To What Extent Has Modern Liberalism Departed from Classical Liberalism 40

933 WordsJan 21, 20164 Pages
There are huge differences between classical and modern liberalism and as a result classical liberals believe that modern liberals have not stayed true to initial ideas posed by the likes of John Locke given that modern liberals have embraced collectivism while classical liberals favoured pure individualism. But they are fundamentally both forms of liberalism so are united in their belief of freedom and rights of the individual but they have slightly different views on the type of freedom they support. Classical liberalism has a belief in utilitarianism first posed by Jeremy Bentham, this is where individuals make tiny calculations about whether their actions will ‘maximise pleasure or minimise pain’. This is an egotistical form of…show more content…
T.H. Green argued that freedom is the ability of the individual to develop individuality and this is a positive thing. This is thus done through self-fufillment and pushing one’s own knowledge. Positive freedom places emphasis on the individual flourishing rather than survival of the fittest so therefore the state should offer equal opportunities to all. This has seen modern liberals support the welfare state whereas classical liberals focused on standing on your own feet. But, this is not totally different to core liberal beliefs. The state only intervenes to ensure equality such as education and health. Modern liberals defend the welfare state on the basis of equality of opportunity. The welfare state has attempted to address issues such as ‘idleness’ and ‘want’ and ‘squalor’, named by the Beveridge Report by William Beveridge. Overall, Modern liberals believe in providing an equal playing field to help the individual flourish in society rather than the individual just battling for themselves. This belief in some state intervention and positive freedom has lead liberals of modern times to a belief in welfare and economic management. Modern liberals support economic management, proposed first by John Maynard Keynes, who argued that governments could ‘manage’ their economies in order to thrive. They believe in a mixed economy where you sometimes must tax and spend and yet other times you

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