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To What Extent Have Modern Liberals Departed from the Ideas of Classical Liberalism? (45)

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To What Extent Have Modern Liberals Departed from the Ideas of Classical Liberalism? (45)
Liberalism has been active throughout Europe since the early 19th century, although the UKs first experience of Liberalism put into practice was in 1868 under Gladstone’s Liberal government. Early Liberalist ideas concentrated largely around core values of freedom, individualism and a minimal state. However, revisionists have deployed a modern liberalism, which in many ways have departed from core themes of Classic Liberals.
Classic Liberalism has a heavy focus surrounding the core value of freedom, which also overlap the core theme of a minimalistic state. However, the evolution of liberalism, has brought about a different perspective as to what extent freedom should be exercised and at what point the state have a responsibility to implement restrictions. Early liberals such as John Locke and Adam Smith supported a ‘negative freedom’ whereby individuals were left to make their own choices without interferences from the state. J.S Mill another classic liberal proposed a very simple principle known as the Harm Principle. The harm principle is a concept which acknowledges the need for government intervention only when one’s action is physically detrimental to another. This again defends the concepts of both ‘negative freedom’ and a minimalistic state. Locke proposed the idea of ‘Natural Rights’ which specified god given rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The idea of the pursuit of happiness, follows that an individual is the best judge of what is best for them and that no external force should have the right to exercise their practical power in deciding otherwise. Traditionally Liberals have been sceptical regarding the power of the state, as Locke once stated the state lay "within the realm of coercion”. Instead Liberals view the state as a…...

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