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Thinkers
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Thinkers

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  • 1.
    • ThinkersBeliefsHow Their Ideas Were Radical at that TimeHow Their Ideas Are Related to Classical LiberalismHobbesHumans are naturally selfish and could live in peace by giving up all of their political rights to a ruler (Leviathan) who would in turn protect them.If the leader did not protect the citizens, they could overthrow him.Hobbes valued the worth and protection of individual subjects.Believed in a Social contract.Hobbes emphasis on the best interests of individuals (even under a strong political authority) reflects the importance of rights and freedoms. Social contract implies a degree of accountability.LockeFocused on reason and logic to determine actions. Believed humans had inalienable natural rights: Life, liberty, security, private propertyGovernment accountability to the people.Ownership and protection of private property.Believed in Social contract.Advocate for rule of law and protection of civil liberties, rights, and freedoms under a constitution. MontesquieuSeparation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government which would keep the government accountable. Wanted to eliminate the French Monarchy.Placed high importance on the rule of law, the constitutional limitations on government, and the primacy of individual rights and freedoms.SmithBelieved that if individuals were free to make their own decisions in a free market, their self-interest (invisible hand) would benefit society as a whole.Opposition to the current economic system (mercantilism)Free market and limited govt. role in the economy were controversial ideas.Economic ideas are directly related to economic freedom, self interest, competition, and private property. Ideas can also be tied to rule of law (contracts) and individual rights and freedoms.MillBelieved in individual rights and freedoms as well as freedom of speech. Only limitation should be if one’s actions could harm another.Emphasis on rights and freedoms in an era where these rights were restricted.Individual rights and freedoms.RicardoThe wages paid to workers should be determined by supply and demand for their skills. Government should not regulate this at all.Capitalist economic principles without government interference was controversial.Self-interest, competition, and economic freedom. DickensDickens believed in the aspect of Individual rights and freedoms, he wanted to expose the horrible working conditions that he endured in his childhood.Even though many people were experiencing the working conditions, many felt it wasn’t their right to speak out. Individual Rights and Freedoms.
    The “thinker” from the 18th and 19th century that best reflects my personal view points is Mill. He focuses his thinking on individual rights and freedoms, but is limited to whether or not it harms others. This is important when referring to classical liberalisms transition to contemporary liberalism, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If we did not have limitations of these freedoms, the countries and society would no longer be civil.<br />

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