NATIONAL LIBERALS WORLDWIDE
In this section we will be looking for modern-day examples of National Liberalism around the world. In many cases these will be merely the ‘green shoots’ of ,or what we might term, neo-National Liberals.
Although historically National Liberalism was strong in 19th century continental Europe it was overshadowed, as in the UK, by Social Liberalism in the 20thc. Social Liberals believed that the best way (following the lead of socialists) to address inequality and protect liberties (for Liberals) is a strong dose of state intervention. Later still the nation-state itself was seen as an ‘obstacle’ to progress particularly after the First and Second World War. International bodies such as the UN or EU (Common Market) were increasingly viewed (by social liberals) as alternative ‘Governments’.
Social Liberals captured Liberal parties everywhere (with occasional ‘blips’ such as the emergence of Liberal Nationals in 30′s UK) and have become viewed as representing Liberalism per sae. A National Liberal however still believes that the ‘nation-state’ (based on shared values) is the highest form of governance and loyalty (after family and community). They also believe that the power of that state should be kept to a minimum, lest it serves the interests of itself rather than the nation i.e. its’ people.
This was why 19th Century German NLs (and Constitutionalists) such as Lasker & Bennigson, whilst striving for a larger and unified state, were forever strengthing legal safeguards to prevent individual liberties from being taken away by that very same state.
Although a National Liberal will revere their own ‘national pecularities’ they will recognise and respect others attachments to their nation’s values and culture. This contrasts to traditional ‘Nationalists’ who will at best dismiss other nations as merely ‘inferior’ or at worst a threat. Yet, whilst a universal ideology, National Liberalism is nevertheless unlike ‘internationalist’ philosophies, such as Social Liberalism, Socialism, Christian Democracy or ‘Left Greens’, which seek to supress that which makes them ‘different’ from their global comrades.
Because National Liberalism as an ideology has not developed or knowingly refreshed itself since the First World War it is hard to identify contemporary political practitioners as they may not even be aware of their ‘antecedents’. In practice NL politicians will often find themselves within other types of parties maybe as an individual or as part of a faction, not quite realising why they feel uncomfortable?
Nevertheless in a Report section we shall look at countries from around the globe coinciding with their elections and see if we can identify the ‘green shoots’ of National Liberalism. Ultimately we hope that we can help promote NL in all countries as a liveable alternative to the lamentable politics presently on offer. We will be encouraging the setting up of National Liberal Associations everywhere. If interested contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: October 12, 2010