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Classical Liberalism and Thinkers
Transcript of Classical Liberalism and Thinkers
1) The primacy of individual rights and freedoms
3) Humans are reasonable and can make rational decisions that will benefit both themselves and society as a whole
4) Rule of law
5) Economic freedom (limited government intervention)
6) Private property
7) Free markets (competition)
8) Protection of civil liberties -People give up their natural rights to a government in order to receive social order and security.
-Government should be directly accountable to the people
-Private property -Equality of Individuals
-Accountability of government
-Separation of powers in government
-Democracy During Montesquieu's time, France believed in the divine rights of kings. Monarchs had come to believe they were no longer bound by any earthly authority since their status was determined by God. Montesquieu believed in the worth of the individual, and the accountability of the government. He believed that the people should be involved in the government. -Individual freedom
-The only limitations that should be placed on an individual were those that would protect the liberty of others
- Freedom of speech "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind." -John Stuart Mill "Every individual necessarily labors to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it... He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention." -Adam Smith - Self-interest: People work first for themselves then everyone will be better off.
-Limited government involvement (maintain rule of law and provide some public works) Smith's ideas became the basis of laissez-faire capitalism and the economic system associated with classical liberalism. -Iron law of wages:
1. The rise and fall of the price of labor is determined by many factors. The first factor is the salary’s power to satisfy the laborer’s need, and since he must be paid enough to buy his necessities such as food and clothing, his wage is regulated indirectly by the prices of his necessities.
2. Availability of labor. When the number of laborers increases, labor becomes cheap and the wages decrease and vice versa.
3. The third factor is as investment capital increases, the prices of labor will also increase. An increased capital demands a constant supply of new labor, so the laborer enjoys prosperity because his services are needed.
4. The fourth factor is an increase in population, which can either increase or decrease the price of the labor. As the population increases, the prices of necessities also increase to curb costs of the higher demand of labor needed to satisfy the new demands. But the combined effects of expensive necessities and more cheap labor can be disastrous to a laborer because his wages are low and his buying power is insufficient.
-Competition Social reform: Get rid of class system The right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the view that all legitimate political power must be "representative" and based on the consent of the people Usually the political power wasn't representative of the people because it would typically be a monarch ruler or the nobility who were in charge. Equality was a very radical idea as well because people were divided into classes. Locke's ideas were radical because there was so such thing as private property because the higher classes owned the land, and they would lend the land out to lower class people to take care of and live on. Also his idea that the government should be directly accountable to the people was radical. Adam Smith's ideas were radical at the time because he believed in limited government involvement, self-interest, and a free-market system. At the time self-interest wasn't common. Thomas Hobbes believes in the rights of the individual which relates to classical liberalism by protection of civil liberties and individual rights. These beliefs relate to Classical Liberalism by Private Property, but he rejects individual rights and freedoms because people have to give up some of their natural rights and freedoms for the collective common good and security. -Individual rights and freedoms
-Rule of Law
-Self-interest Mill's ideas were radical at the time because there wasn't freedom of speech back then and individual freedoms weren't common. -Individual freedom
-Protection of civil liberties Dickens wanted to get rid of the class system all together, and that was uncommon in his time because there had always been a higher class and a lower class in history. Because Dickens wanted to get rid of the class system it shows that he believed in individual rights and freedoms, self-interest, and the rule of law. He believed that everyone should have the right to pursue what they want, and not have to worry if their class is allowed to or not. He believed that everyone should be accountable under the law. David Ricardo believed in economic freedom and free trade, which was a radical idea because trading always had a tax. His Iron Law of Wages was a new insight into the way minimum wage should work and how the prices of things will fluctuate. -Competition
-"Free Market" I believe that Charles Dickens and I would get along nicely because he believed that everyone should be treated equally, and that just because we were born into a certain class/circumstance doesn't mean that we can't come out on top. I believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions, and anyone can go anywhere they want if they are persistent. Everyone should have an equal chance in life, and what social class they are in shouldn't have any restraints on their rights.
Additionally, I believe in Adam Smith's ideas. He believes in the invisible hand, economic freedom and competition. I believe that when people compete, the quality of the product will be better than if they weren't competing. Economic freedom is important to me because I believe in valuing self-interest.