Liberalism refers to at least two rather different ideologies/movements, classical liberalism and social liberalism.
One form of liberalism is "classical liberalism" which is often described as originating during the Age of Enlightenment. It advocates reducing or minimizing various forms of argued negative restrictions on individuals in order to achieve "liberty". The more extreme forms are referred to as (right-wing) libertarianism with anarcho-capitalism and Randian objectivism being some specific forms. They tend to view government interference as the cause of every societal problem.
The ideology is associated with advocating a "laissez-faire" ("let go") economy having minimal government interference, in which it is argued that individuals pursuing their economic self-interest will, unintentionally, cause effects beneficial for society in general. Regardless, even most classical liberals have argued that some government institutions and regulations are necessary, such as a government military and a government justice system.
Classical liberalism often more or less openly supports or promotes genetics denialism, such as by viewing all individuals as being essentially similar "rational agents". This despite the existence of low IQ individuals and cognitive/emotional biases likely influenced by genetics, which may make "rational" decisions less likely. Traditional values and morals (which may have partially genetic causes) and societal restrictions influenced by these have often been opposed. As a pro-individualistic ideology/movement, it has in effect often opposed ideologies/movements supporting specific communities (such as nationalism), in favor of supporting ideologies/movements seen as benefiting individuals and "liberty" everywhere, such as supporting universal human rights, deregulation, multiculturalism, free trade, cosmopolitanism, and/or globalism. If nationalism is supported, it may often be in the form of civic nationalism.
Liberalism is sometimes argued to be intrinsically linked to modern liberal democracy, but the form of democracy promoted by some during the Age of Enlightenment was in several ways different from the modern concept, such as by greatly restricting the franchise.
See also the article on the well-known phrase "All men are created equal" from the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
"Neoliberalism" is a recent variant of "classical liberalism", focusing mostly on economic aspects (such as economic deregulation) and is argued to have contributed to phenomena such as the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. Neoliberalism has been adopted by or enforced on various non-liberal democratic countries.
Those who out of self-interest/minority group interest lobby for, for example, increased mass immigration have sometimes used classical liberalism in order to conceal this, by claiming that they are altruistically lobbying for the good of society in general.
See also Migration: Libertarian immigration.
A high degree of support for individualism is associated with White societies and has been argued to have partially genetic causes. This may mean that a high degree of support for classical liberalism may be unlikely among non-White populations and that the support for mass immigration of non-Whites by classical liberals will have the effect of reducing average population support for classical liberalism, as Whites become minorities.
Another criticism of some of the extreme forms of classical liberalism is that "Rand’s own movement Objectivism is just as much a Jewish intellectual movement as the Frankfurt School. Although they use very different arguments, they function to produce the same result: a radical individualism that renders cohesive ethnic groups like Jews invisible to the majority, which maximizes their collective security and upward mobility, since cohesive collectives have a systematic advantage in competing with isolated individuals."
Another, more recent form of liberalism is "social liberalism". It refers to an ideology that is more "leftist" than classical liberalism on economic issues, but less so than social democracy and communism.
Social liberalism is influenced by Cultural Marxism and often advocates governmental interference in order to achieve "equality". Support for freedom of speech and association may be limited, with restrictions on these often seen as necessary in order to achieve "equality". Some examples of such supported restrictions may include laws against "hate speech", "Holocaust denial", segregation, and discrimination ("affirmative action"). Various forms of genetics denialism are common.
In the United States, where the word "liberalism" today often means social liberalism/moderately left-wing and is contrasted with conservatism, the specific phrase "social liberalism" often more narrowly refers only to moderately left-wing views on socio-political issues, with unspecified views on economic issues.
- See also Whig history
Liberals/leftists like to take credit for all achievements that have occurred since the Age of Enlightenment. They may refer to themselves as "progressive" and their opponents as "reactionary".
Many of the improvements that have occurred since the time of the industrial and scientific revolutions are due to scientific and technological innovation. Before this, most of the population lived near subsistence level, not because of some deliberate "reactionary" policy wanting this, but because population growth exceeded economic growth.
Liberals often assume that economic development and other trends will be associated with increased secularization and liberalism. However, at least in Muslim areas, a long-term trend is instead increasing Islamization, as discussed in the article on this topic.
Some liberal views/policies have been seen as contributing to declining genotypic average IQ and more recently also to declining measured IQ in several countries. See the article on Dysgenics. Birth rates are declining to below replacement levels in pro-liberal groups. Liberal views/policies have contributed to mass immigration and associated increasingly negative effects.
An ideology in effect contributing to dysgenics, declining birth rates of those supporting the ideology, and mass immigration of groups hostile to the ideology, can in the end not survive.
- Population Differences in Individualism http://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2016/05/01/population-differences-in-individualism/
- Selfish Bastards: A Review of “Atlas Shrugged, Part I” http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2011/04/selfish-bastards-a-review-of-%E2%80%9Catlas-shrugged-part-i%E2%80%9D/