Conservatism Versus Liberalism
The article “Margaret Thatcher The Lady Who Changed the World,” is a piece on The Economist which discusses the political life of the former British prime minister and how her legacy continues to live on. The article presents a unique view of conservatism, equating it to what it calls “Thatcherism.” According to the article, Thatchetr, being a conservative, significantly advocated for increased market freedom and a reduction in the levels of state interference. Thatcher advocated for increased freedom and privatisation. The article argues that she embodied conservatism by her continued advocacy for the respect of individual rights without interference and micromanagement by the state. The article depicts the difference between conservatism and liberalism when it says she (Margaret Thatcher) reversed the previously existing situation in which failure by the government was rewarded by yet more control. The assertion that the Labour party decided to adopt “Thatcherism,” by leaving economic activity to the private sector, highlights the main difference between conservatism and liberalism. Whereas one advocates for increased state control and involvement, the other (conservatism) advocates for a free market, privatisation and a market based solution, that comes about without much government intervention.
The article also captures the contrast between the two approaches to economic management by asserting that the pendulum in today’s society is increasingly swinging away from “Thatcherism (conservatism), as states are increasing their share of the economy, regulations are becoming stricter and more excessive. Even in the case of the United States of America, where Democrats are expected to be a bit conservative, the government is increasingly meddling in areas previously operating as free markets such as the banking sector perhaps due to the housing bubble of 2008. This is a clear affront to the conservative principles Thatcher advocated for, and a strong display of liberalism, usually characterized by increased state control. The article proceeds to name China as the epitome of liberalism, and a misguided belief that increased state control is a good thing.
Margaret Thatcher: The Lady Who Changed The World. Web. 12th June 2013. http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2013/04/margaret-thatcher