Democracy and equality 10 marker

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  • Democracy and equality
    • Liberal Democracy
      • Understand democracy in individualist terms
        • There is a fear of collective power
        • Belief in political equality
        • Liberals are now concerned that democracy is the enemy of individual liberty
          • 'the people' are not a single group but a collection of individuals
          • De Tocqueville = 'the tyranny of the majority'
      • Regular and competitive elections
      • Consent through the ballot box
      • Democracy constrains abuses of power
        • It must always be conducted within a constitutional framework to prevent majoritarian tyranny
      • LD creates external check on government that are designed to guarantee civil liberty and ensure a healthy civil society
      • Lord Acton = 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'
    • Freedom
      • Give priority to freedom as the supreme individualist value
      • If liberty is unlimited it can become a license to abuse others
        • J.S Mill = the only time power can be rightfully used over someone else is to prevent harm to others
          • Mill takes a libertarian stance meaning that only minimal restriction on freedom are needed
      • Rawls = everyone is entitled to widest possible liberty consistent with a like liberty for all
      • Classical = negative freedom
        • Free from interference
        • Absence of external restictions
      • Modern = positive freedom
        • Emphasis on the capacity of human beings to develop and achieve self realisation
    • Social contract
      • Hobbes = humans are greedy and selfish so naturally we enter a 'war of all against all'
        • Life would be 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short'
      • Locke came up with the idea of a SC.
      • Rational individuals consent to create a gov with the authority to keep life ordered and preserve liberty
        • Individuals consent to sacrifice some liberty in order to set up a system of law, knowing that otherwise their rights would be in constant danger
      • Political authority comes from below in a state created by the individual for the individual
        • Government arises out of consent of the government
    • Justice and equality
      • Giving each person what they are 'due'
      • People are born equal in the sense that thy are of equal moral worth i.e. natural rights
      • All liberal advocate formal equality (i.e. legal, EQ o O)
        • Classical = social equality threatens freedom and penalises talent
          • Believe in Merritocracy
        • Modern = true EQ of O cant be achieved without social equality
      • social justice = the fair distribution of wealth and rewards in society
      • Individuals should have an equal opportunity to develop their unequal skills and abilities
      • Rawls = economic inequality is only justifiable if it works to the benefit of the poorest in society
      • MLK = 'content of character'
        • People should be judges on their talents not the colour of their skin etc.


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