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Combinationalism is a populist political ideology and movement that rose to prominence in the !Western world during the early 20th century. Combinationalism argues that the central political issue in capitalist societies is the conflict between individual liberty and social equality, and that these two competing interests must be reconciled, or “combined”, in order to maximize the wellbeing of the people. Combinationalists generally advocate for social welfare policies to take the least intrusive means possible to ensure an adequate standard of living for all members of a society, and to strengthen, not replace, social institutions such as churches, families, and community organizations. In the 21st century, combinationalist movements are commonly associated with policies promoting tax simplification, religious liberty, property rights, a universal basic income, and the right to privacy. The term “combinationalism” was coined by Waldish philosopher Knut Arvidsen in his 1878 essay The Combinationalist State, which is widely considered to be the foundational document of the ideology. After the Recession of 1924, combinationalist movements entered the political mainstream in several countries in the Elias continents.  Helmenland became the first nation with an openly combinationalist government in 1930, when Risto Saari and his National Combinationalist Party rose to power in the aftermath of the Helmish Civil War. Combinationalism spread to Calesia after the Great War, when it was embraced by agrarian and labor movements in order to encourage an equitable reconstruction of the war-torn continent. Waldish Lawspeaker Karl Fjellheim was an early proponent of Calesian combinationalism, enacting a series of economic and social reforms during the 1940s that became known internationally as the Waldish model. Political scientists disagree significantly on how best to categorize combinationalism as an ideology. Different academic sources have alternatively described the ideology as a variant of welfare capitalism, third way politics, and radical centrism, with no agreement on whether it lies to the left or right of the political spectrum. In addition, various combinationalist movements around the world, and often within the same country, differ significantly in their answers to key combinationalist questions. As a result, combinationalism has often been referred to as a “big-tent” ideology, with different movements unified only by a “shared undercurrent of populism”. (See more...)
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