Colgate University: ‘Liberal Democracy and Its Limits’

Real Liberalism

Source:Slide Share– the real liberalism.

“Slides regarding Liberal Democracy for an undergraduate course in Political Thought that I taught between 2003-2005.”

From Slide Share

“As a regime type, liberal democracy is defined in terms of its limits – respect for personal freedom; reliance on market mechanisms; governance through the rule of law, articulated through representative government, responsive to the peopel in periodic elections. It also limits its aspirations – it seeks to secure rights, rather than to save souls or mold the character of its citizens. Through limited, could liberal democracy be the “final” form of government, the end of history?”

Liberal Democracy and Its Limits

Source:Colgate University– talking about liberal democracy.

From Colgate University

I’m not sure there is an actual limit or limits to liberal democracy, other than the fact that people who aren’t fans of liberal democracy and individual freedom have the same freedom as people who believe in freedom. Even as much freedom that comes from liberal democracy. Whether they are on the Left or Right and because people who have more of a statist, or authoritarian beliefs when it comes to government. And can and do use their freedom to work for, donate, work and elect people whether they are on the Far-Right and Far-Left to put in their authoritarian form of government in place.

But the whole ideas and notions of liberal democracy and the liberal form of government and constitution, is built around a Constitution and Bill of Rights. And I would argue that it is built around the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. That is the people have a basic set of constitutional rights built around free speech, free assembly, right to privacy, freedom of press, the right to be educated, the right to practice, or not to practice religion. And that religion is separate from state in the sense that society isn’t governed based on religious beliefs.

But the best available facts not faith on the ground and the United States Constitution as well as the right to self-defense. And what separates liberal democracy from social democracy or majoritarian democracy, is that the constitutional rights that individuals have are constitutional and can’t be taken away from us, because they may seem to be unpopular at the time. That we are essentially guaranteed these basic rights our entire lives.

Just to add one more, property rights and self-ownership: that the people and not government own the economy and own their own property including themselves. And what comes with that is not only economic freedom, the right for one to chart their own course in life and make out of life what they can make of it and keep the rewards of what they produce for themselves. And society and not government collecting most of what people produce and giving it to other people, or spend that money for the people because they believe they better know what people in life need to live well.

And where a limited government comes in is to see that everyone has the ability to access freedom in their lives. To do for the people what they can’t do for themselves, or not do as well. And that we all have access to get the tools that we need to be successful in life and to live in freedom. And to me that comes with education, regulation to protect workers and consumers, not run business’s. And law enforcement and defense so the society has the freedom to move around and operate with a certain level of security.

You want to know what liberalism and liberal democracy is about, it’s these things. Individual freedom and rights and not having a superstate that is there to take care of us for us. And to protect us even from ourselves. Like having to see or hear speech that they may offend us to use as an example. Someone who believes in a superstate is not a Liberal, but a statist, or a paternalist whether they come from the Right or Left.

About Erik Schneider

Full-time blogger on a multiple ray of topics and subjects, because of multiple interests.
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