Are you a classical liberal?

Unlike socialism which seeks to empower dictators, classical liberals envision a society that empowers everyone, with policies that promote freedom, individualism, the rule of law, and tolerance.
Are you a classical liberal?

Although there is no strict explanation of what classical liberalism is, there are a core set of ideas that every classical liberal believes in. You can read this article further to see if you too, are a freedom-loving classical liberal.

Classical liberalism is the belief system that holds your freedom in high regard. When this belief system is implemented through the policies of the government, politicians have fewer opportunities to dominate your life. This is because classical liberals believe in limiting the power of government.


  1. Freedom is a classical liberal value

When a person is free, they have the power to make their own decisions in life. This helps individuals to live meaningfully, as it puts them in control of their decision-making. In a society based on classical liberalism, government interference is kept to a minimum, so that people are protected from instances where their rights are abused by politicians. If there is one lesson that history has taught humanity, it is that freedom dies when government become dictatorial and overbearing.

  1. Classical liberals support individualism

This principle holds that each person has a unique identity. Individualism is a belief system in which every man and woman should be allowed to pursue their individual interests and exercise self-reliance. In a society that cherishes individualism, people are not beholden to a tribe, creed, or cult. Their individual identities and interests take precedence over the collective. This prevents people from losing themselves in instances where group interests could overpower them.

  1. Classical liberals support the rule of law

Today our rights are protected in the constitution and the government has laws in order to protect freedom. This, however, is not the natural state of societies. There have been dark moments throughout history where ordinary people were often at the mercy of their rulers, with the arbitrary application of laws and other rules. The rule of law has developed through the years, in order to make sure that these terrible experiences never happen again. In a society that prizes classical liberal ideas, laws are passed to promote freedom and peace. This differs from situations where politicians are given freedom to rule and harm as they wish.  

  1. Classical liberals support property rights and free markets

These words might sound abstract, but they are around people everywhere. When a person has property rights, they are able to own land and other assets. This empowers them to build intergenerational wealth, which they can then pass down to their heirs. Free markets are about opportunities, to put in simple terms. They include the opportunity to start businesses and the opportunity to have one’s needs and wants serviced through the market. Classical liberals believe in the idea of building a society where can enjoy access to these opportunities.

  1. Classical liberalism is tolerant

Imagine a world in which every person would be able to live according to their own wishes and desires, as long as it does not infringe on the freedom of others. The harmonious ideal that classical liberals aspire to achieve for society is called tolerance. In a society based on this value, people are allowed to embrace who they are, love who they want, and believe in whatever creed they see as resonating with them. No one will be persecuted for being a racial, sexual, religious, or any other kind of minority. Classical liberals believe in tolerance and these extend over to other important experiences as well, such as freedom of conscience and speech.

The ideals that classical liberals are fighting for aren’t for a select few. Unlike socialism which seeks to empower dictators, classical liberals envision a society that empowers everyone with policies that promote freedom, individualism, the rule of law, and tolerance.

If you agree with any of the above you may be a classical liberal and will find like-minded individuals here, at the Freedom Advocacy Network.

Cover Image source available here.


Join thousands of Freedom FANatics by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

If you enjoyed this content, sign up for the FAN newsletter – A round-up of all our podcasts and articles as well our Quote Card of the Week, delivered to your inbox every Friday. 

Making our case in the media
Are you a classical liberal?

Support the IRR

If you want to see a free, non-racial, and prosperous South Africa, we’re on your side.

If you believe that our country can overcome its challenges with the right policies and decisions, we’re on your side.

Join our growing movement of like-minded, freedom-loving South Africans today and help us make a real difference.

© 2023 South African Institute of Race Relations | CMS Website by Juizi