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and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority. - advocates limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, individual liberties including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets
Slide 2 Liberalism started as a major doctrine and intellectual endeavour in response to the religious wars gripping Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries, up until the cold war Liberalism as a specifically named ideology begins in the late 18th century as a movement towards self-government and away from aristocracy. It included the ideas of self-determination, the primacy of the individual and the nation, as opposed to the family, the state, and religion, as being the fundamental units of law, politics and economy. Liberalism first became a powerful force in the Age of Enlightenment, rejecting several foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as nobility, established religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings. The first notable incarnation of liberal unrest came with the American Revolution, and liberalism fully flowered as a comprehensive movement against the old order during the French Revolution, which set the pace for the future development of human history.
SLIDE 3 The early liberal thinker John Locke, who is often credited for the creation of liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition, employed the concept of natural rights and the social contract to argue that the rule of law should replace absolutism in government, that rulers were subject to the consent of the governed, and that private individuals had a fundamental right to life, liberty, and property. Developed a theory of property resting on the actions of individuals, rather than on descent or nobility. His notion that a "government with the consent of the governed" and man's natural rights—life, liberty, and estate (property) as well on tolerance, as laid down in A letter concerning toleration and Two treatises of government —had an enormous influence on the development of liberalism.
Classical liberalism holds that individual rights are natural, inherent, or inalienable, and exist independently of government. Thomas Jefferson called these inalienable rights: "...rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law', because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. They believed that required a free economy with minimal government interference Whigs (or as members of the Whigery party of Britain were called) considered to include freedom of the press and freedom of speech, were justified by custom rather than by natural rights. Although classical liberalists advocate and aspired to a minimum of state activity, they accepted the principle of government intervention in the economy from the early 19th century. Classical liberals concluded that historical development was turning against them. The changing economic and social conditions of the 19th led to a division between neo-classical and social liberals who, while agreeing on the importance of individual liberty, differed on the role of the state. Neo-classical liberals, who called themselves "true liberals", saw Locke's Second Treatise as the best guide, and emphasised "limited government", while social liberals supported government regulation and the welfare state. The ideas of classical liberalism remained essentially unchallenged until THE Great Depression which led to economic hardship from which the voters demanded relief. thus national government had the express obligation to maintain high levels of employment in the economy, to supervise standards of life and labour, to regulate the methods of business competition, and to establish comprehensive patterns of social security. Today, classical liberals tend to see government power as the enemy of liberty, while modern liberals fear the concentration of wealth and the expansion of corporate power. And like in any adoption to the times, the concept of classical liberalism as such can no longer exist in a modern day context as its principles were only relevant at the time its founding thinkers conceptualised them;
SLIDE 5 Thomas Hobbes - was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory The social contract or political contract is an intellectual construct that typically addresses two questions, first, that of the origin of society, and second, the question of the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate (or to the decision of a majority), in exchange for protection of their natural rights. The question of the relation between natural and legal rights, therefore, is often an aspect of social contract theory.
he also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between civil society and the state); the view that all legitimate political power must be "representative" and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal interpretation of law which leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid.
SLIDE 7 AND 8
At its very core, modern political philosophy, by and large, rejects the basic tenants held by ancient and medieval philosophers. While the ancients, specifically Aristotle, hold as their standard of discourse a certain idea of what human beings ought to be, modern philosophers such as Machiavelli and Hobbes base their ideas on what humans are by nature. Rather than providing people with an ideal standard to which they should aspire, the moderns view humans in their very lowest state. Hobbes calls this lowest state of human existence the State of Nature. SLIDE 9 Hobbes describes men as being naturally vain and selfish. He declares that "whatsoever is the object of any man’s appetite or desire that is it which he for his part calleth good; and the object of his hate and aversion, evil; and of his contempt, vile and inconsiderable. For these words of good, evil and contemptible are ever used with relation to the person that useth them…" In other words, men by nature perceive a thing as being good or evil not in terms of how it may affect the interests of others, but in terms of how it affects their own self-interest. State of Nature is a state of competition between individuals for the finite resources available on Earth, the purpose being to sustain their own lives Hobbes define the basic right of man’s liberty "to use his own power, as he will himself, for the pres Hobbes proceeds to define the basic right of man’s liberty "to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature." Laws of nature, on the other hand, are general rules that forbid man "to do that which is destructive of his life or taketh away the means of preserving the same." Thus, finding himself naturally in a state of competition or war in which he is constantly in jeopardy of losing his life, man’s primary objective in the preservation of his own life is to seek peace with the other man. He does this by making a contract or covenant with other men, agreeing that he will "lay down this right to all things, and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself." To put it another way, he extends his rights only so far as they do not conflict with the rights of another. ervation of his own nature." SLIDE 10 Because men are partial to their own interests, when such injustices as described above do occur, the people involved should not be permitted to judge the situation and mete out justice. An impartial third party is necessary so that justice is given according to the provisions of the contract and not according to the interests of one party. Therefore, the purpose of this third party is to enforce the provisions of the contract. Hobbes calls this third party a commonwealth, but more specifically, a Leviathan or Mortal God, and defines it as "one person, of whose acts a great multitude, by mutual covenants with one another, to the end that he may use the strength and means of them all, as he shall think expedient, for their peace and common defense."
his understanding of government is that it must have real and absolute power to rise above the state natural fear and conflict, that it must be the unquestioned arbiter of disputes involving the violation of the contract between individuals, and that it must be neutral, not involving itself in the "special interests" of its s the revolutionary premise with which he creates his Leviathan: The government is fundamentally a creation of all the people who willingly transfer to it their authority for self-government for the explicit purpose of maintaining the peace and securing the validity of their covenants. This is a radical departure from the medieval notion that governments exist to serve their own purpose or the whims of the Church, and it is a basic premise of classical liberalism. Subjects. SLIDE 11 Hobbes’ right of nature is defined as "the liberty each man hath to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature." He understands liberty as being simply "the absence of external impediments. quotE; Thus, liberty is not seen as freedom from anything that might be an obstacle in the pursuit of one’s desire. Since man’s basic desire is the preservation of his body, the object of government would be to free man from any situation in which his body would be put in jeopardy. THOUGH he is frequently overlooked in the light of his contemporaries, namely Locke and Montesquieu, whose theoretical regimes can be characterized as more "democratic" and therefore more "just." he clearly offers a framework which would allow human beings to rise above their natural state of chaos and fear to form a productive society. Considering the political climate in which he lived — English society involved in political climate and religious conflicts, a civil war, and the continual questioning of governmental authority — one might deduce that his real objective is to provide real stability.
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