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Key concepts
Human nature, individualism, natural rights, tolerance
Democracy, social contract, freedom, justices, equality
Libertinism, utilitarianism, pluralism
Capitalism, welfare

The meaning of liberalism, particularly liberal ideas & values concerning the individual,
capitalism & welfare

Liberal views on human nature and the state
Differing views and tensions within liberal ideology…

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Humans are rational, self-interested individuals capable of independent thought.
Everyone is unique with their own abilities & distinctive qualities & everyone is of
equal value. Therefore, human beings are born of equal worth and achieve status
through competition and merit: liberals believe in meritocracy. The liberal view of
society is…

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freedom to be educated & freedom to have free healthcare. This supports equality of
opportunity & requires larger role for the state than classical liberals would allow, as
the state has a moral duty to protect the most vulnerable in society.

Human beings are born equal & each have…

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Father of modern liberalism
Social contract
Human nature characterised by reason and tolerance
Equal and free
Right to life, liberty and property "inalienable" rights which govn't should
Government exists by consent, sovereignty of the people
Revolution is right & obligation in some circumstances (govn't doesn't defend
rights, remove consent)…

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Samuel smiles (1812-1904)
Self help
o Individual is self-responsible
o Encourage independence, thrift & hard work (diligence)

Rousseau (1712-78)
Promoted individual freedom & equality (liberty/equality)
Had a positive view of human nature (disagreed with Hobbes)
Humans "noble savages", free in the wild, join civilised society to progress but
become corrupted…

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Spend your way out of recession
o Govn't spending
Roosevelt adopted his ideas in the USA
Aim- full employment

Beveridge (1879-1963)
Beveridge report 1942
o Faced `similar, ignorance, want, idleness, disease'.
Proposed a welfare state, led to creation of NHS
Protect people "from the cradle to the grave"

Friedrich Hayek…

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Core values- sense of social obligation, positive freedom, some welfare
provision from the state

Keynes- economist, aim was full employment, spend your way out of recession
(govn't spending)
Beveridge- adopted by Atlee, 5 giants, squalor, disease, want, ignorance and
idleness "to protect people from the cradle to the grave"…

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1980s the Social Democratic Party (SDP) formed & formed a formal electoral
alliance with the Liberals in 1983
1999, Charles Kennedy elected leader, the Kennedy years saw opposition to a
number of New Labour policies, e.g. the introduction of university tuition fees
& proposals for introducing a national ID card…

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Abandoned the old Clause IV & accepted both the free market and the idea,
derived from Rawls, that inequality could be justified if it improved the
general wealth of society. Blair believed in an `enterprise culture' and Third
Way economics, which embraced schemes promoting private finance in the


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