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POLISCI 1020E: Liberalism, Part II.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

ADAM SMITH On Capitalism: Wealth of Nations (1776) Why are some nations rich and others poor?  institutions: the way institutions are run  competition is fair and efficient  improve quality of life by the invisible hand: self-interest will promote public good o importance: what we do has unintended effects  free trade benefits everyone o allows for division of labor = efficiency o allows economies of scale = productivity In what ways is commerce beneficial?  benefits the worst off o free markets raise the standards of the worst off people  promotes international peace o trade weakens social antagonisms o start to think of other nations as possibilities for trading  conducive to order and good government o ensures freedom and security of individuals o overcomes servile dependency (ascribed status)  fosters self-reliance o people will be reliant on own efforts to prosper in life  develop good character On Government’s Role  defend the country against attack o public order, security, defense  protect property rights and maintain order  provide public education and infrastructure needed to do business On Distributive Justice  opposes trade barriers, but supports taxation to benefit the poor o supports role of state in taxation  rejects prevailing views of the poor o prevailing views: o poor people deserve to be poor— it was meant to be o we’re all gods creatures so we should be compassionate towards the suffering of the poor o both views are condescending o says that poor people are dignified, industrious, equally capable, entitled to their fair share of goods o all individuals should be treated as equally valuable NEO-CLASSICAL VS. WELFARE LIBERALISM 19 thCentury Utilitarianism  Jeremy Bentham o laissez-faire o expanding voting rights  John Stuart Mill o threat of public opinion o tyranny of the majority o from laissez-faire  socialism Herbert Spencer’s Worldview (Neoclassical)  social evolution o societies evolve in a certain way, we need to encourage it to evolve in the right way  the role of the state is to protect peoples’ property rights (absolute property ri
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