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Introductory texts in Liberalism

The following texts are examples of texts written or compiled by IAF seminar developers and facilitators at FNF and are designed to provide readers a straightforward and, at the same time, systematic insight into important terms and concepts used by liberals. They are there to help prevent misunderstanding.

Liberal Decalogue:
The “decalogues” are helpful in explaining what is special about a liberal mindset, the importance of being sceptical and critical and the place of reason (and common sense) in liberal thought. We find that the two texts contribute in no small way to promoting tolerance, encouraging debate and creating a listening environment.

Decalogues
Liberal Value Systems

Rule of Law
The next text lists the important elements of rule of law and was designed as a response to difficulties we experienced with participants from countries in transition to democracy. The term rule of law is frequently misunderstood and there is even a tendency to conflate rule of law and law and order at the one extreme and rule of law and human rights on the other. Participants have found the list very helpful because it helps both to demonstrate why rule of law is so important (its elements speak for themselves as it were) and to focus discussion.Text on Rule of Law Text on Private Property

Rule of Law
Private Property

Secularism
The text on the notion of secularism was deemed necessary because many participants come from political environments in which religion plays a central role. Typically, the notion of “secularism” is seen as a dangerous one that is hostile to religion. The word is a pejorative. The text is used as a corrective and to help participants understand how the term is used in the context of a seminar or, more generally, in the context of liberalism.Text on

Secularism