The Last British Liberals in Africa by Dickson Mungazi download in ePub, pdf, iPad
Writers such as John Bright and Richard Cobden opposed both aristocratic privilege and property, which they saw as an impediment to the development of a class of yeoman farmers. His central argument was that the individual is capable of using reason to distinguish right from wrong. He concluded that the people have a right to overthrow a tyrant.
This new kind of liberty became known as positive liberty to distinguish it from the prior negative version and it was first developed by British philosopher Thomas Hill Green. Classical liberals were committed to individualism, liberty and equal rights.
Political philosopher John Gray identified the common strands in liberal thought as being individualist, egalitarian, meliorist and universalist. Rather than force a man's conscience, government should recognise the persuasive force of the gospel.
By placing life, liberty and property as the supreme value of law and authority, Locke formulated the basis of liberalism based on social contract theory. For Locke, this created a natural right in the liberty of conscience, which he argued must therefore remain protected from any government authority. In addition to examining negative and positive liberty, liberals have tried to understand the proper relationship between liberty and democracy.
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