OverviewLiberalism, at its core, is a political philosophy which holds that individual liberty is the most important consideration.
- emphasizes individual rights
- seeks a society characterized by:
- freedom of thought for individuals
- limitations on political power (especially of government and religion)
- the rule of law (as opposed to e.g. arbitrary commands of a king or despot)
- the free exchange of ideas
- a market economy supporting free private enterprise
- a transparent system of government that protects specific rights for all citizens equally
In the modern age, liberals tend to prefer a liberal democratic form of government while realizing that such is merely the best known expression of liberal ideals and far from perfect.
The exact nature of liberalism as a social and political force varies significantly from country to country:
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