Political Ideologies Essay, Research Paper
The American society today is always trying to compete with one another; from the business world to recreation, to politics, we are always striving for the last word and the final say. Due to this, we, as Americans try to find a group that fits our personality and self belief-system, which in return leads to political parties.
The American political belief system has been around for as long as there have been white men living on this soil. From the colonial period, at which time we adopted the political ideology of the English system, to today, when we have our own ideology, stemming from beliefs influenced from around the world. These beliefs are ones that make us a world super power due to our freedom to express ourselves by means of voice, documentation, or public protest. In our society today, we have many political parties, including the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Liberal Movement, the Conservative Movement, Communism, Fascism, and finally, Socialism. All these parties are somewhat active in all forms of government throughout the world, some more prominent than others, all having major influences on all aspects of our lives.
One of the first prominent political parties would have to be the Democratic Party. This party first became known in the 1790 s, when Thomas Jefferson formed a coalition to resist the policies of George Washington s administration. Jefferson himself was the first president to run under the Democratic Party, and win the presidency. At first, the party was called Republican, and later the Democratic-Republican Party, but during the presidential campaign of 1828, the party was split into two factions: the National Republican Party was absorbed into the Whig Party in 1834, and other became known as the Democratic Party.
In the beginning, Democrats felt strongly that the national government should do nothing the states could do for themselves and the states nothing the localities could do. This all means that there should be little to no national government intervention in the lives of Americans. The opposing party at the time, the Whigs believed in using governmental power to promote, regulate, correct, and reform. Throughout history, the Democrats have always struggled to control the house and presidency, and at times when they do have control, they eventually lose it.
On the other side of the political spectrum we have the Republican Party, the second largest political party in the United States. Republicans generally believe in a strong national government in each and every American s life. The Republican Party was formed as an answer to divided politics, political turmoil, arguments, and internal division particularly over slavery. Slavery was a hot debate that plagued the many existing political parties in the United States in 1854. The first candidate to win the presidency under the backing of the party was Abraham Lincoln in 1860. From that point on, Republicans had control of the White House for 60 out of the next 100 years. Republicans have always been a predominant voice in politics, and currently have controlling interests in Congress.
The Liberal Party of the United States was founded in New York in May of 1944. The Liberal Party strongly advocates a progressive government, but at the same time, a government that does not interfere with the lives of every American citizen. It is quite simple; Liberals believe that a system of government is necessary, but for government to be acceptable there must be fair, practical, and effective representation and freedom of information. They feel that decisions in government policies are best taken at the most local practical level to allow the maximum public participation. Liberals believe in the equality of personal worth of every individual. The first candidate that was nominated for the presidency, being supported by the Liberals was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. On the state level, the party plays an important role in the election of several Democratic governors and senators. The group on the other side of the political spectrum is the Conservative Party, which has a completely opposite view on government. If the Liberal Party were to be described in one word, that word would be change.
The Conservative Party of the United States also was formed in New York in 1962. When candidates seek office as conservatives, they must first register with the Conservative Party of New York State, as they are the only party legally constituted in the United States. The party stands for a strong American tradition and individual initiative and liberty. The Conservative Party is also the oldest political party in Europe. Conservatives have a strong belief that politics should be run the way they were run back in the colonial periods. They do not believe in large government changes in policy. Conservatives could be closely related to Republicans on the political spectrum, as strong advocates of American individualism. To sum up conservatives, they have a strong belief in tradition.
We now explore the political parties that are more prominent in other countries around the world. Political ideologies such as Communism, Fascism, and Socialism are beliefs that would not be supported by the American society, as they are ones that believe in a strong governmental intervention.
The first political party that believes in a strong government is Communism. Communism is a concept or system of society in which major resources and means of production are owned by the community rather that by individuals. In such a society, this theory would provide for equal sharing of all work, according to ability, and all benefits, according to need. In essence, Communism involves the abolition of private property by a revolutionary movement, responsible for meeting public needs is then vested in the state. Communism is a political way of life coined by Russian Karl Marx. Marx claimed that a Capitalist society would eventually choke itself with its own wealth. Modern day Communism is not what Marx had envisioned, as Communist societies are not as successful as he would have desired. Such societies would be the former USSR, in which Communism controlled the government for decades. But in the late 1980 s, it became evident that Soviet Communism was in shambles, and heading for disaster. America has always viewed Communism as a disease, one that could quite possibly infect the world, and lead to its demise. Due to this belief, certain precautions have been taken to insure a possible epidemic, including the Truman and Eisenhower Doctrines, and the Korean War. But, to anti-Communists, this was not successful, as from 1945 to 1975, the number of countries under Communist rule increased greatly, partly because of World War II. However, after rapid political changes in Eastern Europe and the USSR in the late 80 s, the number of Communist regimes reduced drastically.
The closest political party to Communism on the political spectrum is the political ideology of Fascism. Fascism is a 20th-centurey form of totalitarian dictatorship that seeks to create a viable society by strict regimentation of national and individual lives. Fascism flourished between 1919 and 1945 in several countries, mainly Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. The term Fascism was first used by Benito Mussolini in 1919, and referred to the ancient Roman symbol of power. Fascism, like Communism believes in a strong government in the lives of its constituents, it also employs more of a dictatorship, compared to Communism.
Finally, we have Socialism. Socialists demand state ownership and control of the fundamental means of production and distribution of wealth. It places special emphasis on the nationalization of monopolized branches of industry and trade, viewing monopolies as inimical to the public welfare. Smaller and less vital enterprises would be left under private ownership, and privately held cooperatives would be encouraged. Most Socialists call for the complete abolition of the capitalist system. At one time the terms Socialism and Communism were used interchangeably. The ultimate goal in a Socialist society is to have a classless cooperative commonwealth in every nation of the world. At one time the terms Socialism and Communism were used interchangeably. Today, however, they are two similar, yet different political ideologies. During the late 20 s and 30 s, Socialist and Communist parties were in continuous conflict.
As one can see, our world is one that is torn by its beliefs in society. Some believe in a strong government, others do not. Some believe in a dictatorship, others do not. With all differences put aside, all have had a profound effect on the society that we are living in today. For example, due to Communism, we fought the Korean War, which in returned stopped the spread of communism into South Korea. But when it comes down to it, without political parties, we would have one set of political beliefs, and no innovation would take place in society.