What is Reform liberalism?
Reform Liberalism also known as welfare liberalism was developed from the
nineteenth century into the twentieth century. Notable philosophers include
John Stuart Mill, T.H. Green, L.T Hobhouse, J.A. Hobson, John Dewey, John
Maynard Keynes, they recognized the importance of individual liberties and
the need for the state in order to create conditions that enhance these liberties
ensuring equality of opportunity. Although derived from Liberalism, Reform
Liberalism differs in that they dersire a freer allocation of resources than what
the market provides on its own
Also the role of the state:
to regulate economic competition in order to cure the social ills and redress injuries
wrought by the capitalist system
They argue that liberalism should include social justice and expanding civil rights
(negative versus positive liberty)
Social justice>creating an egalitarian society or institution that is based on the
principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human
rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being
Linked to the Social Gospel (applying Christian ethics to social problems),
examples are Christians against poverty, food banks, Out of the Cold programs
Civil rights>rights that protect individuals’ freedom, limits on what governments
can do to their citizens
The good of the community is harmonious with the freedom of the individual
How does the idea of positive liberty fit within Mill’s notions of ‘self improvement?
Focuses on liberty and self-improvement
he wants freedom: freedom of thought, actions and associations
he talks about the Harm Principle
Mill embraces positive liberties whereas Locke embraces negative liberties
Speaks out against capitalism and Smith’s notion of competition and linear growth
Mill as a supporter of women’s rights, worries about the ‘tyranny of the majority’
What is the role of the state in creating the ‘good life’?
also wants liberty and freedom
focuses on the state'