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What the heck is social liberalism?

social liberalism definition

Social liberalism is a political ideology that emphasises individual freedoms, social justice, and equality. It is rooted in the ideas of the Enlightenment, which championed reason, progress, and human rights. Social liberalism promotes a democratic society that prioritises the common good while protecting individual rights and liberties.

What is the difference between classical liberalism and social liberalism?

Classical liberalism, contrary to liberal branches like social liberalism, looks more negatively on social policies, taxation and the state involvement in the lives of individuals, and it advocates deregulation.

Social Liberalism 101

Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered centre to centre-left, although there are deviations from these positions to both the left or right.

Individual freedoms

One of the core principles of social liberalism is the importance of individual freedoms. Social liberals believe that individuals should have the right to live their lives as they see fit, as long as their actions do not harm others. 

This includes freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. Social liberals also support the right to privacy and oppose government intrusion into personal lives.

without truth there is no freedom t-shirt graphic
Without truth there is no freedom t-shirt

Social Justice

Social justice is another key principle of social liberalism. Social liberals believe that all individuals should have equal opportunities, regardless of their background or social status. This includes access to education, healthcare, and other basic necessities. 

Social liberals also advocate for the redistribution of wealth and resources to reduce inequality and ensure that everyone has a fair chance at success.

injustice anywhere political protest t-shirt
Injustice t-shirt


Social liberals believe in equality for all individuals, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. They support equal rights and protections for marginalised groups, including the LGBTQ+ community, people of colour, and women. Social liberals also oppose discrimination and believe that diversity is a strength in society.

to equality and beyong t shirt
To equality and beyond t-shirt

Social liberalism is an ideology that prioritises individual freedoms, social justice, and equality. It promotes a democratic society where everyone has access to basic necessities and equal opportunities to succeed. While social liberalism may not be the solution to all of society’s problems, it offers a framework for creating a more just and equitable world.

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