Properly understood, liberalism has at its core a profound belief in the empowerment of, agency of and respect for every individual. It is not a license for individuals to do whatever they want. The social and economic liberal order has not been merely imposed by a decadent elite who have been its sole beneficiaries. It is a philosophy that has helped to enrich, emancipate and improve the lives of the overwhelming majority of people in the west.
In a guest post for Liberal England, Simon Beard attempts to sum up Liberal ideology. It’s a good post and, while there are a few bits I would have phrased differently, the post is both an excellent statement of values and a good summary of why I describe myself as a Liberal.
Liberalism is not Conservatism-lite, any more than it is Socialism-lite. It is a powerful ideology that informs an agenda of radical change.