was an early advocate for economic liberalism
Arguments in favor of economic liberalism were advanced during the Enlightenment
, opposing mercantilism and feudalism. It was first analyzed by Adam Smith
in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
(1776) which advocated minimal interference of government in a market economy, although it did not necessarily oppose the state's provision of basic public goods
In Smith's view, if everyone is left to his own economic devices instead of being controlled by the state, the result would be a harmonious and more equal society of ever-increasing prosperity.
This underpinned the move towards a capitalist
economic system in the late 18th century and the subsequent demise of the mercantilist system.
Private property and individual contracts
form the basis of economic liberalism.
The early theory was based on the assumption that the economic actions of individuals are largely based on self-interest (invisible hand
) and that allowing them to act without any restrictions will produce the best results for everyone (spontaneous order
), provided that at least minimum standards of public information and justice exist. For example, no one should be allowed to coerce, steal, or commit fraud and there is freedom of speech and press.
This ideology was well reflected in English law; Lord Ackner, denying the existence of a duty of good faith in English contract law, emphasised the 'adversarial position of the parties when involved in negotiations'.
Position on state interventionism
[A]t the center of classical liberal theory [in Europe] was the idea of laissez-faire
. To the vast majority of American classical liberals, however, laissez-faire
did not mean no government intervention at all. On the contrary, they were more than willing to see government provide tariffs, railroad subsidies, and internal improvements, all of which benefited producers. What they condemned was intervention in behalf of consumers.
- ^ Brown, Wendy (2005). Edgework: Critical Essays on Knowledge And Politics. Princeton University Press. p. 39.
- ^ a b Simmons, Beth A.; Dobbin, Frank; Garrett, Geoffrey (October 2006). "Introduction: The International Diffusion of Liberalism". International Organization. 60 (4): 781–810. doi:10.1017/S0020818306060267. ISSN 1531-5088.
- ^ Boudreaux, Don (2015-03-31). "Milton Friedman on the Real World Effects of Labor Unions". Cafe Hayek. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
- ^ "Why Tackling Global Economic Inequality Is Liberal Democracy's Next Big Challenge". www.worldpoliticsreview.com. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
- ^ Letters (2016-12-28). "Liberal values and the growth of inequality | Letters". the Guardian. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
- ^ Green, Jeffrey Edward (2017-11-01). "Has Inequality Led to a Crisis for Liberalism?". Current History. 116 (793): 320–323. doi:10.1525/curh.2017.116.793.320. ISSN 0011-3530.
- ^ "Liberalism and the New Inequality". The Breakthrough Institute. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
- ^ "Why liberals are way, way too obsessed with income inequality". American Enterprise Institute - AEI. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
- ^ September 13, Ed Conard; Edt, 2016 9:00 Am. "What Liberals Don't Understand About Income Inequality". Time. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
- ^ Gamble, Andrew (29 August 2013). "Neo-Liberalism and Fiscal Conservatism". In Thatcher, Mark; Schmidt, Vivien A. (eds.). Resilient Liberalism in Europe's Political Economy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 53–77. ISBN 978-1-107-04153-0.
- ^ Aaron, Eric (2003). What's Right?. Dural, Australia: Rosenberg Publishing. p. 75.
- ^ Walford v Miles  2 A.C. 128
- ^ a b Turner 2008, pp. 83–84.
- ^ Donohue, Kathleen G. (2005). Freedom from Want: American Liberalism and the Idea of the Consumer. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 2. ISBN 9780801883910.
Last edited on 13 May 2021, at 17:51
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