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What is Liberalism?

Liberalism is an ideology, it believes:
Human nature: egotistical/ self interest
Freedom: individual autonomy
Society: Individualistic (but should tolerate each other)

What is classical liberalism?

It is a tradition within Liberalism which that seeks to maximise the realm of unconstrained
individual action typically by establishing a minimal…

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o Two freedoms: Negative and Positive

How do classical liberals view...?

Role of the state: minimal state interference- This is because state is regarded `necessary evil' ­
imposes collective will on society

The states proper role is to:

Maintain domestic order
Protection of civil liberties ( negative freedom)
Negative Freedom…

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Economic liberalism
Social Darwinism
Neo- liberalism

Natural rights (God given rights to human being which are entitled to humans)

All humans have natural rights for merely being humans
Right to `life, liberty and property' ­ John Locke
Social contract between government and the people
The purpose of the state to…

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Does egoism produce social justice? (outcomes> poverty, illiteracy, the `haves' and the `have
Liberal ideas of the state therefore EVOLVED
Welfare : Helps the people to help themselves

Role of the state

State should act as a vehicle to enhance liberty
This is to create positive freedom through state…

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John Rawls (1921- 2002)

Developed theory `justice as fairness' based on the belief that behind `the veil of
ignorance' most people accept liberty of each should be compatible with a like liberty for
Social inequality justified if it benefits the poorest of society

Key Principles of Modern Liberalism


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