Liberalism in International Political Economy Compared with Marxism and Realism

Liberalism and Marxism (and Gramscianism) In the theory of Liberalism, Adam Smith is one of its well-known proponents. His ideas on liberal capitalism focus more on how behaviors and market competitions are controlled by the invisible hand, believing that merchants or individuals are relying on their own in contributing greatly to economic improvement without the need for the intervention of the government.4Also, the collective individual initiatives are just as important as the contribution of each individual, because morality done on a personal level and through the perspective of others is important in order to maintain order and peace under liberalism.5 In essence, under the theory of Liberalism, there is an assumption of having similar thoughts and ideas among people, which makes it easier to assess whether an individual’s actions will benefit others or not. …This, in turn, will increase the likelihood that people will start thinking similarly, making it easier to govern them.6 Also, there will be no inequality because everyone is experiencing similar circumstances, and unless there are problems in the ruling body itself, under Marxism there will be peace, equality, emancipation, and justice because people share the same ideas and beliefs like in Liberalism.7 Liberalism and Marxism may share some similarities such as the importance of equality, but these two theories differ in other aspects. For example, the core belief of Liberalism is that markets wield power over economic growth but does not increase the gaps between various social and economic classes because of morality. However, this is contested by Marxism ideas, saying that while everyone may acquire benefit from participating in trade and commerce, the equality of gains will not be absolute among all parties. Because of this, there can be the unequal distribution of wealth, with merchants gaining more wealth over members of the market or the consumers as the result of differing relative gains for the merchants and the consumers.8More often than not if there is the unequal distribution of commodities there is also an unequal distribution of wealth, and vice-versa. Also, Liberalism is highly-idealistic in terms of giving importance to morality, and the fact that the margin between the rich and the poor are not decreased this means that Liberalism does not function as it is supposed to because not all participants in commerce regularly engage in fair trade and fair markets.