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Liberalism: A philosophy divided

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posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 01:41 PM
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When most Westerners think of Liberalism they think of a large government that enforces such rights as Social Security, a Mixed Market Economy, Affirmative Action, Universal Healthcare and a strong role for the state. But little do people know there are two forms of Liberalism; Classical and Social.

Let us begin with the core principles of all Liberalism which are Liberty and Equality. Generally Liberals support policies that encourage and promote freedom such as Constitution, Liberal democracy, Elections, Human Rights, Capitalism, Free Trade and Separation of Church and State. While other policies can be debated between Classical and Social liberals, they agree on the premise of all of them policies.

Liberalism became powerful during the Age of Enlightenment across Western Europe and North America. It was especially strong in France and the United States. Liberalism struggled to gain the power in France since Monarchy and Aristocracy were powerful and held a strong foothold in society. In the United States Liberalism had an easy way to gain power since it had little opposition.

The philosopher John Locke had a very profound role in making Liberalism a distinct ideology. Natural Rights and Social Contract were the core beliefs of how government should govern with the Rule of Law, replacing Absolutism. The rights created and espoused by Liberals was the belief in the right to Life, Liberty and Property.

Both the French and American Revolutions were justified by using Liberalism as their reason for Revolution. Liberalism has consistently won against all other foreign ideologies such as Fascism and Communism, but it continues to fight against Conservatism, Fundamentalism and Military Dictatorship. Liberalism today continues to spread around the world creating and enforcing Republics, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, Welfare State, Religious toleration, Religious freedom and Globalization.

en.wikipedia.org...


Classical Liberalism


The two documents from the 18th century summed up the beliefs of Liberalism for the time, known as Classical Liberalism. These documents; United States Bill of Rights and Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Classical liberalism is most similar to Libertarianism, it espouses particular beliefs relating to small government, liberty and civil rights. Particularly emphasizing Limited Government, Individual Liberty, also including Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly and Markets. These values influenced both political parties in the United States.

Classical liberalism drew heavily from the work of Adam Smith, some of his works include: The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations.

en.wikipedia.org...


Social Liberalism


Social Liberalism in its simplest form is the adaption of Liberalism with a belief in Social Justice. It splits from Classical Liberalism in its belief in the role of the state in society to alleviate inequality, unemployment, poverty and provide welfare, health care and other public services.

The core principles of Social Liberalism are a belief in Human Rights, Elections, Multiparty democracy, Social Justice, Tolerance, Social Market Economy, Free Trade, Sustainability and International Solidarity. While Social Liberalism differs with Classical Liberalism on many issues, particularly pertaining to the role of the state, they continue to share their belief in liberty and equality above all else.

Social Liberals draw much of the work from a wide variety of people, but one who stands out the most is John Maynard Keynes. He contributed greatly to Social Liberalism and Socialism, developing his economic theory known today as Keynesian Economics.

en.wikipedia.org...




It is in my opinion that Liberalism has been the greatest political philosophy in human history. With Liberalism we have developed democracy, republicanism, secularism and liberty. Liberalism almost single-handedly dismantled the Aristocracy, Monarchy and established religions while at the same time making society more Egalitarian, Entrepreneurial, Educated, Enlightened, Secular and Wealthy.

But the major divisions, while they may not be so known now, are starting to return. With a surge in Libertarian political thought, which is simply a new word for Classical Liberalism, we are seeing those whom use to be Socialist turning more towards Social Liberalism. Liberalism is making its return to the global stage as simply the strongest political force, but it now has two strong opponents to face after the death of Fascism and Communism and the drop in Socialism, these opponents have been around for centuries, ever since the beginning of political debate; Conservatism and Fundamentalism.




posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 03:40 PM
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No replies to this thread yet? I would like some opinions.



posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 04:08 PM
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Originally posted by Misoir
When most Westerners think of Liberalism they think of a large government that enforces such rights as Social Security, a Mixed Market Economy, Affirmative Action, Universal Healthcare and a strong role for the state. But little do people know there are two forms of Liberalism; Classical and Social.


Well, i would not say "most westerners", is mostly people in the US who thinks liberalism is some kind of left ideology.

In the rest of America (the continent) and Europe liberalism meaning is very much the classic one, free market, capitalism, etc etc etc



posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by MonteroReal
 




In the rest of America (the continent) and Europe liberalism meaning is very much the classic one, free market, capitalism, etc etc etc


Exactly. In my country political spectrum we have only non-left liberals (libertarians, or classical liberals more exactly), as opposed to economically left-wing parties but which propose "republican" politics regarding the personal freedoms (statist, if not totalitarian ones). You cannot accurately define modern political spectrum with only one axis (right-left), you need AT LEAST two separate axes - economic and personal freedom (Nolan chart).
From this stem four basic kinds of political parties - totalitarian, social liberalism (left-wing in american sense), "republican" (right wing in american sense) and libertarian.



posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 06:54 PM
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reply to post by MonteroReal
 


That is very true. I know that Classical liberalism is the more common form of Liberalism outside of Anglo-Saxon countries.



posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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Liberalism is really awesome! Keep searching and you'll find the truth!
Awesome thread too!



posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 07:16 PM
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Nicely put together! I see many ways in which I relate to Libertarians and despite being a liberal I am for smaller government especially when it comes to aid for the poor, the sick and disabled as there are too many agencies delivering services many of which could be eliminated if basic needs were adequately addressed in the first place.

I'm still a big fan of libraries, public health, funding for alternative energy development, infrastructure, building things to last for more than one generation,consumer and health protections, well funded public schools, student aid and universal health care - which is not just the humane thing to do but will make our industries more competitive and create a more loyal work force. Call me nuts but I enjoy living in a semi-civilized society.



posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 07:42 PM
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reply to post by ChrisCrikey
 


I agree with you 100%!


It would be best for the state to only do things that help the citizens, not take care of people. I think our country did best when business was forced to compete, break up monopolies and enforce contracts, enforce trade laws, only enforce laws that protect people from harming others, provide health care to every citizen, provide guranteed education, guarantee an income to people with serious mental/physical disabilities. Just stuff like that, things that people really can't do by themselves.

If you take Classical liberalism and add some aspects of Social Liberalism I think we would get our best results.


edit on 9/17/2010 by Misoir because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 01:28 AM
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Originally posted by Romantic_Rebel
Liberalism is really awesome! Keep searching and you'll find the truth!
Awesome thread too!


Liberalism has been and continues to be, the most advanced philosophy in history. What other philosophy can claim entire Revolutions which have brought about peace, prosperity, democracy and freedom on the scale that Liberalism has?

How about the Left return to Liberalism? Like during The Age of Enlightenment when being religious was not something to be proud of, people didn't believe in angels or religion with a messenger, where the Liberty was maximized and prosperity roamed.



posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 01:32 AM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


Of course! What philosophy do you think influenced our founding fathers? Liberalism!



posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 03:34 AM
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Originally posted by Romantic_Rebel
reply to post by Misoir
 


Of course! What philosophy do you think influenced our founding fathers? Liberalism!

Some of them, maybe. Certainly not all of them.



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