Liberalism Differing Views & Tensions

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  • Differing Views & Tensions (Liberalism)
    • Classical Liberals
      • opposed to an expansion in the role of the state.
      • social problems should be solved by market forces
        • privatisation of essential public services
    • Modern Liberals
      • against free-market capitalism
        • many individuals not being free
      • Keynesianism
    • freedom
      • Modern Liberals = Positive Freedom
      • Classical Freedom =  Negative Freedom
    • Role of the State
      • According to Mill, the laissez-faire economic system is consistent with liberal notions of free exchange of labour and the importance of consumer choice
      • his support for worker co-operatives and an enabling role for the state.
    • Harm Principle
      • individual is free to engage in self-regarding actions.
        • sanction may be imposed when such actions impinge upon the freedom of others.
      • "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” - Mill
    • Individualism vs. Constructivism
      • Modern Constructivism
        • create new rights via an enabling state
      • Classical Individualism
        • limitations placed upon the state
    • Egoistical & Developmental Individualism
      • Classical = Egoistical Individualism
        • Individuals aim to satisfy their own wants and needs.
      • Modern = Developmental Indvidualism
        • less atomised view. desire to live in harmony with one another.
    • Keynesianism
      • Keynes rejected the argument that the market is a self-correcting mechanism naturally inclined towards reaching a state of equilibrium.
        • State intervention is therefore  necessary to prevent the collapse of capitalism.
      • State intervention is therefore  necessary to prevent the collapse of capitalism.
    • Laissez-Faire Capitalism
      • capitalist economic system, which may be defined as an economic system based upon private ownership and market forces.
      • It has long been a fundamental tenant of classical liberalism that free trade raises living standards for all.


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