Progressive Perspectives: Liberal Approaches
Liberalism is one of two great progressive philosophical traditions to have come out of the European Enlightenment, the other being Marxism. Its ideas have had a profound impact on the political shape of all modern industrial societies. Liberalism has championed limited government and scientific rationality, believing individuals should be free from arbitrary state power, persecution and superstition. It has advocated political freedom, democracy, human and constitutionally guaranteed rights, and privileged the liberty of the individual and equality before the law. Liberalism has also argued for individual competition in civil society and claimed that market capitalism best promotes the general welfare of all by most efficiently allocating scarce resources. To the extent that its ideas have been realised in recent democratic transitions in both hemispheres and manifested in the globalisation of the world economy, liberalism remains a powerful and influential doctrine.
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