on: 20-02-12 16:44
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Atomism: A belief that society is made up of a collection of self interested
and largely self sufficient individuals rather than social groups
Classical Liberalism: A tradition within Liberalism that seeks to maximise
the realm of unconstrained individual action, typically by establishing a minimal
state and relying upon market economies
Human Nature: The essential and innate character of all human beings, what
they owe to nature rather than to society
Individualism: A belief in the central importance of the human individual as
opposed to the social group or collective
Natural Rights: God given rights that are fundamental to human beings and
are therefore inalienable (cannot be taken away)
Tolerance: A willingness to accept views and actions of others which you are
in disagreement with
Democracy: Rule by the people, democracy implies both popular
participation and government in the public interest, and can take a wide
variety of forms
Social contract: A (hypothetical) agreement amongst individuals through
which they form a state in order to escape from the disorder and chaos of the
"state of nature"
Freedom: The ability to think or act as one wish, a capacity that can be
associated with the individual, a social group or nation
Justice: A moral standard of fairness and impartiality; social justice is the
notion of a fair or justifiable distribution of wealth and rewards in society
Equality: The principle that human beings are of identical worth or are
entitles to be treated in the same way; equality can have widely differing

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Libertarianism: A belief that the individual should enjoy the widest possible
realm of freedom; libertarianism implies the removal of both external and
internal constraints upon the individual
Utilitarianism: A moral and political philosophy that evaluates "goodness" in
terms of pleasure and pain, and ultimately seeks to achieve "the greatest
good for the greatest amount of people"
Pluralism: A belief in diversity or choice, or the theory that political power is
or should be widely and evenly dispersed
Capitalism: An economic system in which wealth is…read more

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Individualism: A belief in the central importance of the human individual as
opposed to the social group or collective
Free Market: The principle or policy of unfettered market competition, free
from government interference (Laissez-faire is the extreme)
Organic Society: A belief that society operates like an organism or living
entity, the whole being more than a collection of its individual parts
Patriotism: Literally, love of one's fatherland; a psychological attachment
and loyalty to one's nation or country
Paternalism: Authority exercised from above for the guidance…read more

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Toryism: An ideological stance within conservatism that is characterised by a
belief in hierarchy, an emphasis upon tradition and support for duty and
Traditionalism: A belief that inherited institutions and practises, particularly
those with a long and continuous history, provide the best guide for human
One Nation Conservatism: The tradition of conservative reformism,
characterised by a belief in paternal duty and a fear of wide social inequality
Neo-conservatism: A modern version of social conservatism that
emphasizes the need to restore order, return to…read more

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Communism: The principle of common ownership of wealth; communism is
often used more broadly to refer to movements or regimes that are based on
Marxist principles
Democratic Socialism: A moderate or reformist brand of socialism that
favours a balance between the market and the state, rather than the abolition
of capitalism
Dictatorship of the Proletariat: A Marxist term denoting the transitionary
phase between the collapse of capitalism and the establishment of full
communism, characterized by the establishment of a temporary proletarian
Co-operation: working together;…read more


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