What liberalism ought to be


Fundamentally liberalism is an attitude.  The chief characteristics of that attitude are human sympathy, a receptivity to change and a scientific willingness to follow reason rather than faith or any fixed ideas.
    ==Chester Bowles

***

This, perhaps, is the testament of Liberalism.  For underlying all the specific projects which men espouse who think of themselves as Liberals there is always, it seems to me, a deeper concern.  It is fixed upon the importance of remaining free in mind and action before changing circumstances.
This is why Liberalism has always been associated with a passionate interest in freedom of thought and freedom of speech, in scientific research, in experiment, in the liberty of teaching, in an independent and unbiased press, in the right of men to differ in their opinions and to be different in their conduct …
    ==Walter Lippmann

***
The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.  This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way they are held in theology.
    ==Bertrand Russell

***

What do I understand by the Liberal principle?  I understand, in the main, it is a principle of trust in the people only qualified by prudence.  By this principle which is opposed to the Liberal principle, I understand mistrust of the people, only qualified by fear.
    ==William E. Gladstone

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3 Responses to “What liberalism ought to be”

  1. Richard Saunders Says:

    Do you know the source for the Chester Bowles quote? I’d like to use it myself.

    Like

  2. philebersole Says:

    I got the quote from George Seldes’ THE GREAT QUOTATIONS.

    Seldes got the quote from The New Republic of July 22, 1946

    Like

  3. creating freedom (through courage and curiosity) « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality Says:

    […] What liberalism ought to be (philebersole.wordpress.com) […]

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