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Flashcards in Liberalism - Key thinker examples Deck (6)
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Key thinker examples of liberal views on society

John Locke - Belief in natural society with natural laws and rights and social contract.

John Stuart Mill - Belief in the individualistic society

John Stuart Mill - Believed most human activity should be tolerated, unless it infringes on his harm principle

Mary Wollstonecraft - Belief in foundational equality, thinks women should have the same opportunities as men


John Locke's view on the state

- A state that is thus 'contractual' and based on government by consent. Also the idea of a 'nightwatchman' state - a state only there to keep individuals safe.


Classical and modern liberalism views on the state

All Liberals are suspicious of the state, but believe its a necessity to achieve maximum liberty.

Classical liberalism - Individual freedom would best be achieved with the state playing a minimal role and a reliance on market economics (John Locke, natural society with natural laws and rights)

Modern liberalism - Reaction to free market capitalism, qualified support for social and economic intervention to aid personal development (John Rawls believed in a interventionist state) (enabling state)


Other key thinker views

- John Locke believed that the government should only represent the will of people who own private property.

- John Stuart Mill disagreed with this 'tyranny of the majority' and said it oppresses the individualism of the minority.

Classic liberalism believes in negative freedom and a laissez faire economy, modern liberalism believes in positive freedom and a keynesian economic management system.


Classical and modern liberal views on the economy

- All strands of liberalism believe the aim of 'economic liberalism' is to advance individual freedom.

Classical liberalism - Believe in a laissez faire capitalism system as it maximises individual liberty. There is also a respect for private property ('a natural right', John Locke, JSM was a big supporter of this system too)

Modern Liberalism - Moving away from laissez faire capitalism, modern liberals believe capitalism requires state management to ensure full employment. (T.H Green tried to reconcile a capitalist market society with liberalism)


Classical and modern liberal views on equality

- All strands of liberalism believe in equality of opportunity and foundational equality

- Classical liberals however believe minimal state intervention is required to achieve this, while modern liberals are in favour of state intervention to enhance equal opportunities.

- Modern Liberals like Betty Freidan place a big emphasis on equality of opportunity as well as legal equality