To what extent has modern liberalism departed from the principles of classical liberalism

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  • Created on: 06-04-16 21:32
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  • To what extent does modern liberalism depart from the ideas of classical liberalism?
    • Human Nature
      • Individualism
        • Atomism-collection of self-sufficient, egotistical individuals
        • MacPherson 'possessive individualism' regards individual as 'the proprietor of his own person or capacities, owing nothing to society for them'
      • Individuality
        • Egoism tempered by sense of social responsibility
        • Green 'individuals have some sense of sympathy for each other: their egoism is constrained by a degree of altruism'
        • Mill stressed desire of indv. to achieve personal development autonomy and self-realisation
          • High and lower pleasures. Intellectual, development vs crude pleasure seeking.
          • Developmental individualism. Mill 'I would rather be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied'
      • Changed but still focused on indv.
    • Freedom
      • Negative
        • Absense of restrictions upon an indv. liberty w/indv being free from interference
        • Upheld by 'rule of law' where everyone formally equal
        • Freedom of speech, religious worship etc. Voltaire 'I detest what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it'
      • Positive
        • Green said was not sufficient
        • Humans prohibited from reaching potential by social disadvantage and injustice
        • Right to healthcare, education
      • Same preference for self-reliant indv. who take responsibility for their own lives
    • Role/Size of State
      • Link from freedom
      • Enabling state
        • Minimal state incapable of fixing injustices and inequalities of society
        • Social welfarism, rid of five giants in 1942 Beveridge Report 'want, squalor, disease, ignorance and idleness'
      • Locke 'Night watch men' state
        • Prevent people causing harm to others
        • State's role limited to the protection of 'life, liberty and property'
          • Should not extend beyond minimal function of preserving public order, protecting property, providing defence of external attack and enforcing social contract
      • State should stay out of the economy largely
    • Economy
      • Laissez-faire economy
        • Based upon meritocracy. Spencer revised Darwin's 'survival of the fittest'
        • Sumner 'the drunkard in the gutter is just where he ought to be'
        • Smiles 'heaven helps those who help themselves'
        • Those who work will prosper, incompetent will fail
          • Inequalities in wealth and position are natural and state should not interfere
        • Self-regulating economy 'invisible hand' Smith
        • Can satisfy all needs and wants
      • Keynesian economy. Post WW2
        • Capitalism does not guarantee prosperity
        • Govt can reflate economy during high unemployment by increasing spending or reducing taxes
        • Management ensures prosperity
      • Very different


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