Talk:History of liberalism

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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:History of liberalism/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Seyyed(t-c) 11:18, 26 March 2010 (UTC) GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    I put "citation needed" tag wherever I found source should be added.--Seyyed(t-c) 11:35, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    The lead is incomplete. You should add more aspects of issue to the lead.--Seyyed(t-c) 13:21, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
    There were especial situations and socio-economic conditions which led to emergence and transformation of Liberalism. There should be some information about these issues such as urbanization.--Seyyed(t-c) 12:18, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
    Each phase of Liberalism movement relates to especial situations. You can use some articles such as Modern history and Early modern Europe. You see, religious war is one of the main roots of "Emergence of liberalism" but you can't neglect Urbanization and Mercantilism. You can use History of capitalism which describes economic foundations of liberalism. There was Reason age in the 17th and Age of Enlightenment in the 18th centuries. Then Liberalism transformed into socio-political movement during industrialization and revolution era.
    Urbanization, history of capitalism, and Early modern Europe now linked or mentioned in the article. Much of this information is already there, but it's just not mentioned explicitly.UBER (talk) 18:14, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
    Post cold war situation:The article doesn't describe post cold war situation. As I told in my review on Liberalism, even Fukuyama doesn't believe in his theory about "end of history". Add some information about contemporary challenges.
    Current or Post cold war era: There should be separate section which is described more recent history. This part can include rivalry between Neoliberalism and Social liberalism as well as emergence of Third Way. Uprising of new challenges such as Conservatism and Fundamentalism which threaten Liberalism. Emerging of China as major power which is challenging western liberal irder of the world, etc.--Seyyed(t-c) 19:13, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Add a summary of this new section in Liberalism article as well.--Seyyed(t-c) 04:12, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I added more information for China as a threat to liberalism in the end, but the parts about fundamentalism, neoliberalism, and social liberalism are all mentioned.UBER (talk) 04:21, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I cannot find anything about China in the article. China was the first country to introduce neoliberal policies and Hong Kong is consistently rated the freest country in the world, so I think China should not be shown as an enemy of liberalism. The Four Deuces (talk) 01:35, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry that was me being forgetful. I included China in the Liberalism article and it's now included in this article as well (at the very end).UBER (talk) 02:04, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
The quote is not supported by the citation. The Four Deuces (talk) 04:02, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Rick was the one who added that statement, so I'll have to go back and check if there's a problem. What does the citation say? Since you've seen the citation, just go ahead and change the statement yourself to reflect the source. Or just tell me what it says and I'll change it accordingly. No big deal.UBER (talk) 04:15, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I've actually found another source and modified the claim slightly to reflect it.UBER (talk) 04:28, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
  1. B. Focused:
  2. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  3. Is it stable?
    Yes check.svg Done--Seyyed(t-c) 19:13, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
  4. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  5. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
I have now removed the Fukuyama comment entirely per your concerns.UBER (talk) 17:58, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

2nd opinion[edit]

I saw the 2nd opinion tag and came here, but I cannot see a specific issue or issues requiring a second opinion. I do see a number of citation needed tags, if these are not addressed quickly, I would suggest failing this, if they are not resolved in a day or two. The nominator can work on it at their leisure and bring it back to GAN, there is virtually no queue now. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 11:39, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

There have been no substantive edits made for two weeks. There are still outstanding citation needed tags. I recommend a fail now, and the artcile can be renominated when it meets the criteria and the problems above have been addressed. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 13:43, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
As the reviwer has not edited since 20 April and the citation needed tags are still unaddressed, i am going to fail this nomination now. When the issues that have been raised are addressed, please renominate at WP:GAN[, the queues there are relatively short following the backlog drive. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 21:57, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Just wanna say...[edit]

Whoever wrote that last sentence is probably a Fallout fan. --71.64.26.168 (talk) 05:46, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Sources for a deeper and broader history of liberalism[edit]

In addition to the 8 sources I already provided for my edits, I would like to draw attention to a couple more here.

Chandran Kukathas, writing on the "Origins of Liberalism", is worth quoting in full:

"So it may be best to start with an account of how liberalism arose. This may turn out to be no less controversial, since liberalism is a broad tradition encompassing the ideas of a great diversity of thinkers, from Locke to Tocqueville to Rawls... And because the noun liberal did not become commonly used until the nineteenth century there is also a problem of anachronism in any endeavor to identify liberalism's origins.

An important clue lies in the origins of the political label, "liberal" in the Spanish Cortes of 1810. The 'Liberales' were members of a parliament rebelling against absolutism... But, as Merquior notes, liberalism the thing is older than liberalism the name, for these ideas had their roots in older questions and disputes..."

"But we can probably go back a little further [than the Glorious Revolution of 1688] in European history to find the beginnings of liberal thinking. The Wars of Religion of the sixteenth century, in France in particular, generated some of the most important work on the idea of religious toleration, notably in the though of Pierre Bayle. But even earlier, the conquest of the Americas by Spain had raised the issue of the rights of the Indians against the colonizing power. The writings of Francisco de Vitoria of the School of Salamanca, defending the claims of Indians... put forward political doctrines which were strikingly liberal in character, inasmuch as they asserted the rights of the individual conscience against the claims of political power."

"Liberal ideas... arose out of conflict and disagreement - particularly over religious questions."

- this is found in The Liberal Tradition in Focus: Problems and New Perspectives, Lexington Books, 2000. (p. 99) Edited by João Carlos Espada, Marc F. Plattner, Adam Wolfson.

Alan Macfarlane has written at length on the history of the development of capitalism and liberalism in Europe... "The roots of Capitalism, the research of Alan Macfarlane has shown, lie in....early Medieval Europe... Still, systematic reflection on economic development awaited the late 18th century. Drawing on Medieval works such as those of Salamanca," (p. 96), Michael Novak, "Free persons and the common good", Madison Books, 1989.

Jeffery L. Irvin, in "Paradigm and Praxis: Seventeenth-century Mercantilism and the Age of Liberalism" (2008) discusses the role Natural Law in Aristotle, Aquinas, and the School of Salamanca in the development of liberal ideas, with a focus on the economic dimension. (p. 36-40)

A good article is found in the French-language journal, Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, entitled: "The Political Economy of the Just Price: What the School of Salamanca Has To Say in the Age of Corruption", 2000, abstract can be found here: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jeeh.2000.10.2/jeeh.2000.10.2.1148/jeeh.2000.10.2.1148.xml

As does Ralph Raico: "The last flowering of this natural law tradition was in Late Scholasticism, commonly associated with the school of Salamanca, whose key theoretical importance is coming to be appreciated (Rothbard, 1995c, 1:81-88, 99-131; Chafuen 1986)." "Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School", Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012.

LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 05:42, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

These are all good refernces. I particularly call your attention to this: "liberalism the thing is older than liberalism the name". This article is about the history of liberalism, not the origin of the word "liberalism". That's covered under etemology. Other editors would be more willing to work with you if you refrain from insulting everyone who disagrees with your approach. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:54, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
This discussion duplicates that begun at Talk:Liberalism. I think we should avoid using Raico's book because it is published by a thinktank. Otherwise, neutrality requires us to distinguish between facts found in these books and the opinions of their authors and when we report those opinions we must explain the relative degree of their acceptance. Incidentally, Irvin does not appear to be writing about scholasticism as an influence on liberal ideas, but rather as an impediment. TFD (talk) 19:25, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

I believe an article on the history of liberalism should include the history of liberal ideas prior to the 17th century. Two other editors disagree. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 09:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

I've noticed a problem with many Wikipedia articles is a lack of historical perspective, on important ideological, political and religious topics. What is too common, is a kind of reductionist "schoolbook" version of history, where, in this case for example, "liberalism" just appears out of nowhere in the pure creative mind of say, John Locke. It's kind of like having an article on Socialism saying Karl Marx "invented" socialism in the 1800s. It's highly misleading. Liberalism, like socialism, or conservatism, or idealism, or what have you, has a long history of development. And any "history of" section/article should reflect that. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 09:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I've seen this dispute at Liberalism#History. LiamFitzGilbert's reputable sources enjoy plenty of scholarly corroboration that there is more to the roots of liberalism prior to the work of John Locke. Scrubbing scholastic. Christian, and Greek thought in support of the ideals of individual liberty as if it never occurred is absurd. —Cupco 09:23, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Note Cupco has been indef blocked as a sockpuppet of Dualas [1]. --TFD (talk) 11:23, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

This request is entirely off topic. The problem with your edit, LiamFitzGilbert, has nothing to do with whether or not liberal ideas before the 17th century should be included. The version you keep removing referenced liberal ideas before the 17th century, too. It is a question of emphasis, and of the mainstream over against writers on special topics. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:33, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Welcome back to the conversation. If the problem was merely one of emphasis, why didn't you edit what I had included, by adding such things as "according to some scholars", or "X writes that" - instead of deleting the whole paragraph and all my references wholesale? (repeatedly, and without any discussion, I might add). LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 14:38, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment This is a misleading RfC. The entire dispute has been about a single, poorly sourced edit. TFD (talk) 15:43, 20 September 2012 (UTC) The dispute is about the significance of the School of Salamanca. Austrians, both in scholarly sources and also popular writing, have said that Murray Rothbard claimed they were an influence on the Austrian School which was founded in 1871. The say that the error of earlier liberalism (and Marxism too) was to adopt a labor theory of value, while the School had anticipated the market theory of value in the 1500s. That seems clear that they were not an influence on early liberalism and that conclusion is clear in the few sources that mention the School, such as Gray's Liberalism (2nd ed.), p.12. This article does not mention the Austrian economists at all, and editors could spend their time better in correcting that omission. TFD (talk) 19:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Why do you say the edit in question is poorly sourced? —Cupco 16:58, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
That edit is from a different article. TFD (talk) 17:48, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Is it not the identical dispute? If not, please provide the diff of the edit you are referring to and why you believe it is insufficiently sourced. —Cupco 17:57, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I have re-phrased my comments above. TFD (talk) 19:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Comment TFD, From what I gather, Wikipedia is based upon what reliable sources say - you don't get to cast aside sources for your own (ideological?) reasons. All you've been able to provide to justify your wholesale removal of a massive amount of sourced content, is a book by an English writer called John N. Gray, writing in a book published by the "Open University Press", in a chapter entitled "Seventeenth Century England". Gray refers to "debates" on dating liberalism in England back to the 18th century, or Glorious Revolution, or the English Civil War (saying such-and-such has been "argued convincingly", and refers to the Levellers, etc). Nowhere does he say he is making definitive historical statements of consensus, nowhere does he dismiss the significance or even mention of the Wars of Religion, or the Physiocrats, or the Philosophes, or the School of Salamanca, or Aristotle, et al. You're demanding that your very specific interpretation of one very specific paragraph of a relatively unimportant writer in a relatively unimportant book, serve as the sole basis of the historiography of liberalism. Whereas I have provided 14+ sources, from the most eminent academic presses, including some of the most highly regarded contemporary liberal thinkers (and articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals), for a much broader and deeper history on the origins of liberalism. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 12:06, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe I'm reluctant to work with you, LiamFitzGilbert, instead of just deleting your unacceptable edit, because you keep saying things like "without any discussion" even though I tried originally to discuss the topic with you and you responded with insults.Rick Norwood (talk) 22:57, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Gray is one of the foremost scholars on Liberalism and the Open University Press is considered scholarly. It is appropriate to use advanced level textbooks to determine the relative weight of different views. The chapter btw does not is not called "Seventeenth Century England", but "Liberalism in the early modern period". Gray does not "refer[] to "debates" on dating liberalism in England. The debates to which he refers were "the debates during the English Civil War" and he is talking about liberalism as a whole not just in England. And while liberalism did not develop in an intellectual vacuum, it had influences and precursors, it makes no sense to refer to people as liberals before the ideology developed. TFD (talk) 17:46, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
"Gray is one of the foremost scholars on Liberalism" - No, he isn't. People aren't taught "Gray" at university. They are however, taught Hayek, Rothbard, and Polanyi at higher levels.
Ok, the subsection of the chapter is entitled "Seventeenth Century England".
"it makes no sense to refer to people as liberals before the ideology developed." - Then we'll have to cut out all mention of John Locke or Montesquieu then. As liberalism wasn't developed as an ideology until the 19th century. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 05:07, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
I was referring to people who are still alive and writing today. Gray's Hayek on Liberty is used as a textbook in courses about Hayek, and his writings on Hayek are recommended by numerous libertarian thinktanks. TFD (talk) 18:06, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, thanks for confirming my argument. Hayek is an authority, Gray isn't. And yet you want to cite Gray as someone's whose writings trump Hayek (to give just one example). Your position makes no sense at all. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 18:52, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
That is a strange comment. Rothbard was an admirer of Gray and had him review his manuscript for The Ethics of Liberty before its publication in 1982, and includes Gray's writing on Hayek in the bibliography. Besides you have presented nothing from Hayek except a letter he sent to Rothbard agreeing that the School of Salamanca had been an influence on the Austrian School, which was founded in 1871. Yet this article does not even mention the Austrian School, which is a major omission. TFD (talk) 18:56, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Request for constructive editing instead of an edit war[edit]

As I have said repeatedly, I am willing to work with other editors to produce a good article. I have done several rewrites, in an attempt to make progress. Insisting on one version to the exclusion of all others is not good editing. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:56, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Here is the first paragraph of the version supported by LiamFitzGilbert:

"The history of the term liberalism to refer to a formal doctrine dates to the 19th century, however its roots are much older. The opposition to the absolutism of the sovereign in modern Europe was largely developed during the Enlightenment, with John Locke and the French-language Philosophes such as Montesquieu[1] as well as such thinkers as Pierre Bayle. However the earlier scholasticism of Spanish and Portuguese theologians of the School of Salamanca during the 16th century, also espoused what would later be regarded as "liberal" ideas, such as free market economics, and the claim that it ought to be a moral obligation of the sovereign to respect certain fundamental rights of human beings.[2][3][4] Even earlier precedents can be cited along similar lines, including various medieval charters (such as the Magna Carta), some advocates of Thomistic philosophy, going all the way back to the Stoics and the principles of "natural justice" advocated by Aristotle.[5][6][7]"

Let's take it one sentence at a time. The problem with the first sentence is that it begins in the 19th century. Every standard source I know of begins in the 17th century. In other words, they begin with the ideas of liberalism, not with the word "liberalism" To give one example, chosen at random from the bookshelf in my office, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics article "Liberalism" begins "liberalism In general, the belief that it is the aim of politics to preserve individual rights and to maximize freedom of choice. In common with socialism and conservatism, it emerged from the conjunction of the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the political revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries." In other words, the emphasis is on the 17th and 18th centuries, not the 19th. It is misleading to have the first sentence in the lead begin with the 19th century.

Second sentence: Locke is a major figure, mentioned in all sources on Liberalism that I can find. Montesquieu is a major philosopher, and I have no objection to his inclusion, though he was a monarchist. Pierre Bayle is a minor figure. The Concise Oxford doesn't even mention him. He certainly doesn't belong in the lead.

Third sentence: The School of Salamanca is also of minor interest. It doesn't have an article in the Concise Oxford, and is not mentioned in any of the other books I have on the subject. I'm not saying it was not an influence on liberalism, I'm saying most sources do not mention it as an important influence on liberalism. The lead should focus on what most sources consider important. That is why I did not object to the removal of Marcus Aurelius and John Milton.

Fourth sentence: The Magna Carta is often mentioned as a source of liberal ideas and should be included. Thomas Acquinas is not mentioned by major sources on liberalism and should not be included. The Stoics and Aristotle are also not mentioned by most sources.

LiamFitzGilbert: It is not enough to show that your version of the lead is supported by one source. You need to show that it is supported by most major sources, and that other versions of the lead are not. To make this last point explicit: your version is not the default version; you need to support the idea that it is better than other versions.

Rick Norwood (talk) 15:28, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

I agree. [WP:NPOV|neutrality]] requires us to provide greater weight to standard interpretations, such as John N. Gray's Liberalism. Gray btw was a supporter of the Austrian School and his essays on Hayek and others can be found on many libertarian webites (Mises, CATO, FEE, the Library of Economics and Liberty), which probably explains why he mentioned the School of Salamanca at all. However Liberalism was written as a general textbook. TFD (talk)
Rick, I have great respect for you now that you've gone to the trouble to write your specific objections. Thankyou.
To take it in your order...
1) I am personally of the opinion that dating terms to their first historical usage is always useful. As I quoted Kukathas above, since it is a relatively late term, any attempt to date its inception is going to be anachronistic. In fact, the unceasing arguments on all sides of the political spectrum as to what "liberalism" actually is, is part of my justification for increasing the depth and breadth of the article. But it's not a big deal, it can easily be moved down the page, and doesn't have to start in the first sentence (although I personally think it's best there).
2)You make several statements such as "Every standard source I know of..." and "X is not mentioned in any of the other books I have on the subject". Rick, you and your library are not sources. And mentioning The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics isn't of a great use here, because the articles on Wikipedia are a lot more numerous and lengthy than anything one will find in a reference book.
3)I too insist that Locke should be mentioned in the lede. And Montesquieu.
4)I'm hesitant to agree with the suggestion that the Magna Carta should be included but not the School of Salamanca. I know the Magna Carta is mentioned in every English-language and French-language high school student's history textbook, but if you look at all the scholarly sources that discuss the history of liberalism, constitutionalism, etc - you'll find it's not regarded as that important. It's more "popular" history. By the time we get to the late 17th and early 18th century Britain, we're talking about a completely different society with a completely different language (and religion). There are a great many medieval charters (and some much earlier - look at Cyrus the Great) that limit the power of the monarch (Brehon Laws in Ireland, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Iceland, and many more). To include the Magna Carta, and not others, might be a perfect example of cultural bias.
Moreover, Salamanca hasn't been mentioned by just anyone. It's been discussed at length by some of the most eminent scholars in the subject area - as I've said so many times before. As far as I'm concerned, unless you can find an eminent scholar that dismisses its significance outright (and therefore suggests that its inclusion would be controversial), then I must insist that it stays in the lede in some form or another.
5) And finally, I've referred over a dozen sources. You haven't referred to any (except the Encyclopedia you mentioned here in your post above). TFD, as only one source from a minor author that goes any way at all towards supporting his version.
LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 07:16, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

On point 2) above: The books in my library are sources, if they are scholarly books, which they are. Wikipedia has a lot of articles, but you can't use Wikipedia to reference something in Wikipedia.

On point 4) above: I don't insist on the Magna Carta, but it is one topic that studies of liberalism often reference. They rarely reference the School of Salamanca. Neither belong in the lead. It may be that both belong in the history section. Maybe Milton and Marcus Aurelius belong there, too.

On point 5) above: as I said, I picked one book at random for my comment to you on this Talk page. Both TFD and I have referenced many, many sources over the years. As for your sources, as I've said before the are (as best I remember) good sources. The question is one of emphasis. A book covers a lot more than any article can. Not everything in a book belongs here.

Rick Norwood (talk) 12:36, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

1. Some writers, such as J. C. D. Clark, English Society, 1660–1832 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 5., claim that it makes no sense to speak of liberalism before the term was coined. We could mention that, however it is really a semantic issue. They call early liberals by non-anachronistic terms such as "Whigs".
2. We must be guided by what standard reference books consider important.
3. Why would we mention Montesquieu in the lead?
4. As De Ruggiero pointed out in The History of European Liberalism, rights in feudal society were different from what are understood as rights today. They were privileges that applied to individuals and classes and could be traded. Individuals were not born with equal "unalienable rights".
5. John N. Gray is not a minor author, but one of the foremost experts on liberalism. See for example The Political Theory of John Gray ed. by Horton and Newey (Routledge, 2006). I mentioned his book Liberalism, which is used as a textbook for university courses, only because it was one of the few books about liberalism that bother mentioning the school of Salamanca.
TFD (talk) 14:36, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Asked to comment this issue. I'm with Rick Norwood. As to the "However the earlier scholasticism of Spanish and Portuguese theologians of the School of Salamanca during the 16th century, also espoused what would later be regarded as "liberal" ideas ...", I'd like to exclude theologians from this discussion for not seeing any relevance of their scholasticism to this topic.--Juraj Budak (talk) 02:36, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, yes, neither do I think theology has any bearing on liberalism. However, regarding human rights and free markets, they were not writing about theology. Kinda, by definition, innit? LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 04:53, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
IOW, irrelevant. TFD (talk) 07:23, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Please write in full sentences (and use a spell check), because I'm not sure exactly what you mean here. I gather the imputation is their explicitly liberal views should be written out of history because of their profession and/or religious denomination? Well, that is so absurd I'm not going to bother developing a reply - I will warn however, that such a notion is in danger of being seen as bigoted. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 08:01, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
You just said, "neither do I think theology has any bearing on liberalism". I agreed. A complete sentence contains a subject, verb and object, as in the sentence "IOW, [it is] irrelevant". (Yes the noun and verb were implied, but you should have been able to figure that out.) TFD (talk) 08:15, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
And what does "IOW" mean?
Vitoria wasn't writing on theological matters when he was discussing free markets and human rights. Obviously, by definition. ftw, smh, lmao, etc. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 08:20, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
IOW means "in other words". BTW why do you use bold type in your postings? TFD (talk) 08:30, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Because you have a tendency to simply ignore sources when they say something which contradicts your very narrow arguments. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 08:43, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

(out) I have btw provided another source, Richardson's "Contending liberalisms". "For some historians, liberalism does not emerge until the eighteenth century; more precisely, their narratives begin with the [Glorious Revolution] of 1688 and the publication in 1690 of John Locke's Two Treatises on Civil Government.... It has been argued convincingly, however, that political movements propounding liberal values first appeared in the mid-seventeenth century, when characteristic liberal themes and debates were articulated in the English Revolution...." He then writes, "While there was no fully developed liberal position in these debates, there was an eloquent assertion of certain liberal values and, more important, the clearest possible expression of the tension between the two poles of liberalism [grandees and levellers]. Milton's argument for free speech foreshadowed that of John Stuart Mill.... Milton came to favor the right of the people to remove rulers who fail to govern [as seems to them best.... He quotes Arblaster, one of the leading historians of liberalism, as saying, at the heart of these debates was one "central to liberalism: the question of the relations between freedom and property." This article, which is used as a text in many universities, outlines how other writers view the subject. TFD (talk) 17:49, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes, that source is fine, I don't object to it at all. But it doesn't contradict anything my sources say. I'll say it again, for the umpteenth time: unless you can find sources, of equal quality/reliability, to mine, that reject/contradict what mine say, then you really don't have any grounds for deleting them. No obfuscating or theorizing or edit-warring can alter this simple fact. LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 18:00, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
It is confusing to have this conversation for two articles. The School of Salamanca is rarely mentioned in histories of liberalism and therefore does not belong in the lead. I have nothing against mentioning precursors of liberalism, such as the School or the Stoics, so long as we present how they are seen in mainstream sources. I do not understand btw why you are concentrating on this minor point when there are more important aspects of the history of liberalism that are ignored, for example Hayek is not even mentioned. TFD (talk) 19:10, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Asked by LiamFitzGilbert, "What do you think of my attempts to include Aristotle and the Stoics as forerunners of liberal thought?". No doubt that you can find some commonalities and similarities between Aristotle and Stoics and the liberal thoughts today or in the past. Anyone who can talk and write about liberalism at a higher academic level is expected to be familiar with Aristotle's and Stoics' teachings. Still, I am not aware of authors making strong connections between Aristotle and Stoics and the modern understanding of liberalism.--Juraj Budak (talk) 23:14, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Ongoing work[edit]

I'm glad to see that everyone is working constructively now to make this a better article. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:12, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Thomas Aquinas, the Stoics and Aristotle.[[edit]

Please provide a reference for this. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:06, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Middle Ages section[edit]

There's a very nicely done section on the entire European Middle Ages at the beginning, which may to some subjective view be a 'prelude' to the history of liberalism... but this does fall well, WELL outside the scope of this article. It should be removed (or at least moved elsewhere). Liberalism, as a specific political philosophy, is hardly mentioned. A discussion of the history of the general ideas of tradition and progress in Europe and how they are balanced may do well in an introductory article in an opinion magazine, but not in an encyclopaedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 35.0.88.141 (talk) 21:02, 11 October 2013 (UTC)