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Classical Liberalism

Classical Liberalism

Classical Liberalism: Absolute freedom and rights for individuals. Research papers on the classical liberal view find that the individual and state have an interdependent relationship, based on mutual trust, mutual benefits, the systematic exchange of function and goods, and justice. For classical liberalism, the concept of justice is primary to a relationship between the individual and the state. Without justice, the social order that is determined by state institutions that provide and enforce a system of laws would not protect the rights of individuals. Therefore, you will want to point out in your classical liberalism research paper that justice is essential to classical liberalism.

The Fundamentals of Classical Liberalism

The following are the fundamental elements found in classical liberalism in the United States:

  1. Appeals for economic reform
  2. The idea that society must employ equal opportunities across the board
  3. The game should not be set up for the privileged, but for the disadvantaged as well
  4. Instead of threatening change via the use of force, this form of liberalism promotes assistance for the poor, disenfranchised and under educated

Adam Smith contended that justice made the ideals of individuals and society mutually sustainable, but there was another concept was essential to the relationship between individuals and the state. That was the principle of sympathy, and according to Smith it was "provided by nature to overcome the harm caused by much of man's foolishness and bad conduct." For classical liberalism, sympathy allows people to imagine themselves in the place of others and then act according to their conscience, and in this way the individual members of society understand that the interests of others are important. Likewise, classical liberals contend that the state and individuals influence each other and are indispensable to the successful development of the other.

Classical Liberalism and Adam Smith

Smith's The Wealth of Nations, is well known as an economic text, but its powerful political science criticism of government intervention became a significant justification for the classical liberal ideology.

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