Liberalism (Political Science)

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  • An idea that considers individual liberty to be the fundamental political goal of government. Liberalism has had many different meanings under different circumstances.

    At different times, it has sought, for example, to protect the right to acquire property, to shield the individual against tyranny, to establish the doctrine of the inherent rights of men, to organize a world market, or to create individualism. In most instances, however, the needs of the time determine the role of liberalism. Fundamentally, liberalism defends and protects the rights of individuals.

    The central idea of liberalism is that government should be neutral toward the moral and religious views that its citizens espouse. Government should provide a framework of rights that respects persons as free and independent, capable of choosing their own values ...

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