Has Liberalism Betrayed Its Classical Principles?

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Has liberalism betrayed its classical principles? Liberalism is a powerful modern thrust which is not just an ideology, but has become more of a western understanding. Liberalism emerged during the 19th century, following the French revolution i.e. the feudal period. The philosophy had set out principles in relation to the individual such as freedom, reason, justice, toleration and liberal democracy. A century later, there was the establishment of modern liberals. Modern liberalist ideas are similar to those of the classical liberals but, in some cases differ quite vigorously. It has been argued that modern liberals have betrayed the core, classical principles of liberalism. Classical liberals believe that the individual is largely self…show more content…
This belief is backed up as there have been disasters such as recessions and the credit crunch. They believe that to prevent economic crisis, there needs to be a managed economy where capital is extracted and put back in for the safety of the economy. Classical liberalists have criticised modern liberals, accusing them of betraying the principles of liberalism. We can see this as the modern liberals contradict what the classic liberals suggest. In response, modern liberals claim that rather than betraying and breaking the principles of the ideology, they have built on and expanded it to fit in with modern society. Classic liberal ideas were created in the 19th century, when circumstances in society were a whole lot different to what they are now. Modern liberal ideas were related to the further development of industrialisation. The development brought massive expansions of wealth for some, as well as poverty, disease and ignorance for others. J.S Mill, who is a key thinker for liberalism stated that that the classical liberal are right, however extra support needs to be given to an individual through setting structures in society. From looking into the various elements of liberalism through both the classical and modern side, it can be concluded that modern liberals haven’t betrayed but instead have slightly tampered with the classical beliefs of liberalism. Because of the massive

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