(This post is an excerpt, with some minor updating, from the longer essay in the post What Is Rick Perry Talking About? )
What is Liberalism?
Liberalism is the morality which is built on the two moral foundations of Care/Harm and Proportionality/Cheating (i.e. fairness), and eschews the others – as illustrated in this 19 minute video on TED.com: The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives. Liberalism is focused almost exclusively on caring for the bees (i.e. individual citizens) and protecting them from harm, maximizing their personal individual autonomy, and ensuring they are treated fairly. From the perspective of the two-foundation, bee focused morality customs, traditions, and institutions – the manifestations of human experience – place restrictions on the free will of the individual, and are thus often seen as tools of oppression, and therefore of harm. Consequently, liberalism denounces those things (and thus the wisdom of experience) and instead places its faith in reason; the power of the human mind to overcome obstacles and solve problems.