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This article deals with Liberalism as it relates to NationStates. For more general information, see the Wikipedia article on this subject.

Liberalism is a political current embracing several ideologies that claim defense of individual liberty as the purpose of government. It typically favors the right to dissent from orthodox tenets or established authorities in political or religious matters.

Political positions

Important positions of liberal nations and parties are the individual's right to self-determination and the responsibility of the state to protect and promote the individual citizens of which it consists.

In general, liberals favor constitutional government and the rule of law. Liberals in NS have embraced both constitutional monarchy and republican government. They are generally opposed to strong nationalism, and usually are more tolerant and more readily embracing non-humans into their respective societies. Furthermore, they generally favor sentient rights' (or human rights) and civil liberties, especially freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Liberals generally believe in a neutral government, in the sense that it is not for the state to determine how individuals can pursue happiness. This self-determination gives way to an open mind in ethical questions. Most liberals support the 'pro choice' movement and advocate the emancipation of women and homosexuals. Equality before the law is crucial in liberal policies: racism is incompatible with liberalism. All liberal parties are secular, but they differ on the issue of anti-clericalism. Liberal parties in countries such as Knootoss tend to be very anti-clerical.

Liberals agree on the idea that society should have very limited interests in the private behavior of its citizens in the areas of private sexual relations, free speech, personal conscience or religious beliefs, as well as political association. Assurance of personal liberties and freedom, particularly in the case of individual expression, is highly important to liberalism.

Liberals in NS disagree on the issue of democracy: some nations are socially liberal, but nevertheless (benevolent) dictatorships. They also disagree on the economy (see below)

Liberalism and the economy

Liberals also typically believe in a free market and free trade, but they differ in the degree of limited government intervention in the economy which they advocate. However since liberalism is broad, and generally pragmatic in its orientation, there is no hard and fast list of policy prescriptions which can be universally assumed to be "liberal". In some circumstances there will be tax increases, in others tax decreases.

Liberals hold various positions on whether people have an inherent right to the means of economic subsistence. Letila combines liberalism with communism, while the Order of the Invisible Hand, which worships the Market, also has liberal roots. A split on economic policy among liberals is particularly evident among the Liberal Party of Kaze Progressa and the Knootian SLP.

Liberal entities in NS

Liberal alliances

Promoting liberalism is not a stated goal of an any alliance, but there are alliances which have mostly liberal members, or which have liberal goals in their charter.

  • The Human Rights Council supports both sentient rights and national sovereignty, and as such could be regarded as a liberal organisation.
  • The United Alliance of Progressive States is liberal in the sense that the UnAPS Constitution stresses the pursuit of universal human rights and the promotion of progressive social and/or economic policies, as well as pledging to respect "the rights of all sentient beings and not to discriminate against such beings based on race, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference." UnAPS nations pledge to oppose tyranny, aggression and imperialism. However the alliance has been criticised for not upholding such values, for example by engaging in imperialistic behaviour and for using nuclear weapons against non-combatants.
  • The World Business Organization is liberal in the sense that it promotes "a healthy and responsible free market" and could thus perhaps be described as neoliberal.

Nations that consider themselves liberal

These nations, in alphabetic order, consider themselves liberal in some fashion. As liberalism is very broad, this list includes very different nations who may just be socially or economically liberal and which may, for example, take opposite positions when voting on UN resolutions every single time.

(have to look over this. People can also add themselves)

Liberal political parties