“The belief that one person’s maltreatment is isolated from the rest of us, is essential to the maintenance of state power. What we have in common is the need to protect one another’s inviolability from governmental force.” ~ Butler Shaffer
I know it may be a lost cause at this point, but I want the term “liberal” back from the collectivists that stole the term to defraud the gullible back in the early 1900s when the band “liberal” was respected world-wide. Now that the term lies in disrepute; I want it back so real classical liberals can yet again use it.
“The program of liberalism, therefore, if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property, that is, private ownership of the means of production… All the other demands of liberalism result from his fundamental demand.” ~ Ludwig von Mises
“Classical liberalism” is the term used to designate the ideology advocating private property, an unhampered market economy called laissez-faire, the rule of law, and international peace based on unhampered voluntary free trade. Up until around 1900, this ideology was generally known simply as liberalism. We have to use “classical liberal” now since the term “liberalism” came to be associated with anti-private-property egalitarian socialists of various stripes. Sometimes people say “social-liberalism” or even neo-liberalism but they mean radical, mindless egalitarianism.
In the 1800s America became the model liberal nation; a beacon to the world. The Jeffersonians, Jacksonians, abolitionists, and late-19th-century anti-imperialists applied radical liberal ideas to the astonishment of the civilized world. The wealth generated in the American industrial revolution fueled by classical liberalism remains unequaled in human history. Through much of the 19th century America was a society in which the state almost did not exist it was so small and weak.
It is the Socialist Sate that classical liberalism has opposed most vigorously and it was the socialists that assumed the name “liberal” to fool the gullible. The impossibility of national central planning of an economy was shown to be by Ludwig von Mises in the 20s and yet so-called “liberals” (socialists really) fought for central planning throughout the Western World. Mises became the 20th century’s most important, authentic liberal intellectual.
Now that socialism in all its many forms and flavors is finally crashing upon the rocks of reality; could the Keynesian socialists please stop using the term “liberal”? It is the least you can do for all the damage you have done.