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Types of liberalism

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Chapter Summary

In historical terms, liberalism is classified into classical or original and contemporary or derived, and in geographical terms into Western European and American and other. In turn, classical or original liberalism is considered European, and contemporary or derived liberalism American. This yields the dichotomy of classical, original, European and contemporary, derived, American liberalism. Originally liberalism was specifically Western, more precisely West-European, phenomenon since the Enlightenment and before, the Renaissance and classical civilization, distinguishing, Western society from the rest of the world or the Orient, as Weber implies in respect to societal rationalism, including modern capitalism, democracy and science. Libertarianism is anti- or quasi-liberalism in relation to contemporary and even classical non-economic or social liberalism.

Keywords: classical liberalism; contemporary liberalism; economic liberalism; libertarianism; neo-liberalism; social liberalism

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