Liberalism exam notes

Agnes Meakin
Mind Map by Agnes Meakin, updated more than 1 year ago
Agnes Meakin
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Mind Map on Liberalism exam notes, created by Agnes Meakin on 02/11/2015.

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Liberalism exam notes
1 Distinguish between negative freedom and positive freedom? (15)
1.1 Classical liberals believe in Negative freedom - The absence of external restrictions to an individual, allowing freedom of choice. e.g, the legalization of marowajana in the UK is a goal that the liberal democrats have aimed to have if they get into power.
1.1.1 Modern liberals believe in positive freedom - Individuals being their own master through autonomy - Allowing freedom of choice, but as long as it doesn't harm themselves or others - they're protected with interventions, such as the NHS who could provide a 'smoke free kit' to indivdual's that wanted to quit smoking.
1.1.1.1 Enabling state - a state with lots of interventions to protect individuals from harming themselves or others. This relates to the idea of welfarism. This is seen as helping society to function. E.g, drug laws, preventing people from taking substances, such as heroin and cocaine, which harms an individual, also drug rehab programme's are in place to help individuals get off the substances, complying with positive freedom.
1.1.2 Minimal state - A state with minimum amounts of laws and interventions, to maximize individuals freedom in society, this links in with the belief of negative freedom. For example, allowing people to have the rights to euthanasia, as they do in Holland. Hollands view forcing someone to live against an individuals liberties because they have no control over their lives, a life of pain and misery is harmful to an individual. Allowing an individual to end their own life and their suffering and doesn't cause any physical harm to others.
2 Distinguish between economic liberalism and social liberalism (15)
2.1 Economic liberalism - Humans are rational creatures that debate about the role of the government within civil society. Mercantilism- a school thought that emphasizes the state's role in managing international trades and delivery prosperity. This was in order to encourage goods and restrict exports.
2.2 (drawn on the idea of Utillitarianism) Adam Smith -'The Wealth of Nations' - Dissagrees with mercantilism. He says the ecomony works best when left alone 'laissez faire'. Economic market should be free from government. The ecomony is a series of inter-lated markets. The markets operate according to the wishes of individuals. -Freedom of choice - to make what they want. - Freedom to choose an employer. -Freedom of choice for consumers to buy what they want. To be happy we are self-interested to require wealth. We can make a comparison to the American dream. Producer can't set the prices, it will be set by the market. Self regulating - the market decides the price. 'the economy is managed by an invisable hand'.
2.2.1 Freedom of choice for individuals
2.3 Social Darwinism- Attiudes to poverty and social equality. Evolution- all animals evolved to adapt to the enviroment. The strong will survive and the weak will fall (natural selection). This focuses on the idea of the survival of the fittest. Spencer- Used Darwins theory to develop the social idea 'the survival of the fittest' The idea that people who are best suited to survive will rise to the top. Those people that are not will fall to the bottom. He is suggesting that inequality's in wealth - it is inevitable. 'the drunk in the gutter is just where he ought to be.' This sums up Spencer putting forwards the idea that the government shouldn't interfere. A famous example of social darwinism would be Adulf Hitlers book 'mein camp' - His idea was he wanted to produce the fittest human race.
2.3.1 Spencer said people have no choice in life chances.
2.4 Both make the point of non-interferance by the government.
3 Liberalism is defined by the desire to minimise the role of the state,' Discuss (45)
3.1 enabling state - a state with lots of laws and interventions to protect the harming themselves and others - Positive freedom -the liberty to act on ones wishes and to act on whatever the individual chooses to do, as long as it doesn’t harm themselves or others, and then interventions will be enforced. For example, if someone was to get addicted to want to quit smoking, the NHS would give them a ‘smoke quitting kit’.
3.1.1 Modern liberalism - it was developed from the idea of capitalism and the industrialization; it had brought expansion of wealth for some, social equality rose with an increase of the working class earning low wages. This influenced them to create a more enabling state. People are unique human beings who and so some may have inequalities that lead to success easier than others. Therefore this will lead to inequality that lead to success more than others. They realised that there could be a situation where egosism and self-interest could lead to rivalry and self conflict. So in realism terms there will always be a gap between rich and poor.
3.1.1.1 Individualism -
3.1.1.2 Positive freedom - Individuals have a self rearlisation and that they can develop their own skills and talents to achivieve their own skills and human compasitory. For example, if someome was to get addictied to smoking and wanted to quit smoking, the NHS would give them a 'smoke quiting kit.'
3.1.1.3 Justice - Recognise that all human beings are identical should be treated int he same way and there should be a fair distribution of wealth in society. For example, if we are to have social justice there should be a fair distribution of matieral rewards and benefits in society, such as housing, medical care, welfare benefits. They believe that each individual should have the chance to rise in society and this leads to a belief in meritocracy - people being rewarded for talent and hard work, such as earning good grades at school to go to university to become a doctor, being given well paid and high social status saleries. They would therefore believe in social and economic liberalism in order to promote personal development. John Rawls,' Economic inner quality is only justicifiable if it works to the bestest in society. Liberals do recognise that for individauls to have freedom, this may lead to the exploitation of others and the theft of other peoples property and even maybe
3.1.1.3.1 salvery. Liberals do beleive that humans need to be protected from this and that protection can only be provided by the state, which can restrain individuals, if necessary. John Locke said,' where there is no law, there is no freedom,' this connotes that where other people can take your stuff, that is not considered a free society. Lockes looks back at life before there was a government and he says,'where individuals are selfish and greedy and power seeking, society would just become an un-ending civil war, where hunman life would be short.
3.1.2 Freedom - positive freedom.
3.2 Classic liberalism - A developed form of feudalism - capitalism in the 17 century, as to gain equality. Formed in the 19th century, focusing around the industrial revolution. Focuses on eguistical liberalism. They view humans as rational self-interested creatures and self-reliant. This implies they believe in an atomistic society as they think human beings are self-suficient and should be left alone or laisez faire. Therefore, they believe in an negative freedom - the idea that the individual should be left alone to do what they please connecting with the belief they are self sufficient. This means the absense of external contraints. For example, allowing people to have the right to euthanasia, as they do in Holland. Holland view forcing someone to live is against an individual’s liberties because they have no control over their lives, such as if they were suffering and being forced to live, a life of pain and misery is harmful to the individual.
3.2.1 Minimal state - A state with little laws and preventions. Lockes methaphor - as a ,'nightwatchman, illustrating the state is for to maintain demestic order in society, enforce the contracts and protect society against external attack.
3.2.2 Allowing the individual to end their life ends their suffering and doesn’t cause any physical harm to others.
3.2.3 Individualism - Un-contrained individual actions. Any political policy made should have the individual at the centred around it.
3.2.4 Freedom - negative freedom. Individuals should have complete freedom. Mill,' We should support negative freedom and allow complete freedom of choice. ,'the only purpose for which power can be rightfully excersized over any memeber of a civilized community against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
3.2.5 Justice- Political power should be given to the people - democracy.
4 Explain between liberalism and constitutionalism (15)
4.1 Constitutionalism- Having control over Government - Wanting to protect peoples liberty by having external and internal checks on government power. This a type of political liberalism. They may have separation of powers. Might also a bill of rights. Decentralisation, when power is taken away from central government. It is about avoiding dictatorship. Devolution - the transfer of power from central government to regional groups - Scotland.
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