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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Politics 1020 October 25, 2012 Liberalism What is liberalism? - All liberals aim to promote individual liberty - Liberals value liberty - Liberals value liberty like nudists value nudity Brian Barry on Liberal States - Religious toleration - Freedom of the press - Abolition of servile social status o No one is the slave of anyone else - No religious dogma (philosophy) can reasonably be held with certainty - Every doctrine should be open to critical scrutiny - Fundamental equality of all human beings: inequality is an artifact Human Nature and Freedom - Individuals are rational and self interested o Mill is a classic exemplar of liberalism o We can decide for ourselves, we need to be free to do that, we can promote our own interests - Fair competition and equal opportunity - Individuals should be free from legal barriers, customs and conditions to live as they choose Medieval Europe - Religious conformity o We are fixed to one religion o Roman Catholic Church was dominant (pope) - Ascribed status o One’s status is fixed at birth o Christian view: we are all equal - Feudalism o Based on land and agriculture production - Challenging ascribed status Martin Luther 1483 – 1546: Protestant Reformation - Against church corruption o Supported by German nobles o Paid your way to heaven - Against priestly authority o Opposed the authority of priests - Tradition and ritual vs reading and doing - Promote beliefs of reformers Resistance and freedom of Conscience - Luther and Calvin: non-resistance - Later Calvinists: right to overthrow - Eventually leads to religious toleration Liberalism in England: 1 - 1640s: English civil war o Disagreement about money as a source of power o Right to tax people without consulting parliament - 1651: Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan - Hobbes: From liberal premises to non liberal conclusions Liberalism in England: 2 - 1688: Glorious Revolution o Monarch is no longer about the law o Ruled by constitution - Constitutional monarchy - Freedom of worship for dissenters - Locke on toleration and authority Liberalism in America: 1 - 1763: No taxation without representation - Armed rebellion, then eventually independence Liberalism in America: 2 -
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