I Believe In Social Liberalism.
Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. Liberalism has its roots in the Western Enlightenment, but the term now encompasses a diversity of political thought.
Liberalism rejected many foundational assumptions which dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established religion. Fundamental human rights that all liberals support include the right to life, liberty, and property.
The early liberal figures that libertarians now describe as their fellow "classical liberals" rejected many foundational assumptions which dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established religion, and focuses on individual freedom, reason, justice and tolerance.
Classical liberalism is a political philosophy which follows the natural rights doctrine supporting individual rights as pre-existing the state. It asserts that the government ought to exist to protect those moral rights, backed by a constitution that protects individual autonomy from other individuals and governmental power, protects private property, and promotes a laissez-faire economic policy.
Classical liberals place a particular emphasis on the sovereignty of the individual, with private property rights being seen as essential to individual liberty. This forms the philosophical basis for laissez-faire public policy. The ideology of the classical liberals argued against direct democracy "for there is nothing in the bare idea of majority rule to show that majorities will always respect the rights of property or maintain rule of law. They do not believe that government creates individual rights (in a moral sense), but rather that moral rights exist independently of government.
Social liberalism also known as new liberalism (not to be confused with ‘neoliberalism’) and reform liberalism, is a political philosophy that emphasizes mutual collaboration through liberal institutions. Social liberalism, as a branch of liberalism, contends that society must protect liberty and opportunity for all citizens. In the process, it accepts some restrictions in economic affairs, such as anti-trust laws to combat economic oligopolies, regulatory bodies or minimum wage laws, intending to secure economic opportunities for all. Rejecting both the most extreme forms of capitalism and the revolutionary elements from the socialist school, social liberalism emphasizes what it calls "positive liberty", seeking to enhance the "positive freedoms" of the poor and disadvantaged in society.
Like all liberals, social liberals believe in individual freedom as a central objective. However, they are unique in comparison to other liberals in that they believe that lack of economic opportunity, education, health-care, and so on can be considered to be threats to their conception of liberty. Social liberals are outspoken defenders of human rights and civil liberties, and combine this with support for a mixed economy, with a state providing public services that social liberals intend to ensure that people’s social rights as well as their civil liberties are upheld.
Social liberalism versus neoliberalism
Social liberalism (also known as New Liberalism) is very different from the ambiguous term neoliberalism..
Neoliberalism has been used to describe the policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. As a body of thought, neoliberalism advocates positions contrary to many of those taken by social liberals, especially with regard to the former’s commitments to unqualified free trade, undermining of social programs, and deregulation.
Social liberalism versus social democracy
The basic difference between social liberalism and social democracy is in picture of human nature and values. Social democracy stems literally from democracy, and from a community-based view. Social democrats believe in the moral right of the majority to regulate everyone and everything. Social liberals see democracy and parliamentarianism as mere political systems which legitimize themselves only through the amount of liberty they promote. Thus, democracy is not the highest value to social liberals. Social liberals set liberty, individual rights, and private property in highest priority, and regard democracy as an instrument to maintain the human society. Social liberals tend to trust that individuals are capable in deciding their own affairs and generally do not need steering towards happiness. Social democrats believe in control and leave themselves licence towards steering deviants toward more self-productive behavior, i.e., through bans on smoking, or punitive taxation upon fatty foods.
Views of Social Liberals today
In general, contemporary Social Liberals support:
* Regulatory bodies over private enterprise in the interests of consumers and fair competition;
* A Regulated Free market economy;
* Free trade;
* A minimum system of social security;
* Ensure all citizens have access to education and health care;
* Low taxes;
* Environmental protection laws (although not to the extent advocated by Greens);
* A progressive social policy, including support for gay marriage, abortion, liberal drug policy, euthanasia and prostitution legalization;
* A foreign policy supporting the promotion of democracy, the protection of human rights and, where possible, effective multilateralism;
Social democracy is a political ideology that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism.
Many modern social democrats have broadened their social goals to encompass aspects of feminism, racial equality and multiculturalism. At present, some former social democrats do not see a conflict between a capitalist market economy and their goals, and, are thusly more "right-wing" in their views.
Populism is a political philosophy or rhetorical style that holds that the common person’s interests are oppressed or hindered by the elite in society, and that the instruments of the state need to be grasped from this self-serving elite and used for the benefit and advancement of the people as a whole.
Leaders of populist movements have variously promised to stand up to corporate power, remove "corrupt" elites, and "put people first." Many populists appeal to a specific region of a country or to a specific social class, such as the working class, middle class, or farmers. Often they employ dichotomous rhetoric, and claim to represent the majority of the people.
Populists are seen by some politicians as a largely democratic and positive force in society, even while a wing of scholarship in political science contends that populist mass movements are irrational and introduce instability into the political process.
Elitism is a belief or attitude that elites — a selected group of persons whose personal abilities, wealth, specialised training or other attributes place them at the top of any field (see below) — are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken most seriously, or who are best fit to govern. Elitism may also be used to convey a less rational and more purely arrogant sense of entitlement to better treatment owing to wealth, social standing, etc. Stemming mostly from this usage, elitism has highly negative connotations and is often used pejoratively as conveying disregard for the public (non-elites) or arrogance. In its political and sociological sense, elitism sees an elite as occupying a special position of authority or privilege in a group, set apart from the majority of people who do not match up with his or her abilities or attributes.
Green politics is a body of political ideas informed by environmentalism aimed at developing a sustainable society.
Greens often refer to productivism, consumerism and scientism as examples of "grey" views, which implies age, asphalt and obsolete ideas of human social organization, including globalization of economic relations. Many Greens are important players in the anti-globalization movement. Greens on the Left are often identified as Eco-socialists, who merge ecology and environmentalism with socialism and Marxism to blame the capitalist system for environmental degradation, social injustice, inequality and conflict.
From : wikipedia.org