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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ These unhealthy trends needed to be corrected, he warned, and students firmly guided away from the false ideals of bourgeois liberalism.
▪ Yet this wave of social legislation could not easily be reconciled with the tenets of classical liberalism.
▪ Part Five of this book will reveal that many contemporary political regimes are powerfully influenced by classical liberalism.
▪ Tensions within liberalism Classical liberalism has been subjected to severe criticism both from conservatives and communitarians.
▪ As suggested in Chapter 2, a view of res publica based on classical liberalism would be more limited.
▪ In the name of economic liberalism, the Thatcher governments made war on traditional institutions and traditional elites.
▪ Since the trauma of 1929, few people contest this need, although it flatly contradicts the tradition of economic liberalism.
▪ Conservative criminology is part of the ideological background of economic liberalism.
▪ The Progressive majority was hostile to the statusquo, and advocated national self-determination and political liberalism.
▪ Seafaring has also promoted political liberalism in Britain.
▪ As well as being a cry for security, however, it is also an assumption that liberalism has failed.
▪ His secular, rationalist sensibilities created an ideal of liberalism based on the individual pursuit of self-interest.
▪ In his column, he was using San Francisco as a stand-in for an even easier target: liberalism.
▪ Luck had it that liberalism, or neo-liberalism, has since come into vogue.
▪ Only liberalism can deliver us from isolation.
▪ Personnel changes confirmed the new liberalism in the Soviet Union and the attempt to break links with past behaviour.
▪ The conservative critique along such lines argues that liberalism is morally bankrupt.
▪ What is needed is not a liberalism that merely responds in dusty fashion, which is to say, the reactionary left.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Liberalism \Lib"er*al*ism\ (-[i^]z'm), n. [Cf. F. lib['e]ralisme.] Liberal principles; the principles and methods of the liberals in politics or religion; specifically, the principles of the Liberal party.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1819, from liberal + -ism.\n


n. 1 The quality of being liberal. 2 Any political movement founded on the autonomy and personal freedom of the individual, progress and reform, and government by law with the consent of the governed. 3 An economic theory in favour of laissez faire and the free market.

  1. n. a political orientation that favors progress and reform

  2. an economic theory advocating free competition and a self-regulating market and the gold standard

Liberalism (book)

Liberalism (original German title: Liberalismus) is an influential book by Austrian School economist and libertarian thinker Ludwig von Mises, containing economic analysis and indicting critique of socialism. It was first published in 1927 by Gustav Fischer Verlag in Jena and defending classical liberal ideology based on individual property rights. Starting from the principle of private property, Mises shows how the other classical liberal freedoms follow from property rights and argues that liberalism free of government intervention is required to promote peace, social harmony and the general welfare. The book was translated into English by a student of Mises, Ralph Raico, but its first English edition in 1962 was titled The Free and Prosperous Commonwealth rather than Liberalism, as Mises thought that the literal translation would create confusion because the term liberalism after the New Deal and especially in the 1960s became widely used in the United States to refer to a centre-left politics that supports degrees of government intervention, in opposition to Mises' central premise. The English translation was made available online by the Ludwig von Mises Institute in 2000.


Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Whereas classical liberalism emphasises the role of liberty, social liberalism stresses the importance of equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programmes such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation.

Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the prevailing social and political norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings. The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property, while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law.

Prominent revolutionaries in the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of what they saw as tyrannical rule. Liberalism started to spread rapidly especially after the French Revolution. The 19th century saw liberal governments established in nations across Europe, South America, and North America. In this period, the dominant ideological opponent of classical liberalism was conservatism, but liberalism later survived major ideological challenges from new opponents, such as fascism and communism. During the 20th century, liberal ideas spread even further as liberal democracies found themselves on the winning side in both world wars. In Europe and North America, the establishment of social liberalism became a key component in the expansion of the welfare state. Today, liberal parties continue to wield power and influence throughout the world.

Liberalism (international relations)

Liberalism is a school of thought within international relations theory which can be thought to revolve around three interrelated principles: 1. Rejection of power politics as the only possible outcome of international relations. Questions security/warfare principles of realism; 2. Accentuates mutual benefits and international cooperation; 3. Implements international organizations and nongovernmental actors for shaping state preferences and policy choices.

Liberals believe that international institutions play a key role in cooperation among states. With the correct international institutions, and increasing interdependence (including economic and cultural exchanges) states have the opportunity to reduce conflict. Interdependence has three main components. States interact in various ways, through economic, financial, and cultural means; security tends to not be the primary goal in state-to-state interactions; and military forces are not typically used. Liberals also argue that international diplomacy can be a very effective way to get states to interact with each other honestly and support nonviolent solutions to problems. With the proper institutions and diplomacy, Liberals believe that states can work together to maximize prosperity and minimize conflict.

Liberalism is one of the main schools of international relations theory. Liberalism comes from the Latin "liber" meaning "free", referred originally to the philosophy of freedom. Its roots lie in the broader liberal thought originating in the Enlightenment. The central issues that it seeks to address are the problems of achieving lasting peace and cooperation in international relations, and the various methods that could contribute to their achievement.

Usage examples of "liberalism".

Lafayette-Constant wing of French liberalism by no means denies the existence of utilitarian themes in their advocacy of human rights.

Its attendant phenomena grow colorless, more forced, and one by one they fade away: Equality, Democracy, Happiness, Instability, Commercialism, High Finance and its power of Money, Class War, Trade as an end in itself, Social Atomism, Parliamentarism, Liberalism, Communism, Materialism, Mass-Propaganda.

Anglicanism resorts to a grand pageant of uniformity, beneath which, however, lurk Anglo-Catholicism, Evangelicism, and Liberalism, by no means uniform in faith.

While most Western intellectuals are still capable of believing in individualism, much of the most discussed thought of the last decade has been leveled, directly and indirecdy, against the once safe pieties of humanistic liberalism.

Eric Stokes has convincingly shown, utilitarianism combined with the legacies of liberalism and evangelicalism as philosophies of British rule in the East stressed the rational importance of a strong executive armed with various legal and penal codes, a system of doctrines on such matters as frontiers and land rents, and everywhere an irreducible supervisory imperial authority.

The only reason they were allowed to go on for so long was that Leiss was a city that prided itself on its liberalism.

For a long time to come we meet with little that goes beyond the conservatism of Hobbes, or the liberalism of Vane, and Harrington, and Milton, and of Lilburne in his saner moments.

He himself proposed that the child should be made a model nursling of the liberalism of a new era.

Free Trade nationalism in power is better than high tariff nationalism, and pacificist party liberalism better than aggressive party patriotism.

Russian liberalism, which had always had a rather valetudinarian existence, rallied its forces and for a few years rivaled socialism in active opposition to the government.

Nor did his sense of multivalent truth and personal liberalism blind him to the indispensable role of conflict in the life of the individual and society.

This total revolution marked the victory of democracy over aristocracy, parliamentarism over the State, mass over quality, Reason over Faith, equality-ideals over organic hierarchy, of Money over Blood, of Liberalism, pluralism, free capitalism, and criticism over the organic forces of Tradition, State and Authority, and in one word, of Civilization over Culture.

When Authority resurges once more against the forces of Rationalism and Economics, it proceeds at once to show that the complex of transcendental ideals with which Liberalism equipped itself is as valid as the Legitimism of the era of Absolute Monarchy, and no more.

My supernaturalism and firm belief in revelation are no less opposed to theological liberalism.

This evolution from socialism to Orthodoxy and national liberalism is typical of a great number of Russian intellectuals between 1900 and 1910.