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What is Liberalism?

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2013-04-19 02:29:10

Historically, there have been many uses of the term liberal.

Four popular conceptions include: philosophical liberal,

originating during the Enlightenment period with philosophers such

as Hobbes, Locke, and Hume, who supported the fundamental freedom

of human beings and legitimacy of government stemming from consent

of the governed;economic (classical) liberal, originating during

the 19th century, which fought government interference in the

economy, supported free trade, and created open enterprise;liberal

in political position, originating from the French Revolution,

where being 'left' of the current political climate made one

liberal, regardless of what system existed (e.g.) one could exist

in a communist system, support more radical communism, and be

considered a liberal);social liberal (modern US understanding),

originating after the Second World War, where many philosophical

and economic liberals supported welfare reform and more socially

equitable wealth distributions. In Britain and Canada, they are

usually called 'social liberals' to distinguish them but, in the

US, where socialism and communism have become stigmatised, many

refer to anyone who supports higher social equality of wealth a

liberal. Technically, social liberals support capitalism with some

degree of government intervention and, therefore, are neither

communist nor socialist.

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