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When an individual has the right to behave according
to one’s own personal responsibility & free will
• Liberalism is a political current embracing several
historical and present-day ideologies that claim
defence of individual liberty as the purpose of
• It typically favours the right to dissent from orthodox
tenets or established authorities in political or
religious matters. In this respect, it is sometimes held
in contrast to conservatism.
• Since liberalism also focuses on the ability of
individuals to structure a society, it is almost always
opposed to totalitarianism, and often to collectivist
ideologies, particularly communism.
ORIGINS OF LIBERAL IDEOLOGY
• The origins of liberalism in the Enlightenment era
contrasted this philosophy to feudalism and
• Later, as more radical philosophies articulated
themselves in the course of the French
Revolution and through the nineteenth century,
liberalism equally defined itself in contrast to
socialism and communism,
• Although some adherents of liberalism
sympathize with some of the aims and methods
of social democracy.
PRINCIPALS OF LIBERALISM
Stress on individual liberty
Equal rights and protection of rights
Strong constitutional controls on government
Equality of opportunity
Removal of artificial privilege
Stress on democratic values
Separation of Church & State
• Idea of Limited government and HIGH Liberty of
individuals – Freedom of religion, press, speech, etc.
Free Markets, more referendums & reforms.
• Power to the people (self-reliant)
• Government is always in danger of becoming a
tyranny so it should be limited
• Liberty of individuals has created inequalities.
Therefore, government intervention is required and
its role is to address unemployment, health care &
• The state should ‘help individuals to help
themselves’ Neo Liberalism
• Against Social/Modern Liberalism – Late 20th
Century – Thought that government had too much
control = reduction in government & provision of
• Government continued to provide social services
and retained control over economic policy Liberal
• The main international organisation of Liberal Parties
• Emphasis on: Human Rights, free & fair elections,
multiparty democracies, social justice, tolerance,
social market economies, free trade, environmental
sustainability and a strong sense of international
SOCIAL LIBERALS VS. MARKET
• Both believe in Basic Human Rights & Political
Freedoms BUT, Social Liberals see that the state
should provide economic and social rights to the
citizen whereas Market Liberals see the economy as
a free market and there should be freedom in that
• Are there any liberal principles which are seriously
contested in current UK politics?
• Liberal principles may be held, to a greater or lesser
agree, by political figures who hold otherwise
socialistic or conservative views. In other words,
liberalism is not confined to the Liberal Democrat
• Was an intellectual movement in 18th-century Europe.
The goal of the Enlightenment was to establish an
authoritative ethics, aesthetics, and knowledge based
on an "enlightened" rationality.
• The movement's leaders viewed themselves as a
courageous, elite body of intellectuals who were leading
the world toward progress, out of a long period of
irrationality, superstition, and tyranny which began
during a historical period they called the Dark Ages.
• This movement provided a framework for the American
and French Revolutions, as well as the rise of capitalism
and the birth of socialism