10 MARK LIBERALISM QUESTIONS: Jan 2010 - Jan 2012

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  • Created on: 30-05-18 09:07
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  • LIBERALISM - (10 Mark Qs)
    • Why is individualism important to Liberals
      • Optimistic view of human nature.
        • RATIONAL: Tories use "Original Sin" to suggest humans are irrational and selfish, liberals disregard it, Rousseau said "man is born free"
        • JS Mill and Locke argued individualism leads to self fulfilment and it maximises human potential, innovation and creativity
        • Samuel Smiles argued humans are capable of adapting to their environment and changing their situation so state intervention isn't needed as it undermines human capabilities.
      • Protecting the rights of the individual
        • Prior to the Enlightenment, ppl believed in the "divine right of kings".
        • Locke believed in the Social Contract, humans give consent to be ruled and only then is authority legitimate. in return the state must protect individuals natural rights
      • Associated with New Right thinkers such as Ayn Rand and Nozick, arguing atomism will lead to a multitude or self-sufficient individuals and prevent a dependancy culture.
    • Libertarianism
      • The belief that all issues that arise can be resolved by the market forces in the economy
      • State intervention creates a dependancy culture in welfare and prevents economy from running efficiently
        • In disagreement with social liberals such as Hobson and Hobhouse who believe the state has a legitimate role in preventing excessive inequalities
      • Some say Thatcher was a libertarian due to her dogmatic monetarism in which she refused to intervene during the recession
        • However she intervened in the social sphere with her "victorian values" e.g. Section 28
      • Locke said only legitimate role for the state is to act as the "night-watchmen"
    • How do Liberals perceive equality.
      • CLASSICAL LIBERALS
        • Inequalities are inevitable but people should be as free as possible.
        • Locke:  every man may enjoy the same rights as others.
      • SOCIAL LIBERALS
        • Rawls argued the state should intervene when inequalities for the poor are arising bc the rich are getting wealthier
        • Believe in equality of opportunity not outcome like socialists,
        • Beveridge argued equal political + legal rights wasn't enough. Ppl need equal access to rights. NHS and social security benefits his report.
    • Why is Liberalism pluralist
      • Belief in tolerance
        • JS Mill: govt should tolerate all self regarding actions but not other-regarding actions
        • Voltaire: "I detest what you say but I defend your right to say it"
      • Power should be widely dispersed+not concentrated in the hands of a few. Scottish Referendum under coalition?
        • Contrasted with Elitism: the belief that a society or system should be led by an elite.
      • Political pluralism is a feature of liberal democracy, all groups should have a chance to influence those in power and hold govt to account.
    • How do liberals perceive natural rights?
      • SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY
        • Hobbes argued in man's state of nature life would be "nasty brutish and short" and therefore must conform to the divine right of kings
        • Locke argued govt is only legitimate if ppl give consent to their authority. the govt has to in return protect peoples natural rights such as freedom of speech, private property etc. otherwise the govt can be overthrown.
          • Similar to Rousseau's social contract but he believed the reason for inequalities was private property.
      • Now referred to as human rights.
        • Voltaire: "i detest what you say but i defend your right to say it.
        • Freedom of Informations Act under coalition.
        • assumes that humans are innately rational and good and that they carry into political society those rights that they enjoyed in earlier stages of history
      • rights, to use an analogy, operate as ‘trumps’ which override competing considerations. This prevents collective goals from being used to justify denying individuals the right to do what they wish or for imposing some laws or injury on them.
    • Why is liberty and individual responsibility closely linked?
      • Classical liberals - In order for people to be free, they must be free from the state.
      • New Liberals argued that individuals could not consider themselves to be completely free merely to pursue their own interests. Individuals have a social obligation and responsibility to consider the needs and welfare of others.
      • Samuel Smiles argued individual responsibility is important to prevent a dependancy culture.
        • believed help from others is often weakening, while self-help is strengthening.
      • Market runs best when individuals are as free as possible.

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