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Definition of a liberal

Definition of a liberal

Definition of a liberal

A liberal is a person who advocates the protection of civil liberties, education, social reform, democratic processes, freedom of the press, and the right of labor unions to exist. These values are put into use with progressivism.Liberal can be traced back to the Latin word liber (meaning “free”), which is also the root of liberty ("the quality or state of being free") and libertine ("one leading a dissolute life"). However, we did not simply take the word liber and make it into liberal; our modern term for the inhabitants of the leftish side of the political spectrum comes more recently from the Latin liberalis, which means “of or constituting liberal arts, of freedom, of a freedman.”

Liberal

Liberal can be traced back to the Latin word liber (meaning “free”), which is also the root of liberty ("the quality or state of being free") and libertine one leading a dissolute life"). However, we did not simply take the word liber and make it into liberal; our modern term for the inhabitants of the leftish side of the political spectrum comes more recently from the Latin liberalis, which means “of or constituting liberal arts, of freedom, of a freedman.We still see a strong connection between our use of the word liberal and liber in the origins of liberal arts. In Latin, liber functioned as an adjective, to describe a person who was “free, independent,” and contrasted with the word servus (“slavish, servile”).

The Romans had artes liberales (“liberal arts”) and artes serviles (“servile arts”); the former were geared toward freemen (consisting of such subjects as grammar, logic, and rhetoric), while the latter were more concerned with occupational skills.Liberal is commonly used as a label for political parties in a number of other countries, although the positions these parties take do not always correspond to the sense of liberal that people in the United States commonly give it. In the US, the word has been associated with both the Republican and Democratic parties (now it is more commonly attached to the latter), although generally it has been in a descriptive, rather than a titular, sense. (Source: www.merriam-webster.com)

Social

Thomas Hobbes attempted to determine the purpose and the justification of governing authority in a post-civil war England. Employing the idea of a state of nature — a hypothetical war-like scenario prior to the state — he constructed the idea of a social contract that individuals enter into to guarantee their security and in so doing form the State, concluding that only an absolute sovereign would be fully able to sustain such security. Hobbes had developed the concept of the social contract, according to which individuals in the anarchic and brutal state of nature came together and voluntarily ceded some of their individual rights to an established state authority, which would create laws to regulate social interactions to mitigate or mediate conflicts and enforce justice. Whereas Hobbes advocated a strong monarchical commonwealth (the Leviathan), Locke developed the then-radical notion that government acquires consent from the governed which has to be constantly present for the government to remain legitimate.

While adopting Hobbes's idea of a state of nature and social contract, Locke nevertheless argued that when the monarch becomes a tyrant, it constitutes a violation of the social contract, which protects life, liberty and property as a natural right. He concluded that the people have a right to overthrow a tyrant. By placing the security of life, liberty and property as the supreme value of law and authority, Locke formulated the basis of liberalism based on social contract theory. To these early enlightenment thinkers, securing the most essential amenities of life—liberty and private property among them—required the formation of a "sovereign" authority with universal jurisdiction. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

 

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