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Liberalism, 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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