Transition from absolutism to classical liberal
Classical liberal state
First democratic form of a state
Based on the idea of popular sovereignty
The population within these states are becoming less an
object of social control and more the source of power (right to
People who are sovereign who delegate the sovereignty to
Defined by the idea of popular sovereignty, it’s the people
who are sovereign not the monarch.
Rights based in two senses:
Advocated on behalf of and protection of private property.
(Protecting the ability of individuals to decide how they want
to secure their private property, association, means etc. State
protects their right to chose by engaging in the occupational
categories they chose. Protects the rights of individuals to
acquire as much wealth as they can as long as they aren’t
o Adam Smith
Rational individual (people should have the ability
to have rights protected largely because people
are rational. Means individuals know what is best
for themselves) Have to entrust rational
individuals to accumulate and dispose wealth as
they see fit as they are the only ones who knows
what best for themselves. States cant generalize.
Undermines the population to prosper and
undermines the society from being well off and
Self regulating market – government intervention
is bad in the economy. Prosperous economies
strain the state from intervening.
Critique of mercantilism
Leads to irrational use of resources.
(autarky self sufficiency, what preserves
Protectionist aspects irrational. Makes no
sense to isolate from foreign competition.
What it does is deprive the capacity of the
state to acquire the investment income to
increase employment etc. Undermine the
capacity of your own industries to ultimately
be competitive. Leads to war, war is inefficient.
David Ricardo – Comparative
advantage. If everyone is producing
what they do best and exchange with