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[21] Liberalism.doc

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Kenneth Bartlett

January 31, 2011 Liberalism - transmission of liberal ideas into politics - Trace back to John Locke Treatise on Govt (essential text of liberalism) - All citizens are covered by same law regardless of social class - collective community decides on it - Enlightenment - equality of citizens, Fr.. Rev - L.T. Hobhouse, Liberalism - essentially bible of liberalism - Identifies categories of liberalism - achieve concrete results 1. Hobbyhorse: liberalism is based on a series of assumptions - civil liberty - No civil liberty in place where law is arbitrary (king does what he want) or chaos/anarchy - People need to be protected by rules - rules result in liberty - To be free - accept restraint 2. There has to be taxation - those who are taxed have to agree on alientation of public propery - reps of community must ensure taxation is legitimate by legitimate ruler for legitimate cause 3. Personal liberty - freedom of thought - hold opinions no matter how radical and express them through speech and writing - Religious liberty - state has no right to interfere in your personal beliefs or force you to believe in something else - No established religion - Freedom for all, restraining the few --> restrain fanatics/radicals, etc. (you can’t kill people for having different beliefs) - Where do you draw the line b/w what is offensive and what is dangerous? - The debate must happen - must be decided by community - law, courts, court of popular opin- ion - Freedom to trade and freedom to associate = economic freedom - Ensure joint/individual ventures - free from “unjust” restrictions (freedom of marketplace) --> adam smith: “unseen hand” that regulates supply and demand; gov’t can’t tax you to make trade extremely difficuly, you can’t grant a monopoly to one person or fix prices and cause people to suffer financially) - Domestic liberty - extended kin + family - Liberals believed that women shoud enjoy equal legal rights as men - hold peoperty, valid sig- natures --> equal person in society - How to manifest this? - Abstractly, women and men supposed to be equal - Marriage should be seen as legal document --> as far as society is concerned, marriage contract should be the same for everyone: responsibility for children (both parents equally responsible) - Liberalism = not just operation of law and society, but also instructions of how law operates in the household (microcosm) - Parents are accountable for welfare of children = novel idea (before, kids were either seen as economic hindrance or benefit) - What society believes is right goes beyond what parents think - Racial/national liberty - racial beliefs of a contintent (e.g. Technologically advanced nation thinks it’s better than those it can easily subdue) - Pragmatism => do what you can, be enlightened - but know there are limits to enlightenment, limits to what you can do - Attitude of imperialism: You can’t treat everyone in the world the same - because we are the conquerors - Liberalism isn’t restricted just by law but also by blindness of those in relation to others they can’t understand - Liberalism = opposed to force used to solve problems (leads to tyranny) --> use diplomacy and talk rather than violence - Liberalism = sees history as progress --> we’re getting better and more free - Progreess = exercise of freedom in itself - Community might decide to do un-liberal things - Law would restrain those who tried to act in an unethical way - Tension b/w freedom and collective good - Ideas built up from Fr.. Rev - John stewart mill (wrote of rights of women, all men should have stake in economy) - Ideas acted out by gov’t -- very popular with middle class - Idea of liberal society using democratic instruments of gov’t - Dedicated to middle class - needed to maintain economic and social status - You want more people like you to control gov’t (rather than old nobility) - Why should aristocrats rule you - your birth doesnt mean anything - Representatives to society at large - Europe-wide movement - Fundamental ideals affected every country on the continentn - Most powerful politicl partires in many countries - identi
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