Liberal vs Libertarian
You know, I think there is a lot of confusion out there on terms and terminology.
I think a lot of ‘liberal’ bloggers out there really are ‘libertarians’, but have been taught incorrectly as to what they really are.
The problem is with the word ‘liberal’. That term no longer has the classical definition. For that, I actually blame the neo-conservatives. This confusion has people not understanding what they really believe in.
‘Conservative’ is also now defined differently than it used to be as well, again adding to the confusion.
I’ll give a couple of examples of this:
1) A ‘liberal’ is for more government control, whereas a ‘conservative’ is for less government control, especially in the way of economics. Now, this is almost exactly the opposite of what the textbook definitions say. A textbook ‘liberal’ wants liberty, and as much freedom to do what they want. Meanwhile, a ‘conservative’ wants status quo, at minimum, and to hold back the reigns of liberty to impose order.
Under textbook definition, I’m a liberal. Yet, I’m labeled a ‘right wing’ or ‘conservative’, thus I fall into using those terms myself.
2) Many who call themselves ‘anarchists’ on the left support government-enforced equality, and thus are called ‘liberal’. Again, anarchy is freedom to do what you want, without any government control. Wouldn’t you think that would then be closer to ‘capitalism’, which is by textbook the freedom of companies and individuals to work within the economy how they want? Should they not, then, be the biggest BACKERS of Wal-Mart and Microsoft, instead of the biggest detractors?
It also confuses the fact when the two parties at the beginning of the United States were the Whigs (conservatives by textbook) and the Democratic-Republicans (liberals by textbook). By World War I, the Whigs were gone and replaced by the Republicans, and the Democrats had merged with the ‘Populists’, thus their philosophies switched on economic but not social issues. This has muddied the waters so bad, it has confused just about everyone.
Now, to muddy it even further: the National SOCIALIST German Workers Party is labeled at the ‘far right’ by those today calling themselves ‘liberal’. But, they were socialists…it’s right in their name. Plus, they were formed by a labor union. This is textbook ‘conservative’, but it is not modern ‘conservative’…it’s modern ‘liberal’!
Thus, I think all the tags out there need to be revised. Stop with the Orwellian double talk, and get things straightened back to their original, textbook, terms and I think a lot of people will reconsider just exactly what they really are.
That might just be the way to get this country, and the world, straightened around.