History Essays

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Date Submitted: 03/14/2009 07:58 AM

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Essay 1

It has been said that liberalism has a “hollow core,” that when individuals are given unlimited freedom, there is no way to assure that they will also be moral and orderly. How did liberal societies in the 19th and 20th centuries attempt to deal with that problem?

Liberalism was an idea that took away class restrictions and the only restriction was how hard the individual is willing to work. The people are given unlimited freedom, and they will be governed by reason. However, “What will make the people behave morally, without any guidelines?” Europeans became obcessed with how to have an orderly society in a free society. When Industrialization occurred, there were enormous effects on society which led to a “social problem.” This problem consisted of the middle class highly benefiting from the revolution, but the lower classes did not benefit at all and the effects were tremendous. The industrial revolution created a new class of person, the unskilled laborer. There were women and children working in the coalmines, often stripped to the waist. The coal mine owners were being governed by their reason but the lower class suffers from long hours and low food. A “social problem” develops and some people believed that liberalism took away old restraints and allowed this problem to happen. This leads to the realization of a hollow core within the idea of liberalism.

There were a series of responses trying to explain the “hollow core” problem. Karl Marx believed that capitalism would be replaced by communism, a classless society. He wrote the “Communist Manifesto” which suggested a proletarian revolution to overthrow the bourgeois and to eventually bring about communism, and abolish private property. Freud and Nietzsche defended the fact that there was a “hollow core” problem. Nietzsche criticized the society they were in. He said that at the core people are governed by their reasoning but things have gotten a lot worse and society has repressed...