The Voice of Radicalism
Economic and Social Radicalism - Twentieth Century
Although radicals could agree about political equality they could not agree about economic and social equality. As the electorate expanded, the clash of class interests became more important and the radicals disagreed even more.
Middle Class Radicalism
This emphasised the importance of economic freedom for the individual. Middle class radicals believed that an individual should have the freedom to earn as much as he wanted and to use these earnings in any way he wished. The political struggle had been intended to:
Middle Class radicals believed that the right to acquire and retain private property was a natural right. Inequality was an acceptable, if not desirable
consequence of economic and political freedom.
Working Class Radicalism
This emphasised the importance of economic equality for the collective (group). Socialists believed that gaining the right to vote for all was wrong if the conditions of the working class did not improve as a result. They wanted:
The Socialist focus on class rather than on the individual, and a rejection of capitalism, was a clear break with Liberal radicalism.