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Liberal conservatism is a political ideology combining conservative policies with liberal stances, especially on economic issues but also on social and ethical matters,representing a brand of political conservatism strongly influenced by liberalism.
The ideology incorporates the classical liberal view of minimal government intervention in the economy, according to which individuals should be free to participate in the market and generate wealth without government interference.However, liberal conservatives also hold that individuals cannot be thoroughly depended on to act responsibly in other spheres of life; therefore, they believe that a strong state is necessary to ensure law and order and that social institutions are needed to nurture a sense of duty and responsibility to the nation. Liberal conservatives also support civil liberties, along with some socially conservative positions. Nevertheless, liberal conservatism differs from social conservatism in a sense that it draws on a more liberal approach towards social issues: for instance, matters regarding LGBT rights, discrimination, equality and the environment. This is to be equated with the creation of a cohesive and tolerant society with increased levels of individual responsibility and less inequality.
Liberal conservatism shares the classical liberal tenets of a commitment to individualism, belief in negative freedom, a lightly regulated free market, and a minimal rule of law state.A number of commentators have stated that many conservative currents in the 1980s, such as Thatcherism, were rejuvenated classical liberals in all but name. However, in contrast to classical liberalism there is a stronger social agenda and support for a greater degree of state intervention especially in certain areas of social life which liberal conservatives believe should not be subject to market forces. Particularly in regards to the family, sexuality, health and education, these should either always be periodically regulated or minimally protected by the state.
In Europe, liberal conservatism is the dominant form of modern conservatism and centre-right politics.[ citation needed ] Most European liberal-conservative parties adhere to the European People's Party, originally formed by Christian democrats.
Both conservatism and liberalism have had different meanings over time in different centuries. The term liberal conservatism has been used in quite different ways. It usually contrasts with aristocratic conservatism, which deems the principle of equality as something discordant with human nature and emphasizes instead the idea of natural inequality. As conservatives in democratic countries have embraced typical liberal institutions such as the rule of law, private property, the market economy and constitutional representative government, the liberal element of liberal conservatism became consensual among conservatives. In some countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, the term liberal conservatism came to be understood simply as conservatism in popular culture,prompting some conservatives who embraced more strongly classical-liberal values to call themselves libertarians instead. However, there are differences between classical liberals and libertarians.
In the United States, conservatives often combine the economic individualism of classical liberals with a Burkean form of conservatism that emphasizes the natural inequalities between men, the irrationality of human behavior as the basis for the human drive for order and stability and the rejection of natural rights as the basis for government. [ clarification needed ] Consequently, the term liberal conservatism is not used in the United States. Modern American liberalism happens to be quite different from European liberalism and occupies the centre-left of the political spectrum, in contrast to many European countries where liberalism is often more associated with the centre and centre-right while social democracy makes up a substantial part of the centre-left. The opposite is true in Latin America, where economically liberal conservatism is often labelled under the rubric of neoliberalism both in popular culture and academic discourse.From a different perspective, American conservatism (a "hybrid of conservatism and classical liberalism") has exalted three tenets of Burkean conservatism, namely the diffidence toward the power of the state, the preference of liberty over equality and for patriotism while rejecting the three remaining tenets, namely loyalty to traditional institutions and hierarchies, scepticism regarding progress and elitism.
In their embracement of liberal and free market principles, European liberal conservatives are clearly distinguishable from those holding national-conservative, fully socially conservative and/or outright populist views, let alone a right-wing populist posture. Being liberal often involves stressing free market economics and the belief in individual responsibility together with the defense of civil rights and support for a limited welfare state.[ citation needed ] Compared to other centre-right political traditions such as Christian democracy, liberal conservatives are less socially conservative and more economically liberal, favouring low taxes and minimal state intervention in the economy.[ citation needed ] Some regional varieties and peculiarities can be observed:
At the European level, Christian democrats and most liberal conservatives are affiliated to the European People's Party (EPP), while liberals (including conservative and social liberals) to the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE Party). In this context, some traditionally Christian-democratic parties (such as Christian-Democratic and Flemish in Belgium, the Christian Democratic Appeal in the Netherlands, the Christian Democratic Union in Germany and the People's Party in Austria) have become almost undistinguishable from other liberal-conservative parties. On the other hand, newer liberal-conservative parties (such as New Democracy in Greece, the Social Democratic Party in Portugal, the People's Party in Spain, Forza Italia/The People of Freedom/Forza Italia in Italy, the Union for a Popular Movement/The Republicans in France and most centre-right parties from countries once belonging to the Eastern Bloc and Yugoslavia) have not adopted traditional labels, but their ideologies are also a mixture of conservatism, Christian democracy and liberalism.
In the modern European discourse, liberal conservatism usually encompasses centre-right political outlooks that reject at least to some extent social conservatism. This position is also associated with support for moderate forms of social safety net and environmentalism (see also green conservatism and green liberalism). This variety of liberal conservatism has been espoused by Nordic conservatives (the Moderate Party in Sweden, the Conservative Party in Norway and the National Coalition Party in Finland) which have been fending off competition from right-wing populists to their right and do not include Christian democrats; and at times the British Conservative Party. In an interview shortly after taking office as Prime Minister in 2010, David Cameron introduced himself as a liberal conservative.During his first speech to a party conference in 2006, Cameron had defined this as believing in individual freedom and human rights, but being skeptical of "grand schemes to remake the world".
Historically, conservatism in the 18th and 19th centuries comprised a set of principles based on concern for established tradition, respect for authority and religious values. This form of traditionalist or classical conservatism is often considered to be exemplified by the writings of Joseph de Maistre in the post-Enlightenment age. Contemporaneous liberalism, now recalled as classical liberalism, advocated both political freedom for individuals and a free market in the economic sphere. Ideas of this sort were promulgated by John Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Edward Gibbon, David Hume, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, who are respectively remembered as the fathers of liberalism, including economic liberalism, the separation of church and state, social liberalism and utilitarianism.
According to scholar Andrew Vincent, the maxim of liberal conservatism is "economics is prior to politics".Others emphasize the openness of historical change and a suspicion of tyrannical majorities behind the hailing of individual liberties and traditional virtues by authors such as Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocqueville as the basis of current liberal conservatism which can be seen both in the works of Raymond Aron and Michael Oakeshott. However, there is general agreement that the original liberal conservatives were those who combined conservative social attitudes with an economically liberal outlook, adapting a previous aristocratic understanding of natural inequalities between men to the rule of meritocracy, without directly criticizing privileges of birth as long as individual liberties were guaranteed. Over time, the majority of conservatives in the Western world came to adopt free market economic ideas as the Industrial Revolution progressed and the aristocracy lost its power, to the extent that such ideas are now generally considered as part of conservatism. Nonetheless, the term liberal is used in most countries to describe those with free-market economic views. This is the case in continental Europe, Australia and Latin America.
The Liberal Party of Australia has an ideology in line with liberal conservatism and is therefore right of centre.
Likud is a liberal-conservative party that gains much of its support from the lower and middle classes, and promotes free enterprise, nationalism, and expansionism.
[T]he National Party is both conservative and liberal, its liberalism containing both elements of classical and new liberalism, the implications of the latter also overlapping with elements of conservatism. Within the National Party, it is the liberals rather than the conservatives who are most self-conscious and vocal, although the conservatives most frequently seem to prevail.
After the impeachment of Park in 2016, he left the Saenuri Party and joined the minor conservative Bareun Party. He then moved to the liberal-conservative Bareunmirae Party after the Bareun Party and minor liberal People’s Party were merged.
Conservatism is a cultural, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional social institutions and practices. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the status quo of the culture and civilization in which it appears. In Western culture, conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as organized religion, parliamentary government, and property rights. Conservatives tend to favor institutions and practices that guarantee stability and evolved gradually. Adherents of conservatism often oppose modernism and seek a return to traditional values, though different groups of conservatives may choose different traditional values to preserve.
Classical liberalism is a political tradition and a branch of liberalism that advocates free market and laissez-faire economics; civil liberties under the rule of law with especial emphasis on individual autonomy, limited government, economic freedom, political freedom and freedom of speech. It gained full flowering in the early 18th century, building on ideas stemming at least as far back as the 13th century within the Iberian, Anglo-Saxon, and central European contexts and was foundational to the American Revolution and "American Project" more broadly.
The Moderate Party, commonly referred to as the Moderates, is a liberal-conservative political party in Sweden. The party generally supports tax cuts, the free market, civil liberties and economic liberalism. Internationally, it is a full member of the International Democrat Union and the European People's Party.
The Liberals, known as the Liberal People's Party until 22 November 2015, is a liberal political party in Sweden. The Liberals ideologically shows a variety of liberal tendencies, including social liberalism, conservative liberalism, and economic liberalism. The party is a member of the Liberal International and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
Social conservatism is a political philosophy and variety of conservatism which places emphasis on traditional power structures over social pluralism. Social conservatives organize in favor of duty, traditional values and social institutions, such as traditional family structures, gender roles, sexual relations, national patriotism, and religious traditions. Social conservatism is usually skeptical of social change, instead favoring the status quo concerning social issues.
Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in 19th-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching, as well as neo-Calvinism.
Venstre, full name Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti, is a conservative-liberal, agrarian political party in Denmark. Founded as part of a peasants' movement against the landed aristocracy, today it espouses an economically liberal, pro-free-market ideology.
The Independence Party is a liberal-conservative political party in Iceland. It is currently the largest party in the Alþingi, with 17 seats. The chairman of the party is Bjarni Benediktsson and the vice chairman of the party is Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir.
Social liberalism, also known as new liberalism in the United Kingdom, modern liberalism, or simply liberalism in the contemporary United States, left-liberalism in Germany, and progressive liberalism in Spanish-speaking countries, is a political philosophy and variety of liberalism that endorses a social market economy and the expansion of civil and political rights. Social liberalism views the common good as harmonious with the individual's freedom. Social liberals overlap with social democrats in accepting economic intervention more than other liberals, although its importance is considered auxiliary compared to social democrats. Further terms for social liberalism include the terms welfare liberalism, liberal paternalism, New Deal liberalism in the United States, and Keynesian liberalism. The world has widely adopted social liberal policies.
In general, liberalism in Europe is a political movement that supports a broad tradition of individual liberties and constitutionally-limited and democratically accountable government. These European derivatives of classical liberalism are found in centrist movements and parties as well as some parties on the centre-left and the centre-right.
This article gives information on liberalism worldwide. It is an overview of parties that adhere to some form of liberalism and is therefore a list of liberal parties around the world.
Centre-right politics lean to the right of the political spectrum, but are closer to the centre. From the 1780s to the 1880s, there was a shift in the Western world of social class structure and the economy, moving away from the nobility and mercantilism, towards capitalism. This general economic shift toward capitalism affected centre-right movements, such as the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, which responded by becoming supportive of capitalism.
Conservative liberalism or right-liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or simply representing the right-wing of the liberal movement. In the case of modern "conservative liberalism", scholars sometimes see it as a more positive and less radical variant of classical liberalism, but it is also referred to as an individual tradition that distinguishes it from classical liberalism and social liberalism. Conservative liberal parties tend to combine economically liberal policies with more traditional stances and personal beliefs on social and ethical issues.
National conservatism is a nationalist variant of conservatism that concentrates on upholding national and cultural identity. National conservatives usually combine nationalism with conservative stances promoting traditional cultural values, family values and opposition to immigration.
Conservatism in North America is a political philosophy that varies in form, depending on the country and the region, but that has similar themes and goals. Academic study into the differences and similarities between conservatism in North American countries has been undertaken on numerous occasions. Reginald Bibby has asserted that the primary reason that conservatism has been so strong and enduring throughout North America is because of the propagation of religious values from generation to generation. This connection is strongest in mainstream Protestantism in the United States and both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in Canada.
National liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal policies and issues with elements of nationalism. Historically, national liberalism has also been used in the same meaning as conservative liberalism (right-liberalism).
Centrism is a political outlook or position that involves acceptance and/or support of a balance of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.