Liberalism 9 markers - human nature, society and the state


Analyse and explain 3 liberal views of human nature:

1. Rationalism

- Humans are capable of using reason and logical to make moral decisions so should have as much freedom as logically possible

- Individuals can choose their own path regardless of norms, for example the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people.

- Mill: "Over his own body and mind the individual is sovereign."

- Gladstone: "Liberalism os trust in the people".

- Individuals are rational and mature so don't need any overbearing state, they should be left to their own devices to make decisions for themselves.

2. Equality and social justice:

- All individuals are of equal worth - no ones worth more than others - presidents and paupers treated alike.

- This should reflect in equality of opportunity

- If it isn't reflected policies should tackle this in order to distribute opportunities more fairly, tackle the post code lottery.

- For example the 2010 coalition gov introduced Pupil Premium in schools to help tackle inequalities between students.

3. Individualism:

- Classical - Locke: People should be able to pursue their own self interests whilst being mindful of others concerns.

- Wollstonecraft: Something both men AND women are capable of - "the mind has no gender"

- Later classical - Mill: Individuals are the best judge of their own character - no authority can claim this power. Humans have the potential to become so much more if left to progress individually. "Its better the be Socrates dissatisfied, than a pig satisfied."

Analyse and explain 3 liberal views on society

1. Classical:

- Locke: describes the perfect society as a natural society with 'natural' laws and natural rights, for example the right to life, liberty, property... He argues that the state of society prior to the state was ideal and at its optimum. Described it to be pleasant, civilised and long.

- Ideas…


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