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Liberalism revision

An overview: Comes from the enlightenment – breaking out from feudalism – no individualism – people are treated as where they are in society – Liberalism is basically a response to the changing conditions of society – namely the growth of capitalism – early or classical liberalism was all about people being free from govt interference so they could pursue their business interests as capitalism grew – John Locke – night watchman state Later, or modern, Liberalism, was all about trying to help people to be truly free by intervening in their lives to get rid of obstacles to freedom like poverty and ignorance – Core themes: Freedom: The ability to think and do what you wish (all individuals are entitled to the widest possible liberty that is consistent with a like liberty Tolerance: must be tolerant if we want people to be free and individual

judges etc. this manifests in the form of courts.Individualism: the individual is of supreme importance Justice: individuals deserve to be treated fairly and equally Reason: individuals are entitled to have their opinions accepted by others Liberalism. Hence the ‘social contract’ (Locke): individuals consent to give some freedom in exchange for state protection Constitutions protect individuals from state tyranny – put limitations on government – rule of law – human rights act – SOPA (piracy act) – Internet monitoring – ID cards – House of Lords reforms: Some argue liberalism and democracy are not compatible because of majoritarianism – tyranny of the majority – most governments formed in Britain since WWII have not been . government and democracy Liberals believe we need a sovereign state (Hobbes) to protect our freedom from each other’s self-interest – in real government.

and to develop personally through participation (J.majorities – Bentham “greatest good for the greatest number” – minorities will be oppressed Minorities have other representation – trade unions. PR voting system – Democracy enables us to consent to give power to the govt. Positive freedom (Issia Negative freedom Berlin) (Issia Berlin) Social Darwinism – Social justice – govt meritocracy should help people – Equality of opportunity Economic liberalism – Economic management leave it alone (Adam – state intervention Smith – free market) – (Keynes) big bang 1986 – massive de-regulation of London businesses Individual liberty Social obligation Liberlalsim in politics: 19th century the Liberals (and others) espouse . welfare etc. to give to greatest food for the greatest number. you will learn more about society Classical Modern Laizez faire govt – Interventionist govt – minimal state Enabling state. to achieve consensus.S.Mill) – in order to vote. to take power back.

the Liberal Democrats est 1988 – privitisation of industries 21st Century: the Liberal Democrats today – as well as Labour. and the govt pay – then redistribute that wealth 1945: Attlee – NHS – proper institution of the welfare state Late 20th Century: Thatcher describes herself as a Classical Liberal.g. Gladstone – Under Gladstone: Home rule for Ireland – Private ballot – Abolished state religion in Ireland – Early 20th Century: Modern Liberalism kicks in with the foundation of the welfare state from 1906 onwards – People’s budget: taxing wealthy to help poor – 1908 –pensions act – introduction of national insurance act 1911 – you pay.classical liberalism. and the Coalition Key terms: Natural rights: god given. cant be taken away – right to life – governments job to protect them Equality: believe in equality of opportunity – . e. your boss pays. neo-liberal highly influential. the Conservatives.

classical liberals believe that people will end up where they deserve to be (social Darwinism) Pluralism: belief in diversity – power should be dispersed throughought society – Welfare state: classical: no welfare state – modern: people need help – fall back Tolerant: tolerant of other people even if you disagree – Voltaire: ‘detest what you say but defened your right to say it’ Libertarianism: Classical: maximum possible freedom as long as it doesn’t infringe on other people’s freedom Capitalism: accepted by all liberals: the way that people can make as much money as possible – govt should limit capitalism to stop ‘predatory capitalism’ Utilitarianism: the greatest good for the greatest number – democracy – you know what the greatest number of people .modern liberals believe that people should be helped.