What is Liberalism
Liberalism is a political doctrine or a political and philosophical system of belief that can be easily understood if it's translated as the doctrine of freedom. The core principle of liberalism is the belief in equal rights among humans and in liberty as the absolute right. There are some political aspects, very common today, that derive from the doctrine of liberalism, such as democracy, free elections, human rights, free trade and the freedom of speech and religion.
Liberalism was born out of different intellectual views and traditions, but it can be divided into two main paths or trends: classical liberalism and social liberalism. Classical liberalism was born in the eighteenth century, while social liberalism became very popular with the help of the social movements in Europe in the twentieth century. Another liberalism definition that best explains the doctrine is that which describes liberalism as the system opposed to absolutism and authoritarianism.
John Locke is the visionary guilty for the birth of liberalism. His concepts of social contract and natural rights shape our world today. His idea that those who are ruling a country must be legitimized by the people is one of the fundamental ideas of democracy. Every man has the right to live, work, be free, have a property and elect the government. He can also practice whatever religion he wants, without the fear of persecution.
Liberalism, in its classical sense, was used by leaders of the American Revolution and French Revolution. The French Revolution is seen in history as the dawn on a new, free and modern era. The revolutionaries that fought in both revolutions did it in the name of liberalism and all it stands for: free markets, free trade and, most important of all, civil rights.
Three words marked the birth of liberalism: liberty, equality, fraternity. Liberal political parties all over the globe can still trace their roots back to these concepts that encompass what it means to be free.
© 2005-2011 whatisliberalism.com All Rights Reserved.