Reinventing liberalism for the 21st century

IN SEPTEMBER 1843 James Wilson, a hatmaker from Scotland, founded this newspaper the Economist. His purpose was simple: to champion free trade, free markets and limited government. They were the central principles of a new political philosophy to which Wilson adhered and to which The Economisthas been committed ever since. That cause was liberalism.
Today liberalism is a broad faith—far broader than it was to Wilson. It has economic, political and moral components on which different proponents put different weights. With this breadth comes confusion. Many Americans associate the term with a left-wing belief in big government; in France it is seen as akin to free-market fundamentalism. But whatever version you choose, liberalism is under attack.    Read on...

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