My political ideology has always been liberalism. Liberalism, as Kelly would say, “… is an achievement that is not subject to the increasingly commonplace charges of philosophical confusion, reductionism individualism, political naivete and irrelevance, or cultural imperialism…” (Kelly, 2011)
Political liberalism accommodates diverse opinions on how people should go on living their lives as opposed to other ideologies. It does not theorize and prescribe a whole dose of personal morality but only places limits on the diverse moral and political beliefs necessary in a contemporary democratic society.
These limits are derived from its central norm of the equal treatment and moral worth of all individuals. Moral claims by third persons will only be allowed if they are not incompatible with the fundamental principle of equal status of all. State power should never be utilized to get others to hold particular beliefs and not others.
Equal status of all and the strategy of privatization are the basic standpoints of this ideology. Individuals are required to recognize that contentious moral, religious and political views are private matters and should not be used to cause public political conflict. Moral scepticism is usually suppressed.
Liberalism is more of an individualistic doctrine in the sense that it is the moral worth of the human person which occupies its central position. This individualism has often been criticized as atomizing the society and thus breaking down the social ties.
The contemporary US notion of liberalism is distorted from the classical meaning of the ideology (Kuehnelt-Leddihn, 1997). The Americans preach of liberties instead of equality of persons and human worth. They advocate for freedom of speech and expression, equality, democracy, and universality of human rights (Sevenier, 2004) as they claim they are more receptive to new ideas.
They are on a mission to spread liberal democracy around the globe. However, this objective has been undermined by the neoconservative conviction that pursuing democracy is universal as all individuals are seeking freedom. In light of this, the U.S. does not realize that it is not, in fact, promoting democracy as believed but rather is perpetrating a particular type of democracy whose basis of governance is liberal principles (Gray 2006).
Since liberal democracy is composed of a set of processes such as elections and legislative decisions, neoconservatives erroneously conclude that this amounts to a universal and rational system of governance which can be employed anywhere to produce human freedom.
However, processes like elections and legislatures do not form a part of universal goal towards freedom but rather amounts to a system of explicit traditions and rituals. Subsequently, liberal democracy is not a mere case of allowing a natural growth to take place without violence. Rather, it is the establishment of a particular form of political stratification and liberal procedures (Pan 2008).
According to Carl Schmitt, the ultimate value in a society cannot be established through violence, neither can they be argued for logically. As such, the establishment of any form of political authority will definitely not be achieved by persuasion or arguments. Instead, they should be founded on an ethos of belief which according to Schmitt is the foundational basis of all political authority (Schmitt, 2004).
The U.S. should understand that establishing their concept of liberal democracy, they require a political structure which supports liberalism to represent that identity against alternative representations of identity that are mainly based on nationality, religious beliefs, and tribal affiliations.
Gray, S. (2006). Irregular Enemies and the Essence of Strategy: Can the American Way Of War Adapt? Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College.
Kelly (2011). Introduction: What is Liberalism? Retrieved from:
Kuehnelt-Leddihn, E. (1997). Liberalism in America, Journal Archive, Intercollegiate
Studies Institute. 3901 Centerville Rd. Willmington: Delaware.
Pan, D. (2008). Liberalism as a Political Ideological in U.S. Foreign Policy. Telos Archive: Telos Press Publishing,
Schmitt, C. (2004). Legality and Legitimacy, Trans. And Ed. Jeffrey Seitzer. Durham, NC: Duke UP.
Sevenier, G. (2004). American Cultural Imperialism: Gift or Threat. Retrieved from: gsevenier.free.fr/CulturalImperialism.html