‘Liberalism is defined by the desire to minimise the role of the state’ Discuss.
Liberalism as an ideology revolves around the idea of freedom for the individual. The reason for this is due to the liberal’s view of human nature; they see the human being as unique and rational; able to make decisions in their best interest. Although all liberals agree on individual freedom, when it comes to the role of the state they are split down the middle. On one side there are the classic liberals who believe in as little state intervention as possible, and on the other side there is the modern liberals who believe state intervention is necessary as it can develop people and create equal opportunity. When looking at a liberal view of the state it
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They believe the market should be virtually unregulated, otherwise it is a limitation to people’s freedom. The reason they would let the market go unregulated falls back to the classic liberal view of human nature, they believe that if they leave the market alone, because people are rational and trustworthy creatures they would make correct decisions and the market would regulate itself. Their view of economics can be seen to come from ‘laissez-faire’, which is the doctrine that economic activity should be entirely free from government interference; it is an extreme belief in the free market. It is clear that the classical liberal rejects all state influence within economics and the market. In contrast, the modern liberal focuses on a more regulated market, incorporating regulations such as; a minimum wage; health and safety; and anti-discrimination acts, along with others. All of these regulations are put in place in order to give everyone equal opportunity to strive and make a success, and in turn, it gives people greater freedom, as they will have a greater income and not be putting their lives at risk simply just by working. The modern liberal does not follow ‘laissez-faire’, it’s abandonment came about due to the increasing complexity of industrial capitalist economies and their apparent inability to guarantee general prosperity if left to their own devices. So in order to give equal opportunity and therefore greater freedom,