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Political Ideologies

Political Ideologies are political belief systems which represent class or social interests. They are reasoned set of views on politics produced by intellectual elites. They are ideas that situate the individual within a social context and create a sense of collective belonging. Political ideologies are yardsticks that strongly influence of human behavior. They are the established ideas used to legitimize a political system or regime. It is however interesting to see that political ideologies are subject to alteration.

They are usually susceptible to distortion and oversimplification. Often, political ideologies are manipulated by political movement leaders and political parties for their own interest. Each politically inclined party has its own set of ideological beliefs through which it tries to attain its goals. Even as individuals, political ideologies form an important aspect of one’s life and outlook. I support the Libertarian Party because the underlining principles of this party are most consistent with the ideology –libertarianism- that I believe in.

It is a political party that respects the individual as an independent entity, having the freedom of choice. It places utmost importance on individual freedoms, which are arguably the most important rights of every human being. It seeks to form a society based on mutual respect and tolerance, thereby limiting the chance for any form of radicalism to emerge. It also promotes the formation of a society that is free from petty radical superstitions. The role of government is to limit itself to maintenance of law and order.

It also supports an economic structure based on the freedom of trade where markets are to be left free. The interference of the government has to be minimal and this intervention should be limited to protection of freedom of markets alone. Also, with reference to foreign affairs, it follows a non-interventionist policy, which respects the sovereignty of others and aims to secure the nation from within. The key cornerstones of liberalism are individual centrism, freedom, justice, rationality, laissez-faire, tolerance and diversity (Heywood, 2003).

The Libertarian Party may be argued to be primarily based on these principles which are clear cut, realistic and progressive. I would argue that the most important aim of the government should be the preservation of liberty and freedom of the citizens. Freedom is an inalienable right of every individual and all human beings are born free. There can be no full development of one’s personality in the absence of freedom. Individuals should be left free to choose between what is right and what is wrong, because they are rational beings and have the power of understanding.

Only a free and equal society can bring about a just society. The government should strive to protect the citizens from elements that threaten the enjoyment of their liberties, even if that means the rights of some have to be curtailed to a certain extend. In other words, liberty may however be restricted when it is seen as being used against another man’s liberty. Once equal freedom is assured to the citizens, all other goals would fall into place gradually. The emphasis on individualism under the libertarian thinking may sometimes project it at odds with interest of the community.

However, it may be noted that it is individuals who form the community and they are rational beings, well aware what is best for them. What is best at the individual level cannot be inconsistent with the community’s will at large as everyone would seek the preservation of the good life and security for themselves. As rational beings, individuals are also conscious of the consequences that their actions might produce and therefore would choose to be responsible and reasonable.

Moreover, libertarianism strongly advocates the principle of tolerance, which is essential to make any society peaceful and secure. Also, libertarianism is not devoid of distinctive values and beliefs. It essentially supports the idea of justice and freedom for all in the society. It has room for all to rise and fall. The ‘crisis of democracy’ therefore cannot be said to be caused by liberal ideas. The liberal ideas of freedom and individual liberty are not unchecked and unrestrained. As mentioned above, no one has the right to abridge another man’s rights in exercising his.

However, the morality of an individual within his private life is his own choice and therefore, as long as that does not have an impact on the lives of others, he may be left free and accepted through the principle of tolerance and diversity. Order is a necessary condition for a civilised society. However, there can be no order in a society unless there is freedom of choice and belief for all. Only when every individual can express themselves freely without any external repercussion will there be mass satisfaction which would ultimately lead to order and prosperity.

Certain exceptions may be made where restraint could be exercised over the liberties of those who threaten the liberties of others. However, basic civil liberties for all should prevail and be protected. This would lead to the establishment of order in the society. Therefore the protection of individual order is an important and primary necessity. Democracy in principle is a form of government where the largest section of the society is involved in the process of government.

This at certain junctures may lead to the ‘tyranny of the majority’ as predicted by Alexis de Tocqueville. However, a democratic society is not simply a matter of ‘might makes right’ because every democratic state allows ample room for the minority to organize and represent themselves adequately. Moreover, networks of ‘checks and balances’ within the government structures are weapons against exploitation of the weaker sections and the few. Also, a democratic set up guarantees every individual the basic minimum freedom to develop their skills and live fuller lives.

The minority sections are also entitled the same freedoms and are often given special protection in the form of special rights or reservations. Democracy therefore cannot be taken as a rule of the majority alone. Human beings are realistic in nature. They are driven by reason and know best what they want to achieve in life. The preservation of freedom and security are at the highest order of their aspirations. They are self-seeking individuals who want to maximize their own gains first of all. And to that effect, human beings are also largely self reliant.

They are capable of shaping their own destinies. They have the necessary faculties that could be further developed in a positive environment and become better evolved beings. Only in a society where there is freedom for all can an individual attain his best self. Humans are therefore best left free to decide for themselves according to their own rational thinking. The state may exist as ‘necessary evil’ to preserve law and order in the society and protect against misuse of liberty. Libertarianism seems to best accommodate these ideas of human nature. I believe in moral relativism.

There can be no absolute truth or false. The rightness or wrongness of a thing is not fixed but is rather determined by the context, traditions and beliefs of the people. A practice considered wrong by one society may not be so in another. One cannot impose ones beliefs upon others because it is not the case that what one believes is the only truth. In the same way, one cannot show disrespect toward the beliefs of others just because they do not adhere to the same. We need to be more open to ideas and views and face our surroundings with a more accommodating outlook.

Again, the principle of tolerance and freedom comes to be of immense value here, which forms the core of Libertarianism. To certain extend the ideologies I believe are those that I have reasoned out in contrast with other political and religious beliefs. I have not come across any other political ideology that is more accommodating than the one I believe in. Moreover, I believe liberty is an inalienable virtue and all other qualities of a civilized life like equality, justice and security flow from it.

Therefore, the protection and preservation of the same is very important. However, I am open to other ideas and explorations. As mentioned earlier, I am open to other ideas and understandings. It should not matter to me too much to question my own beliefs and faith because I am very well convicted of them. However if I were to be proved wrong about my own beliefs, then it would be a welcome change because that itself would be a process of development of the self in a way.

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