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17. Nov 5 -Liberalism.docx

8 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Nigmendra Narain

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Liberalism  Classical Liberalism o 1700s-1800s o Locke & Smith  Reform Liberalism o 1800s-1900s o Mill & Green  Contemporary Liberalism o 1930s- o Keynes (1930s) & Rawls (1970s) Key Ideas (Important)  Personal freedom – freedom from coercion –they can’t make us do things we don’t want to.  Limited government – state serves & performs limited functions  Equality of right – everyone must abide by laws, which must be applied equally and impartially TO EVERYONE (ie. Doesn’t matter who you are; punishment based on what you did)  Consent of the governed – government requires the consent of the people and is responsible to them  Two aspects all the forms of liberalism o Politics o Economics o Question: what is the BEST relationship between the two? Classical Liberalism  John Locke (1632-1704) – England –most eminent political theorist in the world; French revolution  Adam Smith (1723-90) – Scotland –well known economist, most profound  David Hume (1711-76) – Scotland  Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) – USA  James Madison (1751-1836) – USA Political Science 1020, 2012-13, N. Narain Page 1 Classical Liberalism: John Locke  Basis of political ideas of liberalism  Radical for his time (now considered conservative) believed that…. o Rejecting absolutist monarchy o Replacing it with a recognition of the rights of the individual o People’s consent to who rules over them  Launched the liberal tradition  Basis of political ideas of liberalism  Most influential British political theoriest –globally influential  Historical situation o Civil War in England o King Charles I going to war with Parliament (beheaded)  Charles II –takes over but dies o Key debate: what should be the foundation of political authority:  Divine right of kings: God is said to have anointed that monarch to rule  Popular sovereignty: people's consent –radical claim for that time (run out of England)  Key Books: o Concern: to defeat the idea of kings having a divine right to rule over subjects o Two Treatises of Government, 1684  First Treatise (On Government) – Nobody has been singled out by God to hold any natural authority over anybody else = no divine right granted to kings  Second Treatise (On Government) – Establish the true basis for political authority or government 1. Key document in the development of liberalism  Ideas: o People as autonomous "individuals" – individuals are most important o Arguments of Thomas Hobbes: State of nature: life before government = free, equal, governed by the law of nature  Natural rights: "life, liberty, and estate" -- granted by God; everyone has them  People are self-interested (hallmark of liberal thought) =human’s nature o State of war: state of enmity and destruction  The problem in state of nature > state of enmity and destruction =nasty, brutish and short  All individuals, being self-interested, agree together to form a political society  Thus we need Government that will make, interpret, and enforce laws =save us from state of war and make life possible  Homelessness –everyone for themselves. o Social contract (compact) Political Science 1020, 2012-13, N. Narain Page 2  Government is founded on the consent of people  Can consent only to create and obey a limited (not absolute) government – otherwise they would be enslaving themselves, which violates their natural rights o Government: people create for a specific end = to protect their natural rights o "Property":  Their lives, their bodies, their liberty, their possessions  The government's authority is limited to protecting this  Unequal property is a matter of right –natural right to have your own property  "labour theory of property" = mixing of your labour with something makes it your property o Right of revolution: a returning to the starting point if government is violating your natural rights o Political obligation = individuals who form this contract are obligated to obey the law of a rightly formed government  If an individual hasn't consented, not obligated to obey the laws  Equality of law: everyone must be treated equally before the law o Tolerance: people should tolerate each others’ religions – state should not be mixed in with religion  Beginnings of secularism – there is no state religion  Informed Smith, Hume, Jefferson, Madison  "Basis" of the dominant world view today affecting most people o Freedom and autonomy is more important than community o The right to choose who leads us Classical Liberalism: Adam Smith  Basis of economic ideas of liberalism o Heavily influenced American intellectuals o Goal: separate politics from economics o Modern torch-bearers: Hayek & Friedman  Key Books: o Theory of Moral Sentiments o Inquiry into the Wealth of Nations  Ideas o "Propensity to truck and barter" = humans are naturally traders & consumers o Capitalism: some people own land or factories, other people work the land and factories –efficiency in this system is by each doing what you are good at doing (David Ricardo’s ‘comparative advantage’) o "Invisible hand": individuals pursuing their own self-interest will frequently create benefits for all individuals, that is, socie; meets all needs and wants Political Science 1020, 2012-13, N. Narain Page 3 o Free-market economy: independent, free competition in the economy and marketplace  Anne-Robert Turgot: laissez-faire 1. “leave to do” = meet the needs and wants of people  Free trade: no taxes or barriers to trade 1. Allow natural patterns to trade and comparative advantage benefits o Government has no role in the economy & society, except as the "nightwatchman state":  1. Protect society and provide security  2. Administer justice to prevent individuals from individuals  3. Create & maintain public works, and create public institutions where it is not profitable OR RIGHT for the market to provide a good or service –understood that some people are going to be poor/ill/whatever (ie. People with Aids) 1. Have to be empathetic as to what it is to be in another person’s position o Opposed redistribution = inequality is inevitable but acceptable if resulting from free-market economy’s operation  If the rules of the game are fair…….  CLASSICAL LIBERALISM IN A NUTSHELL o This is the historical and philosophical o Reform Liberalism  James Mill  John Stuart Mill  T.H. Green Reform Liberalism: John Stuart Mill  Influenced o classical liberals o reform or welfare liberals o some socialists o conservative libertarians o some market conservatives o liberal feminists (wrote The Subjection of Women [against subjection]) o Modern torch-bearer: Keynes  Political economist = economics & politics are intermixed o Argues you cannot separate the two (Brangelina not Brad and Jennifer Aniston)  Historical situation o Industrial Revolution in England: 1750s  People increasingly working in factories Political Science 1020, 2012-13, N. Narain Page 4  Working class people not living well, awful conditions, death, etc. o The rise of mass society –society in which fewer people are in farms, people are in cities now. URBANIZATION  Key Books o On Liberty o Subjection of Women o Autobiography  Ideas o Utilitarian = the greatest happiness of the greatest number; believed capitalism was the more utilitarian system
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