The Major Ideologies of Liberalism, Socialism and Conservatism



In the last thirty years ideologies have been treated as if they are contingent assemblages of concepts. This has complicated the study of ideologies so much that some philosophical consideration now seems necessary. In this article an original theory is put forward in which the three major ideologies of liberalism, socialism and conservatism are understood to be three differing views about the nature of the fundamental criterion by which politics should be judged. Since this theory explains the relation between the three as if they are elaborations of the same original criterion, it enables us to see how the ideologies relate to and yet differ from each other.