argument top image

Is Western liberalism obsolete?
Back to question

Western liberalism can adapt to a changing macro-environment

Western liberalism is flexible, and can move with current ideological trends.

The Argument

In the history of liberalism, there were periods of particular importance. From 1830 to 1880, liberalism was youthful and on its ascent to power and wide-ranging acceptance.[1] Many saw liberalism as a social and political philosophy; there would be significant benefits for individuals, communities, and entire nations. Liberalism provides countries with the tools and methods needed to successfully adapt particular laws and authorities to the latest standards of business and trade.[1] Liberalism also acts as a cohesive, unifying force in a society where there is no central doctrine adhered to by the whole citizenry.[1] Liberalism holds a society together even after its deep hierarchical arrangement of different kinds of people has withered away.[1] Liberalism follows humane principles like the principle that state power and moneyed power should not oppress or disregard those with less power.[1] Ideally, liberal democracies should be flexible enough to reduce most stresses and strains on the political and social system.[2] They should adapt to different kinds of pressure, whether it be political, economic, environmental, or social.[2] Liberal democracy can deal with the difficulties of the 21st century much better than authoritarianism. While it has its flaws, liberal democracy is showing how it can adapt to different cultures and histories.[3] Places like Colombia, Armenia, and Indonesia are good examples of this fact.[3]

Counter arguments

Though liberal democracies are flexible, they are also fragile.[4] Institutional organizations and interpretations of norms are based on the outcomes of debates and discussions.[4] If they cannot come to a common understanding or a compromise, the parties leave things unsettled.[4] Liberal democracies can fracture if certain external and internal factors affect them for too long. The deterioration of and disregard for human rights and civil liberties, the withering away of democratic norms, and a rise in populism and nationalism spell the possible breakdown of many liberal democracies.[2]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 11:11 UTC

Explore related arguments