Liberalism, Collectivism and State Socialism

  • Roger King


Theorists from both left and right of the political spectrum hold that there is an integral connection between economy and polity. Forms of government and the ends they pursue are regarded as primarily dependent upon the nature of the economic system with which they are situated within territorially-defined nation-states. These assertions are particularly pronounced in considerations of the role of the state in capitalist societies. It is claimed that there is both a logical and historical connection between the development of capitalism as an economic system and the growth of liberal constitutionalism as a political arrangement. Specifically, the democratisation of liberal regimes with the extension of political and other rights and the development of electoral politics are clearly linked to the individualism and demands for market freedom of the bourgeoisie. Competitive capitalism, it is argued, provides a necessary if not sufficient condition for competitive politics.


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© Roger King 1986

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  • Roger King

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