For most of the century and a half that began roughly with the later works of John Stuart Mill, the most important divide within liberal political thought was that between classical (or market, or libertarian) liberalism and welfare (or new, or redistributionist) liberalism. The questions that were important to the socialist/liberal debate also became important for debates within liberalism: What is the relationship between property and freedom? Between free trade and freedom? Is freedom of commercial activity on a moral par with other sorts of freedom? Is the alleviation of poverty or material need a more important political goal than freedom? How do freedom and equality fit together in a liberal understanding of justice? What degree of state economic planning, or state taxation and expenditure, is compatible with liberal freedom?
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