Social liberalism

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This article is about the variety of liberalism that supports a regulated market economy and the expansion of civil and political rights. Social liberalism_sentence_0

For the branch of liberalism that advocates civil liberties with an emphasis on economic freedom, see Classical liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_1

For the branch that stresses the freedom of individuals from traditional cultural norms, see Cultural liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_2

For the political philosophy that incorporates liberal principles to socialism, see Liberal socialism. Social liberalism_sentence_3

For advocacy of social reform, see Progressivism. Social liberalism_sentence_4

Social liberalism, also known as left liberalism in Germany, modern liberalism in the United States and new liberalism in the United Kingdom, is a political philosophy and variety of liberalism that endorses a regulated market economy and the expansion of civil and political rights. Social liberalism_sentence_5

Under social liberalism, the common good is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual. Social liberalism_sentence_6

Social liberal policies have been widely adopted in much of the world. Social liberalism_sentence_7

Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered centrist or centre-left. Social liberalism_sentence_8

A social liberal government is expected to address economic and social issues such as poverty, health care, education and the climate using government intervention whilst also emphasising the rights and autonomy of the individual. Social liberalism_sentence_9

In the United States, social liberalism describes progressive moral and social values or stances on socio-cultural issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage as opposed to social conservatism. Social liberalism_sentence_10

Because cultural liberalism expresses the social dimension of liberalism, it is often referred to as social liberalism, although it is not the same as the broader political ideology known as social liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_11

A social liberal in this sense may hold either more conservative or liberal views on fiscal policy. Social liberalism_sentence_12

Origins Social liberalism_section_0

Main article: History of liberalism Social liberalism_sentence_13

United Kingdom Social liberalism_section_1

By the end of the 19th century, the principles of classical liberalism were challenged by downturns in economic growth, a growing awareness of poverty and unemployment present within modern industrial cities and also by the agitation of organised labour. Social liberalism_sentence_14

A major political reaction against the changes introduced by industrialisation and laissez-faire capitalism came from one-nation conservatives concerned about social balance and the introduction of the famous Education Act 1870, although socialism later became a more important force for change and reform. Social liberalism_sentence_15

Some Victorian writers—including Charles Dickens, Thomas Carlyle and Matthew Arnold—became early influential critics of social injustice. Social liberalism_sentence_16

John Stuart Mill contributed enormously to liberal thought by combining elements of classical liberalism with what eventually became known as the new liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_17

The new liberals tried to adapt the old language of liberalism to confront these difficult circumstances, which they believed could only be resolved through a broader and more interventionist conception of the state. Social liberalism_sentence_18

An equal right to liberty could not be established merely by ensuring that individuals did not physically interfere with each other or merely by having laws that were impartially formulated and applied, as more positive and proactive measures were required to ensure that every individual would have an equal opportunity of success. Social liberalism_sentence_19

New Liberals Social liberalism_section_2

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, a group of British thinkers known as the New Liberals made a case against laissez-faire classical liberalism and argued in favor of state intervention in social, economic and cultural life. Social liberalism_sentence_20

What they proposed is now called social liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_21

The New Liberals, including intellectuals like Thomas Hill Green, Leonard Hobhouse and John A. Hobson, saw individual liberty as something achievable only under favorable social and economic circumstances. Social liberalism_sentence_22

In their view, the poverty, squalor and ignorance in which many people lived made it impossible for freedom and individuality to flourish. Social liberalism_sentence_23

New Liberals believed that these conditions could be ameliorated only through collective action coordinated by a strong, welfare-oriented and interventionist state. Social liberalism_sentence_24

The Liberal governments of Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. Social liberalism_sentence_25 H. Asquith, especially thanks to Chancellor of the Exchequer and later Prime Minister David Lloyd George, established the foundations of the welfare state in the United Kingdom before World War I. Social liberalism_sentence_26

The comprehensive welfare state built in the United Kingdom after World War II, although largely accomplished by the Labour Party, was significantly designed by two Liberals, namely John Maynard Keynes (who laid the economic foundations) and William Beveridge (who designed the welfare system). Social liberalism_sentence_27

Historian Peter Weiler has argued: Social liberalism_sentence_28

Germany Social liberalism_section_3

In 1860s Germany, left-liberal politicians like Max Hirsch, Franz Duncker and Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch established trade unions—modeled on their British counterparts—in order to help workers improve working and economic conditions by means of reconciliation of interests and cooperation with their employers rather than class struggle. Social liberalism_sentence_29

Schulze-Delitzsch is also known as the founding father of the German cooperative movement and is credited as the organiser of the world's first credit unions. Social liberalism_sentence_30

Some liberal economists, such as Lujo Brentano or Gerhart von Schulze-Gävernitz, established the Verein für Socialpolitik (German Economic Association) in 1873 to promote social reform based on the historical school of economics and therefore rejecting classical economics, proposing a third way between Manchester Liberalism and socialist revolution in the 1871 founded German Empire. Social liberalism_sentence_31

However, the German left-liberal movement fragmented itself into wings and new parties over the 19th's century. Social liberalism_sentence_32

The main objectives of the left-liberal parties—the German Progress Party and its successors—were free speech, freedom of assembly, representative government, secret and equal but obligation tied suffrage, protection of private property while they were strongly opposed to the creation of a welfare state, which they called state socialism. Social liberalism_sentence_33

The main differences between the left-liberal parties were the national ambitions, the different substate people's goals, free trade against Schutzzollpolitik and the building of the national economy. Social liberalism_sentence_34

In 1893, the term social liberalism was used first by the historian and social reformer Ignaz Jastrow, who also joined the German Economic Association. Social liberalism_sentence_35

He published the socialist democratic manifesto "Social-liberal: Tasks for Liberalism in Prussia" to create an "action group" for general people's welfare in the Social Democratic Party of Germany, which they rejected. Social liberalism_sentence_36

The National-Social Association founded by the Protestant pastor Friedrich Naumann also maintained contacts with the left-liberals. Social liberalism_sentence_37

He tried to draw workers away from Marxism by proposing a mix of nationalism and a Protestant-Christian-value-inflected social liberalism to overcome class antagonisms by non-revolutionary means. Social liberalism_sentence_38

Naumann called this a "proletarian-bourgeois integral liberalism". Social liberalism_sentence_39

Although the party was unable to win any seats and soon dissolved, he remained influential in theoretical German left liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_40

In the Weimar Republic, the German Democratic Party was founded and came into an inheritance of the left-liberal past and had a leftist social wing, and a rightist economic wing but heavily favored the democratic constitution over a monarchist one. Social liberalism_sentence_41

Its ideas of a socially balanced economy with solidarity, duty and rights among all workers struggled due to the economic sanctions of the Treaty of Versailles, but it influenced local cooperative enterprises. Social liberalism_sentence_42

After 1945, the Free Democrats included most of the social liberals while others joined the Christian Democratic Union of Germany. Social liberalism_sentence_43

Until the 1960s, post-war ordoliberalism was the model for Germany. Social liberalism_sentence_44

It had theoretical influence of social liberalism based on duty and rights. Social liberalism_sentence_45

France Social liberalism_section_4

In France, social-liberal theory was developed in the Third Republic by solidarist thinkers, including Alfred Fouillée and Émile Durkheim, who were inspired by sociology and influenced radical politicians like Léon Bourgeois. Social liberalism_sentence_46

They explained that a greater division of labor caused greater opportunity and individualism, but it also inspired a more complex interdependence. Social liberalism_sentence_47

They argued that the individual had a debt to society, promoting progressive taxation to support public works and welfare schemes. Social liberalism_sentence_48

However, they wanted the state to coordinate rather than to manage and they encouraged cooperative insurance schemes among individuals. Social liberalism_sentence_49

Their main objective was to remove barriers to social mobility rather than create a welfare state. Social liberalism_sentence_50

United States Social liberalism_section_5

Main article: Modern liberalism in the United States Social liberalism_sentence_51

In the United States, the term social liberalism was used to differentiate it from classical liberalism or laissez-faire, which dominated political and economic thought for a number of years until the term branched off from it around the Great Depression and the New Deal. Social liberalism_sentence_52

In the 1870s and the 1880s, the American economists Richard Ely, John Bates Clark and Henry Carter Adams—influenced both by socialism and the Evangelical Protestant movement—castigated the conditions caused by industrial factories and expressed sympathy towards labor unions. Social liberalism_sentence_53

However, none developed a systematic political philosophy and they later abandoned their flirtations with socialist thinking. Social liberalism_sentence_54

In 1883, Lester Frank Ward published the two-volume Dynamic Sociology and formalized the basic tenets of social liberalism while at the same time attacking the laissez-faire policies advocated by Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner. Social liberalism_sentence_55

The historian Henry Steele Commager ranked Ward alongside William James, John Dewey and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and called him the father of the modern welfare state. Social liberalism_sentence_56

Writing from 1884 until the 1930s, John Dewey—an educator influenced by Hobhouse, Green and Ward—advocated socialist methods to achieve liberal goals. Social liberalism_sentence_57

Some social liberal ideas were later incorporated into the New Deal, which developed as a response to the Great Depression when Franklin D. Roosevelt came into office. Social liberalism_sentence_58

Implementation Social liberalism_section_6

The welfare state grew gradually and unevenly from the late 19th century, but became fully developed following World War II along with the mixed market economy. Social liberalism_sentence_59

Also called embedded liberalism, social liberal policies gained broad support across the political spectrum, because they reduced the disruptive and polarizing tendencies in society, without challenging the capitalist economic system. Social liberalism_sentence_60

Business accepted social liberalism in the face of widespread dissatisfaction with the boom and bust cycle of the earlier economic system as it seemed to them to be a lesser evil than more left-wing modes of government. Social liberalism_sentence_61

Social liberalism was characterized by cooperation between big business, government and labor unions. Social liberalism_sentence_62

Government was able to assume a strong role because its power had been strengthened by the wartime economy, but the extent to which this occurred varied considerably among Western democracies. Social liberalism_sentence_63

United Kingdom Social liberalism_section_7

The first notable implementation of social liberal policies occurred under the Liberal Party in Britain from 1906 until 1914. Social liberalism_sentence_64

These initiatives became known as the Liberal welfare reforms. Social liberalism_sentence_65

The main elements included pensions for poor elderly people, health, sickness and unemployment insurance. Social liberalism_sentence_66

These changes were accompanied by progressive taxation, particularly in the People's Budget of 1909. Social liberalism_sentence_67

The old system of charity relying on the Poor Laws and supplemented by private charity, public co-operatives and private insurance companies was in crisis, giving the state added impetus for reform. Social liberalism_sentence_68

The Liberal Party caucus elected in 1906 also contained more professionals, including academics and journalists, sympathetic to social liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_69

The large business owners had mostly deserted the Liberals for the Conservatives, the latter becoming the favorite party for commercial interests. Social liberalism_sentence_70

The reforms were regularly opposed by both business interests and trade unions. Social liberalism_sentence_71

Liberals most identified with these reforms were Prime Minister H. Social liberalism_sentence_72 H. Asquith, John Maynard Keynes, David Lloyd George (especially as Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Winston Churchill (as President of the Board of Trade) in addition to the civil servant (and later Liberal MP) William Beveridge. Social liberalism_sentence_73

Most of the social democratic parties in Europe (notably including the British Labour Party) have taken on strong influences of social liberal ideology. Social liberalism_sentence_74

Despite Britain's two major parties coming from the traditions of socialism and conservatism, most substantive political and economic debates of recent times were between social liberal and classical liberal concepts. Social liberalism_sentence_75

Germany Social liberalism_section_8

Alexander Rüstow, a German economist, first proposed the German variant of economic social liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_76

In 1932, he applied the label neoliberalism to this kind of social liberalism while speaking at the Social Policy Association, although that term now carries a meaning different from the one proposed by Rüstow. Social liberalism_sentence_77

Rüstow wanted an alternative to socialism and to the classical liberal economics developed in the German Empire. Social liberalism_sentence_78

In 1938, Rüstow met with a variety of economic thinkers—including the likes of Ludwig Mises, Friedrich Hayek and Wilhelm Röpke—to determine how liberalism could be renewed. Social liberalism_sentence_79

Rüstow advocated a strong state to enforce free markets and state intervention to correct market failures. Social liberalism_sentence_80

However, Mises argued that monopolies and cartels operated because of state intervention and protectionism and claimed that the only legitimate role for the state was to abolish barriers to market entry. Social liberalism_sentence_81

He viewed Rüstow's proposals as negating market freedom and saw them as similar to socialism. Social liberalism_sentence_82

Following World War II, Rüstow's neoliberalism, now usually called ordoliberalism or the social market economy, was adopted by the West German government under Ludwig Erhard, who was the Minister of Economics and later became Chancellor. Social liberalism_sentence_83

Price controls were lifted and free markets were introduced. Social liberalism_sentence_84

While these policies are credited with Germany's post-war economic recovery, the welfare state—which had been established under Bismarck—became increasingly costly. Social liberalism_sentence_85

Rest of Europe Social liberalism_section_9

The post-war governments of other countries in Western Europe also followed social liberal policies. Social liberalism_sentence_86

These policies were implemented primarily by Christian democrats and social democrats as liberal parties in Europe declined in strength from their peak in the 19th century. Social liberalism_sentence_87

United States Social liberalism_section_10

Main article: Modern liberalism in the United States Social liberalism_sentence_88

American political discourse resisted this social turn in European liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_89

While the economic policies of the New Deal appeared Keynesian, there was no revision of liberal theory in favor of greater state initiative. Social liberalism_sentence_90

Even though the United States lacked an effective socialist movement, New Deal policies often appeared radical and were attacked by the right. Social liberalism_sentence_91

The separate development of modern liberalism in the United States is often attributed to American exceptionalism, which kept mainstream American ideology within a narrow range. Social liberalism_sentence_92

John Rawls' principal work A Theory of Justice (1971) can be considered a flagship exposition of social liberal thinking, advocating the combination of individual freedom and a fairer distribution of resources. Social liberalism_sentence_93

According to Rawls, every individual should be allowed to choose and pursue his or her own conception of what is desirable in life, while a socially just distribution of goods must be maintained. Social liberalism_sentence_94

Rawls argued that differences in material wealth are tolerable if general economic growth and wealth also benefit the poorest. Social liberalism_sentence_95

A Theory of Justice countered utilitarian thinking in the tradition of Jeremy Bentham, instead following the Kantian concept of a social contract, picturing society as a mutual agreement between rational citizens, producing rights and duties as well as establishing and defining roles and tasks of the state. Social liberalism_sentence_96

Rawls put the equal liberty principle in the first place, providing every person with equal access to the same set of fundamental liberties, followed by the fair equality of opportunity and difference principle, thus allowing social and economic inequalities under the precondition that privileged positions are accessible to everyone, that everyone has equal opportunities and that even the least advantaged members of society benefit from this framework. Social liberalism_sentence_97

This was later restated in the equation of Justice as Fairness. Social liberalism_sentence_98

Rawls proposed these principles not just to adherents of liberalism, but as a basis for all democratic politics, regardless of ideology. Social liberalism_sentence_99

The work advanced social liberal ideas immensely within the 1970s political and philosophic academia. Social liberalism_sentence_100

Rawls may therefore be seen as a "patron saint" of social liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_101

Decline Social liberalism_section_11

Following economic problems in the 1970s, liberal thought underwent some transformation. Social liberalism_sentence_102

Keynesian economic management was seen as interfering with the free market, while increased welfare spending that had been funded by higher taxes prompted fears of lower investment, lower consumer spending and the creation of a "dependency culture". Social liberalism_sentence_103

Trade unions often caused high wages and industrial disruption while full employment was regarded as unsustainable. Social liberalism_sentence_104

Writers such as Milton Friedman and Samuel Brittan, who were influenced by Friedrich Hayek, advocated a reversal of social liberalism. Social liberalism_sentence_105

Their policies which are often called neoliberalism had a significant influence on Western politics, most notably on the governments of United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and United States President Ronald Reagan, who pursued policies of deregulation of the economy and reduction in spending on social services. Social liberalism_sentence_106

Part of the reason for the collapse of the social liberal coalition was a challenge in the 1970s from financial interests that could operate independently of national governments. Social liberalism_sentence_107

Another cause was the decline of organized labor which had formed part of the coalition, but was also a support for left-wing ideologies challenging the liberal consensus. Social liberalism_sentence_108

Related to this was the decline of working class consciousness and the growth of the middle class. Social liberalism_sentence_109

The push by the United States which had been least accepting of social liberalism for trade liberalization further eroded support. Social liberalism_sentence_110

Parties and organisations Social liberalism_section_12

In Europe, social liberal parties tend to be small or medium-sized centrist and centre-left parties. Social liberalism_sentence_111

Examples of successful European social liberal parties which have participated in government coalitions at national or regional levels include the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom, the Democrats 66 in the Netherlands and the Danish Social Liberal Party. Social liberalism_sentence_112

In continental European politics, social liberal parties are integrated in the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament which is the third biggest group at the parliament and includes social liberal parties, market liberal parties and centrist parties. Social liberalism_sentence_113

Other groups such as the European People's Party, the Greens–European Free Alliance and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats also house some political parties with social-liberal factions. Social liberalism_sentence_114

Giving an exhaustive list of social liberal parties worldwide is difficult, largely because political organisations are not always ideologically pure and party ideologies often change over time. Social liberalism_sentence_115

However, the following parties and organisations are usually accepted by peers such as the Africa Liberal Network, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, the European Liberal Forum, the Liberal International and the Liberal Network for Latin America or scholars as following social liberalism as a core ideology. Social liberalism_sentence_116

Social liberal parties or parties with social liberal factions Social liberalism_section_13

Historical social liberal parties or parties with social liberal factions Social liberalism_section_14

Notable thinkers Social liberalism_section_15

Some notable scholars and politicians ordered by date of birth who are generally considered as having made significant contributions to the evolution of social liberalism as a political ideology include: Social liberalism_sentence_117

See also Social liberalism_section_16

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: liberalism.