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'Laissez-Faire, Laissez-Passer

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Submitted By daffne00
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Chapter 3 - ''Laissez-Faire, Laissez-passer''.

Liberalism suffers from something of a personality disorder. The term means different things in different contexts. In the United States today, for example, a liberal is general regarded as one who believes in an active role for the state in society such as helping the poor and funding programs to address social problems.

For economic liberals (also referred to as neoliberals and sometimes as neocon1 the state should play a limited, knot constricted, role in the economy and society. In other relatives ), words, today's economic liberals have much in common with people who are usually referred to as ''conservatives'' in the United States and many other countries.

ROOTS OF THE ECONOMIC LIBERAL
The liberal perspective today reveals many insights about political economy that mercantilists miss or do not address. Although liberals believe that people are fundamentally self-interested, they do not see this as a disadvantage because broad areas of society are set up in such a way that competing interests can engage one another.
Today's economic liberalism is rooted in reactions to important trends and events in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Fratxois Quesnay (1694-1774) led a group of French philosophers called the Physiocrats or Qs economist's. Quesnay condemned government interference in the market, holding that, with few exceptions, it brought harm to society.

PERSPECTIVE
For the laissez-faire world of individual initiative, private ownership, and limited government interfere fears and loathing, however, are directed toward very different sorts of states.
For Smith, the individual freedom of the marketplace represented the best alternative to potentially abusive state power when it came to the allocation of resources or organizing economic activity.
Recently Havel lived under an...

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