Free Essay on Ideologies:
Radicalism is ideology strongly supporting changes in government and society. Followers of radicalism usually support drastic revolutionary changes in various areas of life. In modern language, radical and extremist are almost synonyms. Radical ideology traditionally refers to left radicalism or to right radicalism. For radicalism, fundamental political, economic and social changes are the essence of ideology.
Liberalism is a very broad term, the main idea of which is individual liberty and equal opportunity. Liberal ideologists would support any changes as long as they improve state of individual rights. Traditionally, liberalism is strongly connected with the idea of constant improvement in present social conditions and progress of political system an improvement of society as a whole.
Conservatism is ideology that favors status quo, maintaining the existing or traditional order and is very reluctant to any kinds of changes. The main idea of conservatism is preservation of the best achievements of society as opposed to the drastic changes of radicalism. There are different forms of conservatism however. For example, liberal conservatism combines conservative values with liberal ideas. There is also conservative liberalism that combines liberal values and policies with conservative positions.
Reactionary ideology opposes any changes of progress in society. Reactionary movements throughout history were opposing liberalism, republicanism, industrialism and were fighting for preservation of feudalism and aristocracy. Fascism is also a reactionary ideology, it wanted to restore ancient social arrangements. Radicalism and reactionary ideology are two completely opposite philosophical streams, usually with quite extreme ideas. Extremely conservative movements are sometimes considered reactionary.
Egalitarianism and elitism are the terms that were used quite often during the last Presidential elections. Egalitarianism is an ideology the fundamental idea of which is that all people should be equal and should be treated equally and have the same politic, economic and social rights and obligations. Egalitarianism can be compared with liberalism. The focus of egalitarianism is finding inequalities still existing in society and implementing changes to minimize these inequalities. Egalitarianism favors equal opportunities for everyone and equal protection.
Elitism, on the other hand, can be considered as discrimination against common people. Elitism is situation when political or economic power is concentrated in the hands of elite. Elitism is also a believe that some people deserve better treatment and can enjoy more rights because of their superior financial status. This is also ideology that people with higher intellect, more wealth, better education or some other distinctive personal abilities should have more weight is society. Many supporters of egalitarianism favor, for example, progressive taxation or any other form of reducing the gap between reach and poor in society. In this sense, egalitarianism is close to socialism or even communism. Pluralism in politics is complete opposite to elitism.
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