Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse

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Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse

Post  msistarted on Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:26 pm

Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse (September 8, 1864 - June 21, 1929) was a British liberal politician and sociologist, who produced important works from the perspective of social liberalism. He worked both as an academic and a journalist: in 1907 he became the first professor of sociology to be appointed at the University of London.

* 1 Life
* 2 Economic policy
* 3 Civil liberty
* 4 Foreign policy
* 5 Works
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links

[edit] Life

Hobhouse was born in St Ive, near Liskeard in Cornwall.[1] His sister Emily Hobhouse was a noted welfare campaigner.
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[edit] Economic policy

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Hobhouse was important in underpinning the turn-of-the-century 'New Liberal' movement of the Liberal party under leaders like Asquith and Lloyd George. He distinguished between property held 'for use' and property held 'for power'. He also theorized that property was acquired not only by individual effort but by societal organization; this means that those who had property owe some of their success to society and thus had some obligation to others. This, he believed, provides theoretical justification for a level of redistribution provided by the new state pensions.

It is important to note, however, that Hobhouse disliked Marxist socialism, describing his own position as "liberal socialism". Hobhouse occupies a particularly important place in the intellectual history of the Liberal Democrats because of this.
[edit] Civil liberty

His work also presents a positive vision of liberalism in which the purpose of liberty is to enable individuals to develop, not solely that freedom is good in itself. Hobhouse, by contrast, said that coercion should be avoided not because we have no regard for other peoples' well-being, but because coercion is ineffective at improving their lot.

Hobhouse rejected classical liberalism, noting the work of other liberals who had pointed out the various forms of coercion already existing in society apart from government. Therefore, he proposed that to promote liberty the government must control those factors already existing which worked against it.

Hobhouse held out hope that Liberals and what would now be called the social democrat tendency in the nascent Labour party could form a grand progressive

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