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Nicole Dane
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Nicole Dane
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Question Answer
Liberalism: What is Liberalism? - All liberals aim to promote individual liberty - Liberals value (in an overall sense) liberty (Maximize the freedom that people have, the decisions they can make, one’s power over their own life) - But liberals disagree about the nature of liberty
Liberalism: Brian Barry on Liberal States - Religious toleration (people who live in a state, have the right to practice their religion) - Freedom of the press - Abolition of servile social status (Can be slavery, can be serfdom, can be handed over [you wronged me so now you have to hand over a family member] -- Servile: They can make you do things and there is nothing you can do about it)
Liberalism: Brian Barry on Liberal Ideas - No religious dogma can reasonably be held with certainty - Every doctrine should be open to critical scrutiny - Fundamental equality of all human beings: inequality is an artifact
Liberalism: Origins and Development - Medieval Europe - Revolutions in England, France, and America - Classical Liberalism - Modern Liberalism
Liberalism: Medieval Europe - Religious conformity - Feudalism (Allowed for the King, at the very top, to get away with things, and peasants not having access to any rights. -- The question is, is the King on the side of the peasants, or the Nobles and the Knights?) - Ascribed status (What you were born into, what your position was. -- You got that position whether you deserved it or not.) - Political absolutism (The King has power over everything, which was problematic)
Liberalism: Challenging the Medieval Order - Questioning religious conformity - Rejecting ascribed status in favour of achieved status and equal opportunity - Overthrowing absolute monarchy
Liberalism: Martin Luther (1438-1546) - Protestant Reformation - Luther against Church corruption and priestly authority - Unintentionally paves the way for religious pluralism and, eventually toleration - Luther and John Calvin: non-resistance to political authority - Later Calvinists: rights to overthrow rulers who do not tolerate free exercise of their religion
Liberalism: Revolutions 1) England 1688 - Constitutional monarchy - Freedom of worship for dissenters, religious toleration 2) America 1776 - No taxation without representation - All men are created equal - Legitimate government protects our natural rights 3) France 1789 - The rights of man and the citizen - Equal opportunity - Constitutional government - Religious toleration
Liberalism: Central Themes - Individualism - Freedom - Reason - Justice - Toleration
Liberalism: Individualism - The primacy of the individual matters - Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): Enlightenment, morality, freedom, dignity -Kant: Treat human beings never merely as means, but always at the same time as ends in themselves
Liberalism: Freedom (Liberty) - John Stuart Mill’s harm principle - Negative (not preventing education) and positive freedom (providing education - educated people can get a better job, make more money, etc.) - The three-part concept of freedom: A is free from B to do or become C
Liberalism: Reason - The Enlightenment and Progress - Against paternalism (develop the capacity to decide things for yourself) - Promoting discussion and argument
Liberalism: Justice - What is justice? - Moral equality (you and I are equal beings, so we are both moral agents, and we both matter) - Equal citizenship - Equal opportunity
Liberalism: Toleration - What is toleration? - Pluralism (if you and me disagree, we can both have those opinions and be different without trouble) - Toleration and autonomy -- we, ourself, governing agents, can choose to do different things (two types of liberalism)
Liberalism: The Liberal State - The state and the rule of law - The social contract argument for the state - John Locke on political authority and the state
Liberalism: Constitution - Constitution, Bill of Rights, Rule of Law, prevention of majority tyranny - Separation of powers: executive, legislative, and judicial - Other ways to check power: cabinet, parliament, bicameralism, federalism
Classical Liberalism: Common Themes - Predominantly self-interested individuals - Negative freedom - The state as a necessary evil - Positive view of civil society as a realm of freedom
First Source of Classical Liberalism: Natural Rights - What natural rights are - John Locke and Thomas Jefferson - Three minimal functions of the state: property and public order, defence, and contract enforcement
Second Source of Classical Liberalism: Utilitarianism - Utility - What utilitarianism is (Bentham) - Utilitarianism and classical liberalism
Third Source of Classical Liberalism: Economic Liberalism - Against mercantilism - Seeking economic liberty - The ideas of Adam Smith
Classical Liberalism: Adam Smith on Capitalism - 1776: Smith’s Wealth of Nations - Competition is fair and efficient - Invisible Hand: From self-interest to the public good - Free trade benefits everyone - Benefits the worst off (individuals who are worst off in the system, still have access to the things they need) - Promotes international peace - Conductive to order, good government, liberty and security - Fosters self-reliance
Classical Liberalism: Smith on Government’s Role - Defend the country against attack - Protect property rights and maintain order - Provide public education and the infrastructure needed to do business
Classical Liberalism: Smith on Distributive Justice - Smith opposes trade barriers, but supports taxation to benefit the poor - Rejects prevailing views of the poor - He thinks the poor are dignified, industrious, equally capable, and entitled to their fair share of goods
Fourth Source if Classical Liberalism: Social Darwinism Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) Spencer’s Worldview: - Social evolution (overtime, people evolve to be better and better human beings) - Absolute property rights (people who owned, gained, worked for, etc. property had an absolute right to their property) - Ineffective and corruption of welfare programs - Survival of the fittest (not quite what Darwin believes) - Spencer on Distributive Justice: Why no state aid to the poor? 1) They are unfit to survive (if they cannot care for themselves, why should we supply their care) 2) Society is too complex to be controlled in the way governments want to control them 3) Shouldn’t override property rights
Modern Liberalism: Key Ideas - Individuality (John Stuart Mill) - Positive freedom - Social liberalism - Economic management (in order to ensure our freedoms, and ensure that we get everything we are supposed to, the government must manage the economy to some degree)
Modern Liberalism: T.H. Green’s Welfare Liberalism - Government is not merely a necessary evil - The state can advance individual liberty by promoting equal opportunities for all
Modern Liberalism: T.H. Green on Freedom - Two concepts of freedom 1) Negative freedom: absence of restraint 2) Positive freedom: actual ability to do something worth doing (Green’s definition) - Main obstacles to freedom: poverty, ignorance, prejudice, sickness - Government can promote freedom through poor relief, public schools and hospitals, and regulation of working conditions
Modern Liberalism: Social Liberalism and Economic Management - The welfare state - Rights: civil, political, social, and economic - John Rawls on liberal justice - John Maynard Keynes (argument for protecting the economy)
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