Kennedy defined a liberal as follows: The liberal party insists that the Government has the definite duty to use all its power and resources to meet new social problems with new social controls—to ensure to the average person the right to his own economic and political life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The diversity of liberalism can be gleaned from the numerous adjectives that liberal thinkers and movements have attached to the very term "liberalism", including classicalegalitarianeconomicsocialwelfare stateethicalhumanistdeontologicalperfectionistdemocratic and institutionalto name a few.
At its very root, liberalism is a philosophy about the meaning of humanity and society. Political philosopher John Gray identified the common strands in liberal thought as being individualist, egalitarian, meliorist and universalist.
The individualist element avers the ethical primacy of the human being against the pressures of social collectivismthe egalitarian element assigns the same moral worth and status to all individuals, the meliorist element asserts that successive generations can improve their sociopolitical arrangements and the universalist element affirms the moral unity of the human species and marginalises local cultural differences.
The moral and political suppositions of liberalism have been based on traditions such as natural rights and utilitarian theoryalthough sometimes liberals even requested support from scientific and religious circles. These ideas were first drawn together and systematized as a distinct ideology by the English philosopher John Lockegenerally regarded as the father of modern liberalism.
Employing the idea of a state of nature—a hypothetical war-like scenario prior to the state—he constructed the idea of a social contract that individuals enter into to guarantee their security and in so doing form the State, concluding that only an absolute sovereign would be fully able to sustain such a peace.
Hobbes had developed the concept of the social contract, according to which individuals in the anarchic and brutal state of nature came together and voluntarily ceded some of their individual rights to an established state authority, which would create laws to regulate social interactions.
Whereas Hobbes advocated a strong monarchical authority the LeviathanLocke developed the then radical notion that government acquires consent from the governed which has to be constantly present for the government to remain legitimate. He concluded that the people have a right to overthrow a tyrant.
By placing life, liberty and property as the supreme value of law and authority, Locke formulated the basis of liberalism based on social contract theory.
To these early enlightenment thinkers, securing the most essential amenities of life— liberty and private property among them—required the formation of a "sovereign" authority with universal jurisdiction.
Once humans moved out of their natural state and formed societies, Locke argued as follows: And this is that, and that only, which did or could give beginning to any lawful government in the world".
One political scientist described this new thinking as follows: In the First Treatise, Locke aimed his guns first and foremost at one of the doyens of 17th century English conservative philosophy: Filmer's Patriarcha argued for the divine right of kings by appealing to biblical teaching, claiming that the authority granted to Adam by God gave successors of Adam in the male line of descent a right of dominion over all other humans and creatures in the world.
Reinforcing his respect for consensus, Locke argued that "conjugal society is made up by a voluntary compact between men and women". For Locke, this created a natural right in the liberty of conscience, which he argued must therefore remain protected from any government authority.
Three arguments are central: Rather than force a man's conscience, government should recognise the persuasive force of the gospel.
His central argument was that the individual is capable of using reason to distinguish right from wrong. To be able to exercise this right, everyone must have unlimited access to the ideas of his fellow men in " a free and open encounter " and this will allow the good arguments to prevail.
In a natural state of affairs, liberals argued, humans were driven by the instincts of survival and self-preservation and the only way to escape from such a dangerous existence was to form a common and supreme power capable of arbitrating between competing human desires.
Modern liberals claim that formal or official guarantees of individual rights are irrelevant when individuals lack the material means to benefit from those rights and call for a greater role for government in the administration of economic affairs.
As heirs of the Enlightenment, liberals believed that any given social and political order emanated from human interactionsnot from divine will. From the 17th century until the 19th century, liberals from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill conceptualised liberty as the absence of interference from government and from other individuals, claiming that all people should have the freedom to develop their own unique abilities and capacities without being sabotaged by others.
Classical liberals were committed to individualism, liberty and equal rights. Writers such as John Bright and Richard Cobden opposed both aristocratic privilege and property, which they saw as an impediment to the development of a class of yeoman farmers.
This new kind of liberty became known as positive liberty to distinguish it from the prior negative version and it was first developed by British philosopher Thomas Hill Green.This module focuses on the concepts of equality and social justice.
Students will learn to identify how the 3Rs contributed to the promotion of social, political and economic equality and will be able to recognize their most lasting achievements in securing equality and social justice in . Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equality.
Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support civil rights, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.
Liberalism in the United States is a broad political philosophy centered on what many see as the unalienable rights of the individual.
The fundamental liberal ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion for all belief systems, and the separation of church and state, right to due process, and equality under the law are widely accepted as a common foundation across the.
Two dimensions of freedom: "freedom to" versus "freedom from" FDR's speech presents an opportunity to highlight a subtle distinction that has troubled political philosophers through the ages: the distinction between "freedom FROM" and "freedom TO.".
Liberalism in the United States is a broad political philosophy centered on what many see as the unalienable rights of the individual. The fundamental liberal ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion for all belief systems, and the separation of church and state, right to due process, and equality under the law are widely .
Modern liberalism took shape during the twentieth century, with roots in Theodore Roosevelt's New Nationalism, Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom, Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Harry S. Truman's Fair Deal, John F. Kennedy's New Frontier, and Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society.