Liberalism Is Defined by a Desire to Minimise the Role of the State

890 Words Oct 30th, 2013 4 Pages
Liberalism is defined by the desire to minimise the role of the state

Liberalism’s view over the years has evolved and so as a result different liberals have different views on the state and how “large” it should be. Over the years the trend has fir liberals to become more “state-friendly” moving from classical liberals who preached for fragmented government to modern liberals who were state friendly, however since the 1960’s/70’s Neo liberals have tried to reverse this trend.
Classical liberals such as John Locke, “the father of liberalism”, have argued that in order for the state to achieve and uphold its core principles such as individualism and liberty then the frontiers of the state should be rolled back and state power curbed,
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However classical liberals argue that the state are their to defend your natural rights so it goes along with that to suggest that some classical liberals would see minimising the role of the state as going against the very reason we moved from a state of nature to a state of law and that was for the protection of our individual rights

Liberalism during its evolution the moved on to ‘millite or transitional liberalism.’ This period of liberalism was closely linked with the philosopher J.S. Mill as can be seen by name of the period. Mill argued that the state shouldn’t infringe upon our individual rights unless it was to protect the liberty of another individual due to the “harm principle”. And in order to achieve liberty, a core principle of Liberalism, the individuals liberty must be protected, and J.S Mill said “The engine of individuality is the liberty of the individual and this can be argue both ways in the fact that there should be a smaller state in such that it doesn’t infringe upon the liberties of any individuals, or it could be argued that there should be a larger state so that the
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