LIBERALISM 4

  • Created by: Q_
  • Created on: 09-06-19 19:05
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  • Do liberals have a coherent view of the state?
    • NO
      • The liberal state supposedly supports foundational equality, in which all individuals are treated equally.Yet the liberal state was slow to adopt the principles of democracy, sexual equality and universal suffrage.
      • The liberal state extols the natural right to property. But it fails to recognise that most individuals under the state's jurisdiction have not owned property.
      • The liberal state defends 'government by consent', yet its constitution allows the consent of a majority to sometimes be defied via courts and assorted 'checks and balances'.
      • The liberal state is supposed to be 'limited', yet modern liberals have advocated a significant extension of the state intervention in the name of 'positive liberty'.
      • Modern liberals have compromised their belief in 'government by consent', by supporting supranational bodies like the EU, which arguably erode the authority of elective parliaments and elected representatives.
    • YES
      • Liberals are optimistic, believing that human beings are rational. Liberals believe in a constitutional state - drawn up as a result of rational discussion.
      • Liberal philosophers like Locke speak of a 'natural society' in which all individuals enjoy 'natural rights'. It is therefore coherent for liberals to support a 'limited state' that embodies such natural advantages via mechanisms such as a bill of rights.
      • The liberal state was a reaction against the medieval state in which power was concentrated in the monarch. The liberal state should be one with enhanced power dispersal.

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