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Sherifa Amin

on 7 October 2015

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Transcript of Liberalism

Liberalism & Politics
The Liberal State
Economic Liberalism
Adam Smith "The Wealth of Nations"
Modern Liberalism
Free market was not as regulating as Adam Smith had thought
Further development of industrialization led to:
Economic depressions
Hereditary class positions
Unequal bargaining power (ex: rich employer, poor desperate worker)
Had industrial capitalism brought prosperity and liberty for all?
The Solution The interventionist state
Governments should:
1) Step in to guarantee living at an adequate level
2) Be responsible for basic welfare services (health, education, housing)
3) Ensure freedom of speech and press
Central Themes
"freedom and choice"
Origins & Development
First liberals challenged absolutism & the divine right of kings
Criticized the privileges that came with the "accident of birth"
Liberals call for a market economy free from government intervention

Classic Liberalism
Representative government + market-based economics
State role should be limited to order and security
Government should not supervise religion, the press or free speech
The Problem with Misconceptions
Liberal Open-Minded
Conservative Backward
A commitment to the individual

The desire to construct a society in which people can satisfy their interests

Humans are rational and reasonable

People are entitled to equal rights, and they should be rewarded according to their talents & willingness to work
What about the rest of the world?
Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: "the social contract"
A portion of their liberty
Respect & obedience
Protection of their rights
Safety & security
Liberal Attitudes Towards the State:
Governments' authority comes from the people & their consent

Governments should be neutral when its individuals come into conflict
Liberal Democracy
A form of political rule
Limited government + regular free and fair elections
Laissez-faire [let them act]
Rationalist approach on human nature
Wealth is the amount of goods produced, not gold and silver
Government intervention retards growth; it banishes competition
The invisible hand
Freedom of choice [what goods to make, where to work, what to buy]
Driving forces: self-interest & acquisition/consumption of wealth
Belief that unrestrained pursuit of profit would lead to general benefit
Full transcript