Liberalism in Gylias

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Liberalism in Gylias has been a significant force in Gylian history, and has made notable contributions to Gylian politics and society.

The dominant tradition of Gylian liberalism is social liberalism. Defining characteristics include protection of individual rights and equality, support for economic interventionism and a social safety net, and commitment to progressivism.

Liberalism is situated on the centre-left of Gylian politics. At the federal level, it is primarily represented by the parties of the Liberal Union. Other groups with notable liberal elements include the Centre Group, Humanist Party, Independent Regional Alliance for Minorities, and New Alliance for the Future.

Terminology

"Liberal" is generally used without a qualifier in Gylias. It can be used itself as a qualifier, as it has by various conservatives, socialists, and anarchists.

Historians use the terms classical liberalism and social liberalism, or "left-liberalism" and "right-liberalism", to distinguish historical tendencies within liberalism.

Gylian political discourse acknowledges the overlap between liberalism and conservatism, accepting Alscian conservatives' use of "liberalist" as a self-description, but is strongly hostile to attempts by laissez-faire right-wing ideologies to co-opt "liberal" or similar terms for their own description. Terms such as "liberist", "neoliberal" or "right-libertarian" are only used in strongly circumscribed or pejorative contexts, commonly prefaced by soi-disant.

Characteristics

The central concern of Gylian liberalism is protecting individual rights and freedoms. It accepts an expansive definition of human rights, encompassing both civil and political rights in the public sphere and economic, social, and cultural rights in the private sphere. It believes that freedom from interference and freedom to act upon free will are interdependent, and thus the primary goal of society is to create the conditions necessary for individuals to achieve self-realisation.

On social issues, liberalism supports policies and efforts to combat and abolish obstacles to individual potential, including all forms of discrimination and bigotry. It tends to be broadly secular, and overlaps with secular humanism and freethought. Regarding religion, it opposes religious intolerance, exclusivism, and attempts at proselytism, which it sees as a violation on the right to personal identity.

Economically, it favours intervention and regulation to deliver social justice and prevent concentration of wealth. Various currents propose different means to achieve this end, ranging from ordoliberalism to liberal socialism.

Liberalism broadly favours social reform and sustained progress, but recognises the necessity of revolution if all other avenues fail.

Variants

Since the consolidation of electoral blocs at the federal level, the parties that form the Liberal Union prioritise different elements of their identity in order to reunite all forms of liberalism. To some extent, the NUP emphasises adherence to Gylian nationalism, the NLP ordoliberalism, and the PRRA represents the historical radical current. Meanwhile, the MRR is a conservative liberal party in the National Bloc, the LLR is liberal socialist, and the MCP is centrist liberal.

Donatellism

Donatellism derives from the thought and career of Donatella Rossetti, and represents the dominant tradition of Gylian liberalism.

Donatellism represents a synthesis of social liberalism, social democracy, progressivism, radicalism, and civic nationalism. It is known for its strong support of economic interventionism and modernisation.

Conservative liberalism

Conservative liberalism is largely distinguished by its skepticism of socialism, and advocacy of the model of a social market economy.

Geoliberalism

Georgism has been a notable influence on Gylian liberalism. Geoliberals advocate common ownership of land, land value tax as the basis of taxation, and economic organisation based on mutualist principles.

This ideal is reflected in the slogan Free land, free labour, free trade, which earned them the humorous nickname "freeists".

History

Xevden

Gylian liberalism predates the Gylian ascendancy, and emerged in the context of resistance to Xevden. Early currents of liberal thought can be identified in the Rebellion of 1749 and the uprising of 1789.

There is a notable overlap between early liberalism and feminism. Influential early feminists such as Enari Lentesi, Raş Seslætar, and Osal Lasfe were also liberals, linking their demand for equal rights to broader democratic reform.

Nefne Sary, the philosophical founder of Gylian liberalism

Nefne Sary is generally considered the mother of Gylian liberalism. Her works reflect the dominant preoccupations of the 19th century: the questions of government and liberty. She was a staunch advocate of freedom, toleration, equality, and democracy. She invoked the Liúşai League of the past, associated with an ideal society characterised by equality and popular democracy, to condemn the inequality, discrimination, and authoritarianism of Xevden.

Informal liberal political movements and parties developed in Xevden, particularly from the "constitutionalist" faction of the Gylian opposition. Liberals were key participants in the Gylian revolution of 1848 and Glorious Rebellion, where they forged early links with socialists and anarchists. The National Unity Party was established in 1875, becoming the oldest Gylian political party. It was followed by the National Liberal Party in 1877.

Notable foreign influences on Gylian liberalism included Delkoran, Cacertian, Megelanese, and Kirisakian political philosophy.

The early liberals concerned themselves almost exclusively with constitutionalism, civil liberties, and the struggle against tyranny. As a result, they addressed the economy little, if at all. The influence of Delkoran liberalism produced an early factionalisation between classical liberals — who advocated limited government, the social contract, and free trade — and social liberals — who advocated stronger measures to redress the impoverishment caused by Xevden.

King Karnaz's 1902 coup and subsequent repression marked a temporary setback for liberals and conservatives, which lost ground to anarchists and other radicals in the ensuing disintegration.

Alscia

The Donatella Rossetti government governed the province of Alscia from its establishment to its dissolution. It was formed by the Popular Progressive Front, an alliance of liberal and left parties, thus setting the precedent for liberalism's alignment with the centre-left.

Liberals largely dominated Alscian politics, and the "hurried province" became an iconic achievement of Gylian liberalism. Donatella's brand of liberalism was resolutely progressive and committed to muscular intervention, in alliance with social movements, to improve social conditions and reduce poverty.

Maria Caracciolo was a significant intellectual contributor to liberalism. The founder of Risveglio Nazionale, she is credited with helping shape Donatellism into a coherent worldview, complementing Donatella's pragmatic instincts, and did much to support and arouse the progressive agitation and reformist energy that characterised the "hurried province".

Alscia's economic and social success reshaped Gylian liberalism permanently. Donatella's adoption of a model of state-driven development, similar to the one that would develop in Kirisaki and Akashi, eradicated the classical liberal faction, cementing Gylian liberalism's centre-left orientation. At the same time, her government maintained a confrontational policy towards Xevden, engaging in the Alscian Border War and making the province a nexus for Gylian radicals.

Ironically, liberals' success in Alscia contained the seeds of a decline. The efforts to bolster the Gylian opposition had the side effect of giving exposure to ideologies such as anarchism, socialism, and communism, helping radicalise Alscia itself. Within the FPP, the Socialist Party and Social Democratic Party gained influence in the 1920s–1930s at the expense of the liberals.

Internationally, liberals' ties to Delkora were reciprocated, as Donatella's commitment to social protection and firm action inspired Chancellor Sofia Westergaard in her governance and attempts to transform the Liberal Party along similar lines, culminating in the Liberal Party split of 1940.

Free Territories

The liberals retained a significant presence in the Free Territories, especially after Alscia joined them in 1939. Together, the Donatellists and "constructive" conservatives formed the main alternative to anarchism during the war.

Donatella remained the leading figure among liberals, owing to public respect for her achievements as Governor, and the appeal of her vision. She conceived of "government as an engineering marvel with an elegance of structure", which became the main competitor to anarchism's vision of decentralisation, direct democracy, and "appealing messiness".

Violet Bonham, one of the leading "anarcho-liberals"

Violet Bonham became a significant liberal thinker during this period. Her efforts to reconcile Donatellism with anarchism made her influential on liberal socialism, and produced an "anarcho-liberal" current that sought to abolish both the state and capitalism, seeing anarchism as the ultimate achievement of liberty.

The "anarcho-liberals" forged ties with market anarchists and mutualists; they accepted the principle of common ownership but debated whether market mechanisms could be "emancipated" (as per Iana Rynai) or should be abolished. They also came into disagreement with the majority Donatellists in the liberal movement, which argued against immediately abolishing the state on the grounds that its mechanisms were necessary to coordinate rapid economic and social development.

The Free Territories' anarchist organisation opened space for experimentation and coexistence of multiple ideologies and economic systems. Some villages and cities took a liberal approach, especially in what had formerly been Alscia. Elsewhere, the Liberation War included liberal factions in its first phase, some of which gained success militarily but floundered against the strengthening radical tide.

Gylias

The Free Territories had cemented the alliance between liberals and the leftists, which was formalised after Gylian independence. The NUP, NLP, and PRRA took part in the 1958 federal election. Collectively, they won 32,4% of the vote and 102 Popular Assembly seats — a strong result, but still second place to the leftists.

Liberals took part in the popular drafting process that produced the Constitution and six codes of law. As the largest non-anarchist faction, they worked with the "constructive" conservatives to secure several symbolic concessions in the "miserable compromise".

The 1960 electoral reform led to a proliferation of new parties. The Liberal Union was set up as the liberals' main electoral bloc, notably completed by two explicitly "anarcho-liberal" formations: the Left Liberal Rally and Freedom and Solidarity Party.

Liberals were included from the start in the Darnan Cyras government. They were allocated several symbolically important ministries, including communications, equality, and interior affairs. Distinguished liberal ministers included Clarissa Rossetti, who helped create forceful anti-discrimination and minority rights legislation, Erika Ďileş, who established the bedrock of foreign policy, and Akane Tsunemori, who oversaw the reinvention of law enforcement in accordance with the Free Territories' anarchist heritage.

In economic matters, the liberals had no trouble accepting the new Gylian consensus, and two of their ministers brought notable contributions to Aliska Géza's economic policies. Sae Chabashira succeeded in introducing a Miranian developmental state framework to planning and regional development policy, building on the precedent of Donatellist dirigisme. Kōichi Nishida's push for extensive public transport and championing of high-speed rail similarly harked back to Donatella's famously ambitious public works.

The 1962 and 1969 federal elections confirmed the LU's new status as the junior partners in the coalition with the Progressive Alliance, as they finished second and third, respectively. Some liberals fared better at the municipal and regional level, particularly in the regions that had formed Alscia, and formed good relationships with the demopolitan movement. However, liberals were affected by sinistrisme: they had a solid base but their more moderate profile placed a ceiling on support during the Golden Revolution — either perceived as the PA's junior allies or overshadowed by more colourful left formations like the LSD Party.

The LU was severely affected by the wretched decade. It finished fourth in the 1976, 1980, and 1985 federal elections, and had to adjust to a role in opposition after having spent its previous existence in government.

The emergence of a strong environmentalist movement, politically represented by the Green Party, led liberals to adapt by embracing elements of green liberalism.

The LU were repeatedly approached by National Bloc leader Lea Kersed for a grand coalition. While they were reluctant to abandon the partnership with the PA, a grand coalition that would reunite the left, liberals, conservatives and centrists was appealing.

However, squabbles and disagreements among the opposition meant that this was not realised until after the Ossorian war crisis of 1986, when the Filomena Pinheiro government was formed. The LU thus returned to federal government, but they and the other established blocs suffered a voter backlash for their delay, and were challenged by new formations. The dérive au droite and the Union for Freedom and Prosperity's split from the NB drew hostile reaction from liberals.

The 1990 federal election marked a breakthrough for the Non-inscrits, bolstered by voters punishing the established blocs. LU leader Mathilde Vieira formed a "plural coalition" government with the techno-progressive New Alliance for the Future, Love, Nature, Democracy, and Independent Regional Alliance for Minorities.

Mathilde gained renown for her negotiation and parliamentary skills, keeping her minority coalition in office by seeking case-by-case support from different formations. Her government presided over a period of renewed national confidence and economic growth. Its signature achievements included policies to reduce consumption carried out by Aishwarya Devi, environmentalist transformation, and the Decleyre Summit and Social Partnership Program, which fostered a civic-minded and philanthropic culture among rich Gylians and improved public attitudes towards entrepreneurship and wealth.

Under Mathilde and Kaori Kawashima, the LU consistently finished first in federal elections up to 2008. In the 2010s, it once again fell behind the PA in seats, which took the senior role in the Toni Vallas government.

Overview of Gylian liberalism