Intro to Politics
(I) Identify the several varieties of liberalism discussed in the chapter on liberalism and the historical circumstances in which they emerged.
There are several varieties of liberalism that are discussed in the text of “Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal” by Terence Ball and Richard Dagger. Some of these varieties are neoclassical liberals, welfare liberals, and libertarian anarchists. The first variation of liberalism discussed is neoclassical liberals, who believe the need to limit government to keep it from robbing the people of freedom. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was very influential to some Social Darwinists, like Herbert Spencer, would say “survival of the fittest”. Spencer believed that the strongest, smartest, and most fit for this competition will succeed and prosper. The government “helping the poor and the weak impedes individual freedom and retards social progress by holding back the strong”(Ball and Dagger p.71). The leading advocate Social Darwinist, William Graham Sumner, only believed that these matters are which the government should concern itself with, “there are two chief things with which government has to deal. They are, the property of men and the honor of women.”(Ball and Dagger p.71) He advocated that the government should only see to it that everyone competes fairly and freely. These two Social Darwinists brought Neoclassical Liberalism to life through their writings.
The second variation is welfare liberalism, which believed we need an active government to give everyone an equal chance to be free. T.H. Green held welfare liberalism to a desire to remove obstacles that block free growth and development of individuals. This came around in the want to overcome obstacles like poverty and illness, prejudice and ignorance. “Green believed that society, acting through government, should establish public schools and hospitals, aid the needy, and regulate working conditions to promote workers’...
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