- 3.1: Liberalism
- Liberalism can be a confusing term because it can mean more than one thing. Classical liberalism describes a major direction in western politics, of which American liberalism is a subset. Despite some wild-eyed conservatives accusing President Obama of being a socialist (because that’s still dirty word in American politics), both Democrats and Republicans in the United States fall under the umbrella of classical liberalism. In the big picture, U.S. politics are fairly homogenous.
- 3.2: Alternatives to Liberalism
- Since World War II, and particularly since the end of the Cold War, many economies have turned away from planning and toward markets for decision making, and people have pushed for more democratization in government. While this movement has been uneven both in timing and results, completely undemocratic states have declined in number. So in only a relative handful of states is either one or a small group of people in charge. But classical liberalism isn’t the only way to run a society.
Thumbnail:Che Guevara (left) and Fidel Castro in 1961. (Public Domain; Alberto Korda via Wikipedia)