Liberalism

Discipline: Political Science

A broad body of political theory based on the significance of the individual.

Individuals are to enjoy liberty, including the liberty to own and produce wealth, to conduct themselves in private as they please, and to associate with others and publish and discuss opinions in public as freely as is consistent with the avoidance of harm to others.

Government's principal responsibility is to safeguard this.

Government is therefore a secondary and artificial activity, but a necessary one.

Source:
David Miller et al., eds, The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (Oxford, 1987)

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