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Throughout recent history, the political ideologies of I iberal ism and democracy have been closely associated with each other. Despite this common association, there is a continuing tension between the two sy stems. The cause of this tension can be best summarized as the distinction between negative and positive liberty, made famous by Isaiah Berlin. Liberalism, with its emphasis on individualism and support of restrictions on state intervention in personal and economic affairs, comes to represent negative liberty. On the other hand, democracy comes to represent positive liberty by its emphasis on communitarian ism and its articulation for the need of group consensus to realize a shared understanding of the public good. As a result of this tension, liberals and democrats are forced to argue whether political discourse should focus on the distribution of individual rights (liberal view) or answer the question posed by democrats of, 'what is the ideal way of life?' Over the last twenty years, individuals in affluent western societies are becoming more concerned about quality of life issues and less concerned about material gain or scarcity of resources. Because of this new post­materialism, individuals are increasingly preferring the positive liberty­oriented solutions that democracy has to offer over the negative liberty of liberalism that is firmly entrenched in western culture by the political and business elite.