The Theory Of Classical Liberalism

1242 Words May 20th, 2015 5 Pages
Classical Liberalism is an idea of Liberals limiting the power of the state and maximizing the rights of the individual against arbitrary rule as stated in the Classical Liberalism powerpoint.
Some classical liberals included Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, Adam Smith, and Baron de Montesquieu. These men fought for “free markets” inside and between countries as well as a limitation on the all-powerful state. The argument for a powerful government was that it would maintain peace and security. Their tenets, or philosophies, consist of 8 basic principles. The first principle of classical liberalism is individual liberty. Individual liberty relates to limiting or restrain all institutions that endanger our liberties such as government and church. These social institutions enforce rules and restrictions that act as “negative freedom” as stated in the powerpoint. The second principle relates to human nature. It states that “man is born ignorant but not wicked” Stating basically that man is influenced negatively by his surrounds such as government which stated by Thomas Paine is a “necessary evil”. By combining the third and fourth principle you have reason and progress. By using reasoning to solve problems instead of demanding obedience you are more likely to achieve progress. Progress is defined as expansion of knowledge, improvement of conditions, and the overall advancement of mankind. Principles five and six are equality and universalism which are also related. When…
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