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The Rise of Liberalism and Old Liberalism

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Riyadh Mahdi

 Chapter One Outline

  1. The Rise of Liberalism and Old Liberalism

  1. Liberalism and Natural Rights
  1. John Locke’s rights of Man
  • This will describe the historical backgrounds of Liberalism,

                                                       the political theory which is based on the ideas of human

                                                       rights as liberty and equality (Simmons 3).

  • Locke’s theory is a moral and political philosophy and the theory of rights. It concerns about all of what is related to the natural rights of persons as it is presented by many classic philosophers and the important part of this theory is about its political side (3).

  • This theory depends on many concerns:

                                                        - The duties we owe to God: It has a variety of arguments that

                                                    can be considered but it is hard to say how are they specific

                                                    duties to follow (3).

                                                        -Understanding Property Rights: All rights can be understood

                                                          by understanding property rights (3).      

                                       

  1. Doctrine of Natural Rights:

  • In the 17th century, a group of individuals displayed an important liberal features. Levellers is the first liberal party in Europe history led by John Lilburne and Richard Overton. Later in this century, John Locke Adopted his doctrine of natural rights (Raico 2010).

                                             

                                               

  1.  Liberal Universality

                                               a- The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

                                                        * This declaration is adopted by United Nations on 10

                                                           December 1948. The main question is raised about the

                                                           possibility of being universal. The first response is received

                                                           from the American Anthropological Association to worry

                                                           about the problem of ethnocentrism which means

                                                           considering the value one culture as the superior of those

                                                           other countries (Morsink 1).

                                                        *The Positive Side of Liberal Universality: It is the

                                                          declaration that is born from the ruins of Second World War

                                                          and after the creation United Nations. The leaders of the

                                                          world are encouraged to establish rights for people anywhere

                                                          (Brown 29).

                                             

                                                         *Philosophers’ Committee Work: Many members of

                                                           philosophers of different religious and cultural backgrounds

                                                           work on the civil and political rights on one side and social

                                                           and economic rights on the other side (30).

                                               

                                                         *This declaration is described as “the milestone” in the

                                                            history of the relationship between all human beings around

                                                            the world. seeks for respect for human rights for all people

                                                            in the world (31).      

  1. Postcolonialism

  1. Postcolonial and Liberals’ Racism and Ethnocentrism

       

  • Western Liberalism received many charges by postcolonials and one of them was Racism and ethnocentrism. The postcolonial Frantz Fanon adopted this idea when he wrote many articles as Black Skin White Masks. He describes the Black’s suffering of being recognized as not fully human. The way of difficult gaining of white’s recognition. The Black has two dimensions: one with his fellows and one with Whites and this is because colonial repression (Gibson).
  • The imminent critique for white liberal humanism is to draw attention to Black Lives Matters is a demand not a request. The Black wants to be recognized as human beings (Gibson)
  • The Black is considered as a threat to civil society according to Whites’ standards. In Gibson’s words “ Put another way, in cosmopolitan civil society, racially coded across space and place, Black life is still not fully human” ( Gibson).
  • Racism is the most visible feature of the society.
  • Fanon’s second important book is The Wretched of the Earth which becomes as the revolutionary bible of the Blacks. Fanon says “We revolt because we can’t breathe.” Fanon uses many words in The Wretched of the Earth like “suffocated, hemmed in, smothered and imprisoned to describe his experienced with the colonized authorities (Gibson).
  • Fanon’s book The Wretched of the Earth depicted the struggles and sufferings of native people to return their land and human dignity. Fanon worked for the social justice for what he calls the oppressed people (Nicholas).
  • His first three works embody Fanon’s anti-racist humanism represented by colonized people which is a moderate attitude neither as “a white-supremacist mainstream” or as radical philosophies of the black. (Nicholas)
  • Fanon denounces the colonial violence which is faced by intensive criticism by European liberal and democratic countries. Fanon exposes western hypocrite political rule like France and even United States of adapting freedom and democracy while they use violence against other countries and the minorities at home (Joan Cocks 2)    

 

  1. Postcolonials’ Critiques of Liberal’s Relativism

   

  • One of the postolonial’s charges of liberalism of being relativist. Human Rights are universally relative and the most discussed issue of the theory of the human rights is cultural relativism. Human Rights today is supported by the world’s major political, economic cultural powers that ideologically don’t apply to some States. This universal values gives the appeal to American Foreign Policy to do a universal ideological war (Donnelly 282).
  • Universalism Cultural Relativism Problem is one of the most international debates of human rights. The challenge of this aspect is between international human rights and the universal valid criteria of justice. The aim of this law is to restrict governments universally of mistreating of their people (Binder 212).
  • Non-Western Societies criticize this international human rights law when they claim that this law and the declaration of human right in addition to The United Nations Covenant On Civil and political rights reflect the liberal individual prevailed in the west. It also ignores the importance of group membership, of duties, and of respect of the dominated nature of non-western cultures (Binder 213).          

III.  New Liberalism                    

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