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Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed and equality before the law. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support free markets, free trade, limited government, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Yellow is the political colour most commonly associated with liberalism.
Liberalism became a distinct movement in the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among Western philosophers and economists. Liberalism sought to replace the norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, the divine right of kings and traditional conservatism with representative democracy and the rule of law. Liberals also ended mercantilist policies, royal monopolies and other barriers to trade, instead promoting free trade and free markets. Philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct tradition, based on the social contract, arguing that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property and governments must not violate these rights. While the British liberal tradition has emphasized expanding democracy, French liberalism has emphasized rejecting authoritarianism and is linked to nation-building. (Full article...)
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Neoliberalism (or neo-liberalism) is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with economic liberalism and free-marketcapitalism. It is generally associated with policies of economic liberalization, including privatization, deregulation, globalization, free trade, austerity and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society; however, the defining features of neoliberalism in both thought and practice have been the subject of substantial scholarly debate. In policymaking, neoliberalism was part of a paradigm shift away from the prevailing Keynesian economic consensus that existed prior to the persistent stagflation of the 1970s.
English speakers have used the term neoliberalism since the start of the 20th century with different meanings, but it became more prevalent in its current meaning in the 1970s and 1980s, used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences as well as by critics. The term is rarely used by proponents of free-market policies. Some scholars have described the term as meaning different things to different people as neoliberalism has "mutated" into geopolitically distinct hybrids as it travelled around the world. Neoliberalism shares many attributes with other concepts that have contested meanings, including representative democracy. (Full article...)
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John Dewey (/
/; October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He was one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.
The overriding theme of Dewey's works was his profound belief in democracy, be it in politics, education, or communication and journalism. As Dewey himself stated in 1888, while still at the University of Michigan, "Democracy and the one, ultimate, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous." Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. He asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully formed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens, experts and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt. (Full article...)
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When, then, I say that the first object of a renascent liberalism is education, I mean that its task is to aid in producing the habits of mind and character, the intellectual and moral patterns, that are somewhere near even with the actual movements of events. It is, I repeat, the split between the latter as they have externally occurred and the ways of desiring, thinking, and of putting emotion and purpose into execution that is the basic cause of present confusion in mind and paralysis in action. The educational task cannot be accomplished merely by working upon men's minds, without action that effects actual change in institutions. The idea that dispositions and attitudes can be altered by merely "moral" means conceived of as something that goes on wholly inside of persons is itself one of the old patterns that has to be changed. Thought, desire and purpose exist in a constant give and take of interaction with environing conditions. But resolute thought is the first step in that change of action that will itself carry further the needed change in patterns of mind and character.
In short, liberalism must now become radical, meaning by "radical" perception of the necessity of thoroughgoing changes in the set-up of institutions and corresponding activity to bring the changes to pass. For the gulf between what the actual situation make possible and the actual state itself is so great that it cannot be bridged by piecemeal policies undertaken ad hoc. The process of producing the changes will be, in any case, a gradual one. But "reforms" that deal now with this abuse and now with that without having a social goal based upon an inclusive plan, differ entirely from effort at re-forming, in its literal sense, the institutional scheme of things. The liberals of more than a century ago were denounced in their time as subversive radicals, and only when the new economic order was established did they become apologists for the status quo or else content with social patchwork. If radicalism he defined as perception of need for radical change, then today any liberalism which is not also radicalism is irrelevant and doomed.
John Dewey, Liberalism and Social Action, 1935.
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