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A New Platform for the Free Democrats (FDP) (October 25-27, 1971)

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This kind of Social Liberalism thus understands the freedom and happiness of a person not merely as a matter of legally guaranteed liberties and human rights, but of socially fulfilled liberties and rights. What matters are liberties and rights not only as mere formal guarantees for a citizen relative to the state, but as social opportunities in the everyday reality of society. As in the area of education policy, Social Liberalism in the area of social policy fights for the expansion of liberal civil liberties and human rights through social rights of participation and co-determination, no longer just in the constitutional organization of the state, but in the social organization as regards the division of labor.

Liberality and democracy, in the societal sphere as previously in the sphere of the state, is derived from the same revolutionary idea of human dignity and self-determination that is the basis of all changes from the non-free authoritarian state to a liberal state under the rule of law. This leads to a fundamental change from the former, non-free estates-based or class-based state to a liberal welfare state.

The following theses on liberal social policy are a draft for the political practice that manifests this new spirit of democratizing society also in the area of social policy, taking postulates of principle and rendering them as precise theories of a future liberal social policy. In our party, this spirit made its way first and foremost in the area of education policy, in the struggle for equal education and professional opportunities for all citizens: for a civil right to education. [ . . . ]

Thesis 1: Liberalism takes a stand for human dignity through self-determination.

It supports the priority of the person before the institution.

It believes in the greatest possible freedom of the individual and in upholding human dignity in every existing or changing political and social situation.

The permanent purpose of classical as well as modern liberalism continues to lie in asserting the human dignity and self-determination of the individual in the state and before the law, in the economy and in society, against the destruction of the individual through heteronomy and through pressure to adapt from the political and social institutions.

The highest goals of liberal social policy are therefore to preserve and develop the individuality of personal existence and the plurality of human coexistence.

[ . . . ]

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