Tuesday, November 24, 2020

885: Liberalism Complete.....

  By the end of the nineteenth century, the picture of Liberalism was more or less complete,

  from John Locke it got the free individual and his right to private property, which was created by the labor of the individual.


Adam Smith put the individual in a well-organized production system based on the division of labor. The products were put in a system of demand and supply, which regulates itself due to market forces.


And all this would be automatically guided by what Smith called "an invisible hand" and it all world lead to economic growth driven by the self-interest of the individual and beneficial to the community.


Both, John Locke and Adam Smith were seriously opposed to any form of governmental control over the individual, let alone of tyranny.


The man who completed the picture was John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873). He drew the boundaries within which the free individual and the state should operate.


In "On Liberty" (1859) he added the social and political freedom of the individual. The titles of the chapters are telling enough:


Chapter 1: "Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion", Chapter 2: "Of Individuality, as one of the elements of Well-being", Chapter 3: Of the Limits of Authority of Society over the Individual".


"On Liberty" mainly deals with two subjects. The first concerns the question of what happens when everyone maximizes their own freedom. 


Mill realizes that this is not unlimited, because my actions may have adverse consequences. The boundless pursuit of my interests can affect the freedom of others. 


To solve this, he makes a sharp distinction between the personal and the social sphere. As long as it is only about their own body and mind, people are sovereign. 


But in the social domain, they must spare the interests of their fellow citizens, in the sense that any act that harms another must be punished. 


This is done first and foremost through social control. Mill believes that most people are very sensitive to this. If that doesn't help, there is still a state that punishes anti-social behavior.


Among other things, Stuart Mill discusses the relation of private opinions and the pressure public opinion can exercise on the individual.


He argues that free discourse is a necessary condition for intellectual and social progress. We can never be sure, he contends, that a silenced opinion does not contain some element of the truth. 


He also argues that allowing people to air false opinions is productive for two reasons. First, individuals are more likely to abandon erroneous beliefs if they are engaged in an open exchange of ideas. 


Second, by forcing other individuals to re-examine and re-affirm their beliefs in the process of debate, these beliefs are kept from declining into mere dogma. 


It is not enough for Mill that one simply has an unexamined belief that happens to be true. One must understand why the belief in question is the true one. 


If you add up all elements, here we have the true liberal: a free individual in a well-organized job, making money and enjoying the freedom of opinion, not bothered by an oppressing government.


Thank you for your attention again....

MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020

The Discussion


[13:14] herman Bergson: The ideal son-in-law :-))

[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): heheh well i guess

[13:16] herman Bergson: This political narrative developed only a 300 years ago within a hundred years

[13:16] CB Axel: Mill has a higher opinion of human beings than I do.

[13:16] herman Bergson: and it is dominating our political discourse since

[13:16] herman Bergson: Yes CB....I am not sure how much he overlooked greed, for instance

[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): remember we just did people ae basically good

[13:17] herman Bergson: Indeed Gemma....and I guess Stuart Mill thought so too

[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa must be so

[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): cb is having a hard time with it

[13:18] CB Axel nods

[13:18] herman Bergson: And I think, in general it is true

[13:18] CB Axel: :)

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and in that case it could have worked out fine everything,

[13:18] Somedirtycat Saule: Interesting thoughts. But what was the situation? I can hardly think any of them stated something in a status quo.

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but the greed parameter was missing from the code sort of

[13:19] herman Bergson: What do you mean Some...

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u mean uninfluenced?

[13:20] CB Axel: Are you asking under what circumstances did Mill live?

[13:20] Somedirtycat Saule: what was their definition of tyranny for example.

[13:20] CB Axel: What formed his opinion?

[13:21] herman Bergson: It was at the verge of the Industrial Revolution, where the distance between poor and rich people would only increase....as it has continued to grow until now

[13:21] CB Axel: I would imagine his idea of tyranny was based on European rulers.

[13:22] herman Bergson: Tyranny was what the were used to....absolute kings, Cromwell, dictators, absence of individual rights and freedom

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have a hard time believing that it really got worse then.. what about slaves and fiefdom before that time

[13:22] herman Bergson: Mill was even for women's rights in 1859

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the kings was all and his  courts

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all the others were almost slaves

[13:23] herman Bergson: Slavery still existed in those days

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): skills gave many new hope for a job

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): making things

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): basically

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and a chance to live better

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes slavery did for a long time

[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes, that created the industrial revolution and the emergence of mass production

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right so i was not all the beginning of the span between owners and workers

[13:25] CB Axel: Yeah. Instead of working land to benefit the king and nobility they started working in factories to benefit the factory owners.

[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right

[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it existed long before that

[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I'm Sorry!

[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I sorry..

[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): have to leave

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma

[13:26] herman Bergson: Take care Gemma :-)

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu gemma

[13:26] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye Gemma

[13:27] herman Bergson: What we see around 1860 is a clear picture of the free individual....no government meddling please

[13:27] CB Axel: I'm guessing Mill was born into money, or at least whatever passed for middle class in those days.

[13:28] CB Axel: Yes. No meddling in the affairs of the factory owners and their ability to oppress their workers.

[13:28] herman Bergson: He was an uppperclass fellow....member of parlement, manager of a  trade company for 17 years

[13:28] CB Axel: So those were the people he wanted to have freedom.

[13:28] CB Axel: Not everyone.

[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes, CB, especially in the UK were de differences huge

[13:29] herman Bergson: Which led to Marx eventually, of course

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed in the beginning the bosses really oppressed their workers, treating them worse then machines and taking all for himself, its gotten a little better now but problem still exist

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there were no workers right organizations and similar back at the time

[13:30] CB Axel: It wasn't until Dickens pointed out the terrible lives the poor and working class led that the middle class took notice.

[13:30] herman Bergson: We all can watch the movie "Scrooge" around Xmas :-))

[13:30] CB Axel: :)

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats really a classic on how you both not should be and should be

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and which character also laid the base for Disneys Scrooge McDuck

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): which is just the same

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:31] herman Bergson: You seem to say something Some, but it doesn't come through it seems

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe it's lag

[13:33] herman Bergson: Well...guess we now have a clear picture of the early days of liberalism....

[13:33] CB Axel: Yeah, Saule keeps typing away but doesn't say anything. :)

[13:33] herman Bergson: the next step will be to see how it went wrong

[13:34] Somedirtycat Saule: I think the invisible hand they talk about is to be seen in positive light. All good peoples work for their wealth that really trickle down.rulers and tyrants are that times buraucracy. Let water flow downwards uninterrupted.

[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes CB, that is what I see too

[13:34] CB Axel: I can already see how it went wrong.

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:34] CB Axel: Trickle down theory has never worked and probably never will.

[13:34] CB Axel: It's a lie.

[13:35] Somedirtycat Saule: In that time it probably worked,

[13:35] herman Bergson: I guess the invisible hand Mill was thinking of, must have been  a christian idea of a caring god in the background

[13:35] CB Axel: No. It didn't.

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): untill they started as in the classic say biting the hand feeding them

[13:36] CB Axel: Or just a idealistic view of human nature.

[13:36] herman Bergson: No, that trickle down philosophy is a misconception

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its an idealized vision

[13:36] CB Axel: He seemed to think that the wealthy cared at all about the poor.

[13:37] herman Bergson: the increasing profits of the companies weren't used to trickle down to the workers....they used it to buy their own stocks

[13:37] CB Axel: Poor people were, and are, just another piece of machinery in their factories.

[13:37] CB Axel: Those people were easy to replace.

[13:37] herman Bergson: and thus made the wealthy people wealthier

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true cb

[13:38] CB Axel: If they were injured or killed, it didn't matter. Just pull another one up out of the street.

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well the bosses carried more about their (nice and expensive) machines then their workers

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the workers were just like hamsters running in a wheel to operate them and not worth a dime to them

[13:38] Somedirtycat Saule: OK CB. Times was harder then. Compared to now 'trickle down' as been given low wage was better than serfhood

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in short, just like slavery

[13:38] herman Bergson: That is not entirely true.....

[13:38] CB Axel: It was only after a good old fashioned plague killed off many of the poor that there became a shortage of them.

[13:39] CB Axel: Then the workers became more valuable and unions were able to form.

[13:40] CB Axel: Or a war. Wars were good at culling the herd, too.

[13:40] herman Bergson: Companies like Philips and Bata (shoe industry) cared for their workers in the early 1900s...they built houses, set up schools and education

[13:40] CB Axel: OK. That's one.

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa thats nice

[13:40] herman Bergson: They felt that they also had a social responsibility

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Vlisco did that too, they cared a lot about the workers

[13:41] CB Axel: Many built homes that the workers had to live in and shops where they had to shop with the profits going back to the factory owner.

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well as i know Philips is a good company and they also make very good things

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i have 3 brands that i go with that i really tryst, those are Philips Asus and Samsung

[13:42] herman Bergson: I only trust Durex, Bejiita :-))

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mostly though because never had bad experience or quality issues with their products

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol herman

[13:42] herman Bergson grins

[13:43] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol

[13:43] CB Axel: I'm having some minor issues with my ASUS laptop, but that's because I dropped it. lol

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahahh well then its not Asus that are the problem I think

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 

[13:43] herman Bergson: That might create issues indeed CB :-))

[13:44] CB Axel: It actually survived the fall pretty well, so kudos to ASUS. :)

[13:44] herman Bergson: Before we get more issues...let me thank you again for your participation :-)

[13:44] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:44] herman Bergson: Unless you have that final question or remark........

[13:44] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...*_*

[13:44] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Herman and class!

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all my main computers and the router are ASUS TV and Vacuum cleaner is Philips (the vacuum have lasted since i moved in + don't sound like a jet engine) and mobile is samsung

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:45] CB Axel: Thank you, too, class.