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Liberalism
Summary of Liberalism
· origins in the Enlightenment
· central value is that individuals have a fundamental right to personal freedom
· Liberals accept that liberty entails responsibility ­ the actions of an individual should not
harm others or curtail the individual's own freedom.
· Liberals support the existence…

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· New philosophies of the period challenged existing assumptions about the nature of
humankind and society
· made never known/done before assertions (confident beliefs) about the human condition
SOME OF THEIR BELIEFS INCLUDE:
each person is born a free, rational individual
the individual does not have to accept the judgement…

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· Liberalism became necessary to underpin the development of free market capitalism
· growth of international trade, old feudal order was crumbling, industrialisation
· spawning new social classes
· rapid economic growth by freedom of the individual
· ADAM SMITH: The wealth of nations. New economic order was inhabited by…

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· French liberal Benjamin Constant. "the aim of the moderns is the enjoyment of security in
private pleasures"
· Rousseau and Godwin before ­ quite radical
· Liberals saw that the enemies of liberty were: governments were too paternalistic, claiming
to do what was best for the interests of the…

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LIMITED GOVERNMENT AND CONSTITUTIONALISM
· Government should operate within strict boundaries to ensure freedom
· fear the exercise of arbitrary power i.e. power that has no legitimate authority
· fear the tendency for power to become too concentrated in too few hands
· fear the democratic systems may simply become…

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· JEREMY BENTHAM ­ all actions by government should be judged on the basis of a kind of
algebra or calculus, which would establish whether total utility would be increased or
reduced.
Implications of two principles: governments had to accept what the people asserted would
give them satisfaction. Second, government…

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-SAMUEL SMILES: it is within the capability of all individuals including members of the
working class to improve themselves through diligent activity and a willingness to set up
new economic ventures. Nobody should rely on others
-closely associated liberalism
-Many conservatives and neo liberal thinkers took their support for free…

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-promoting stronger constitutional safeguards
-increase the use of referendums
-strengthening legal safeguards for individual rights
-promoting freedom of information
-extending the rights of women and minority groups

General modern liberalism (summary almost):
1. extension of individual and group rights
2. support for a multicultural society
3. campaigns to extend both…

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· Saw state intervention as a threat to individual liberty
· then argued against the utilitarian view that sole motivation of human beings was the
pursuit of material pleasures.
· "better to be a human dissatisfied than a pig satisfied"
· main contribution = defined limits of freedom POSITIVE AND…

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