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UD POSC 333 - Liberalism + Conservatism

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Subject: POSC333: Contemporary Political Ideologies Session: Liberalism + Conservatism LIBERALISM Locke + Revolution - Hobbes influenced Locke's ideas, both were Englishmen who had lived through religious civil wars, and both were concerned about the role of religion in government - Locke's ideas are a blueprint/model for the American Revolution - The Declaration of Independence: list of complaints about King George - There is no reason to, nor should we, tolerate a government that is worse than the state of nature or violates our rights - right to rebel - we have the right to rebel if the government is not doing it's "job" as defined by Locke - Caveats on right to rebel: "rebelling and overthrowing a government is serious and introduces chaos. It needs to be a serious infringement on rights, needs to extend over time, you have to try to through legal channels to change government, and you need a majority of people Locke's State of Nature - "inconvienient" as opposed to "nasty, poor, brutish and short" - natural rights: life and property as opposed to just life - One of the things that makes us equal is our ability to reason, as opposed to the ability to die - Locke interjects God into the discussion - "God gave us property" - In the absence of government, we are social beings who have property, money, take value in morals and God, etc. - Why we need government? No one to mediate our disputes - government needs to draft, enforce, and judge laws - Locke's government is very limited defined by exactly what we are lacking in the state of nature - representative government - An important reason why we enter into government is the protection of property - "God gave property to those who labor on it" - This is how Locke justifies the taking of property from the native Americans - Natives are not transforming property into private property, therefore they do not have "natural rights" because they are not industrious - "the propertyless are general not industrious" The Labor Theory of Value - The way we produce value is how much labor we put into it Inconsistencies- Locke talks about equality and the right to life and property, but he doesn't mean everyone - Owned stock in a slavetrading company - Included slavery in Constitution of the Carolinas - Jefferson and Locke did not consider slaves to be human Liberal Debates - Paine vs. Burke - Argument in favor of achieved status and the individual is the best judge of their own self-interest - Argument against ascribed status and tradition - One of the basic principles of liberalism is that we have a right to determine the values the govern our generation, not tradition just because it has come before us. - "Liberalism is good for bringing about change, but not preserving the past" The French Revolution - Property, ethnic, cultural and gender heirarchies questioned - Because of this, the French Revolution spirals into violence and brings Napoleon's rule - To what extent is it the government's role to ensure liberty - Resistance to oppression comes to define 19th century Liberalism 18th vs 19th Century Liberalism - How to deal with balancing liberty and equality - 18th centur liberalism emphasis on freedom from government, limited government, etc., defining political liberty, dismantling of heirarchal governments, religious tolerance (private, not public) - 19th century: equality and franchisement, interest in political and economic liberty, the centrality of capitalism, concern over increasing arguments that we need to expand the franchise and include more people (Industrial Revolution, the propertyless stake a claim, which leads to women, former slaves, etc.) which raises new tension 20th Century - What, if any, role does the government play in securing individual liberty Limiting Government - Mill wants a very limited government - Harm Principle's goal is to prevent paternalism - The government isn't the only one who can limit our freedom Mill + Individual Rights 1) free market of ideas - government should protect the rights of people to say anything they want, even if it's unpopular 2) tryanny of the majority - "the danger of mediocrity when we allow ourselves to be governed by those who are popular" - despotism of custom - a belief that the way things have always been done is how they should be done.The Subjection of Women - fundamentally liberal argument about why women should be treated as individuals and given equal rights, rather than being treated as members of a group - if we give them equal rights, they can be judged on their own merits - so society will benefit from them in the free market of ideas - the biggest impediment to liberty for women is not the government, but the despotism of custom - True change for women will come from political, social, and economic reform Welfare Liberalism intro - T.H. Green: writing at a time when the economy was very lassiez-faire, no regulations on working conditions, child labor is at it's height - How much individual choice do these people have? Limited education, questions about health, how much freedom they have in the workplace - questions about enfranchisement of wage laborers The Gilded Age and the Great Depression - Welfare Liberalism emerged from two points in history where both TH Green (GIlded Age) and FDR (Depression) responded to deregulation and laissez-faire economics by supporting the view that the government had a responsibility to promote equal opportunity and the welfare of its' citizens Historical Concerns - Liberalism is the first major ideology that faces increasing challenges from the right (conservatism) and the left (socialism) - gradual enfranchisement of more wageworkers leads to more people voting. Governments realize that the middle and working classes have vastly different views - increasing agitation for unions and populist movements - more and more people being pulled away to radical groups - Welfare liberalism is an attempt to stave off socialsm's appeal - Welfare liberals see themselves as saving capitalism by attempting to mitigate the negative effects of capitalism on those who are hardest hit - Welfare liberal programs include public education, promotion of good public health, and workplace safety that regulate conditions Normative Commitment - Positive and negative freedom - negative freedom - freedom FROM being forced to do anything by


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