The development of liberal thought began in the seventeen-century England.

Often, constitutional monarchy is perceived as a beginning of liberalism. Growth
of commercial middle classes and wealth accumulation and consumption, leaded to
a new, individualistic morality. The individual is a basic unit of the
liberalism ideology. Supreme goals of a liberal political system are
preservation of the individual and attainment of individual happiness. That
includes the preservation of the individual properties, that is individual life,
liberty and estate, and the task of the government was to help the individual in
doing so. Individual is to be regarded as inviolable and human life as a
sacrosanct, so the violence is prohibited except in preservation of liberal
society. This ideology respects all persons as moral beings with equal
sensitivity (but at the same time it doesnt take women in account.).

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Individual is assumed to be essentially rational, so it could be considered the
prime source of value, which determines justification of participatory rather
than authoritarian government. Liberalism diminishes importance of social whole,
which is considered not to have any rights against individuals. This outlook can
be called atomistic. Liberal theorists are unwilling to invoke concepts
such as the common good and public interests. The only common good they want
recognize is the maximization of the aggregate of individual benefits. On the
economic side 18th- and 19th-century liberalism based itself on the sovereignty
of the market and the “natural harmony of interests.” On this view, if
individuals are left free to pursue their self-interest in an exchange economy
based upon a division of labour, the welfare of the group as a whole will
necessarily be enhanced. Classical liberal economists describe a self-adjusting
market mechanism free from all teleological influences. While moral goals are
invoked and ethical criteria presupposed in passing ultimate judgment on the
system, they play no part in determining the sequence of events within it. The
one propelling force is the selfishness of the individual, which becomes
harnessed to the public good because in an exchange economy he must serve others
in order to serve himself. It is only in a free market, however, that this
consequence can ensue; any other arrangement must lead to regimentation,
exploitation, and economic stagnation. Spiritual side of individual was
acknowledged in assumption that man is a free, rational and self improving
being, and that his natural state is freedom. The duty of government was to
provide the conditions to individual to enjoy the maximum possible freedom
within a frame of law. The hallmark of the liberalism is a concern with the
limits of authority and opposition to state interference with individual
activities. Classical Liberals tend to define freedom in negative forms, for
example, freedom from government regulation, and to opposite to almost all
government activity. The role of the state is to perform as a device for
performing the residual tasks which individual self-interest leaves undone. The
guiding principle of historical liberalism has been an undeviating insistence on
limiting the power of government. The main concept is that economic freedom is a
key to individual liberty. On the other hand–and this is a basic difference
between classical and contemporary liberalism–most liberals now believe that
the dispensations of the market, as it has in fact operated, must be
supplemented and corrected in substantive ways. They contend that enormous
social costs incurred in production are not reflected in market prices, and that
resources are used wastefully. Not least, liberals charge that the market
advances the allocation of human and physical resources in the direction of
satisfying superficial wants (for oversized motor cars and unnecessary gadgets),
while basic needs (for schools, housing, rapid public transit, sewage treatment
plants) go unmet. Finally, although liberals believe that prices, wages, and
profits should continue to be subject to negotiation among the interested
parties and responsive to conventional market pressures, they insist that
price-wage-profit decisions affecting the economy as a whole must be reconciled
with public policy. Socialists, on the other hand define human beings as
creatures formed by the environment. The human nature is eminently sociable, and
formed by society. Doctrine subsumes individual interests under general
interests. The individual gives up most of the power over herself to gain the
fraction of power over every other citizen. Socialists assume that human beings
are creative (homo faber) and can find pleasure and fulfillment in work.

Socialist freedom is the freedom to develop ones potential through unalienated
work. Also, optimistically, natural sociability and good will between people are
assumed, so cooperation and collectivism are uppermost. Fraternity and community
are expressions of the socialist belief in human essential sociability and
solidarity. If the premise that people are naturally sociable is correct, than
the co-operation is the natural form of social organization. Co-operation
quarantees equality of benefits for the co-operator. It is antithesis to the
competition and individualism, which represents the capitalism. For many modern
socialists, co-operation is still an ideal policy. Egalitarianism is the central
ideal of socialism. This ideal moved historically from complete equality of
human being, through from each according to his capacity, to each
according to his works, to Marxist formulation: from each according to his
ability, to each according to his needs. The abolition of class is a further
necessary consequence of egalitarianism. This ideal also requires a fair
contribution from each individual to society and, at last, the abolition of
private property introducing the collective or communal ownership of the means
of production. Socialists have disagreed as to the best way of running the good
society. Some envisage direction by the government. Others advocate as much
dispersion and decentralization as possible through the delegation of
decision-making authority to public boards, municipalities, or self-governing
communities of producers. Some advocate workers’ control; others would rely on
governmental planning boards. Although all socialists want to bring about a more
equal distribution of national income, some hope for an absolute equality of
income, whereas others aim only at ensuring an adequate income for all, while
allowing different occupations to be paid at different rates Socialist Doctrine
proposes internationalism with the argument that all humanity is one race. The
roll of the state is by that diminished, and ideas of world confederation of
communes is introduced, leading to the promotion of International, based on the
economic interdependence of capitalist countries and common interests of
workers. Internationalism stays the highest ideal of socialist ideology, with
demand for worldwide equality and peace, opposed to the nationalism and
international capitalism. Seen in the light of these three ideologies, we could
say that each has its own view how the ideal health care and insurance system
should be organized. But first, we should distinguish private and social health
care and insurance. A health insurance system that is organized and administered
by an insurance company or other private agency, with the provisions specified
in a contract, is private or voluntary health insurance. Private health
insurance is usually financed on a group basis, but most plans also provide for
individual policies. Private group plans are usually financed by groups of
employees whose payments may be subsidized by their employer, with the money
going into a special fund. Insurance of hospital costs is the most prevalent
form of private health insurance coverage. If a system is financed by compulsory
contributions mandated by law or by taxes and the system’s provisions are
specified by legal statute, it is a government, or social, health insurance
plan. This type of medical insurance plan dates from 1883, when the government
of Germany initiated a plan based on contributions by employers and employees in
particular industries. Regarding above stated differences, it is clear that
Liberals would be strongly for private health care and insurance because of the
role of the government in the social health and insurance plan. Any interfering
of the state in private matters of the individual is inexcusable, and for the
health care and insurance the same rules should be applied like for everything
else: the rules of free market. Because of the basic difference between
classical and modern liberals, their positions in this mater are different.

Modern liberals hold that the rewards dispensed by the market are too crude a
measure of the contribution many or most people make to society, and that the
needs of those who lack opportunity or are physically handicapped are ignored.

So they would propose a mixed system with the opportunity for everybody to
receive the health care and insurance, but according to the free market rules
that determines what kind of health care and insurance (private or public) is
the ideal for the individual. On the other hand, the position of the socialists
is that state should create the equality for all individuals and that there
should be no private property. So it is clear that social or government health
care and insurance is the only one that fulfils these requests and is in
accordance with what socialism stands for. Every individual should contribute
according to his possibilities (depending on wages), and every individual is
entitled to receive the kind of care and insurance it needs, what is in direct
accordance with socialism ideal.


Social Issues