There are two views in the US.
One, called progressivism, derives from the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and tends to blame all human problems on imperfect social institutions. Individuals devoted to this worldview concentrate great effort on the perfecting of institutions according to their idea of social justice, which evolves as new problems are created by their efforts to transform society and its institutions.
Their opponents refer to this fundamental problem of progressivism as the Law of Unintended Consequences.
In addition, progressives of all stripes require the development of an aristocracy consisting of political, economic, social, and cultural elites who can implement the proper management of society.
The other worldview, best described as classical liberalism, acknowledges that social conditions circumscribe individuals’ choices, but they nonetheless argue that people have freedom of choice within the conditions under which they live. Such classical liberals argue for political liberty and allowance of social mobility, an essential element of which is the acceptance of the concept of personal responsibility, the willingness of society to allow people to reap the consequences of their
actions, both good and bad.
In short one side thinks that people are dumb and that they need the gentle, and not so gentle, guiding hand of their betters. The other side... doesn't.
Give it all a quick read.
Here's another article on the same subject.