Archive for the ‘Classical Liberalism’ Category


Source: The Independent Institute 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

According to Wikipedia the definition of social justice is, “justice in terms of distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society.”

People let’s say on the farther left (Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists) take the definition to mean that there should be distribution of wealth in society. That wealth should be distributed based on what people need to live well. Not based on what people earn. And of course the central government usually a unitarian government in most social democracies (one large government for the entire country) will collect most of the wealth in the country and dish it back out in the form of welfare state payments to the people based on what the government believes people need to live well in society.

So the people not just living above poverty, but living somewhat comfortably, but short of being wealthy and perhaps even upper middle class. Socialists (democratic and otherwise) don’t believe in rich or poor. They want equality of outcomes where no one is wealthy or poor, but able to live well. This type of economic system is how Scandinavia operates and the states there and to a certain extent even in Britain. (Even when the Conservatives are in charge)

The libertarian notion of social justice is to put it in plain terms is that what’s mine is mine and what’s yours, is yours. To paraphrase Libertarian Economist Walter Williams. Meaning what the people make for themselves is exactly that. And shouldn’t be subjected to taxation especially to help pay for the people who don’t have much to live on and are in living in poverty as a result.

To go back to the Wikipedia definition of social justice. Liberals (in the real and classical sense) concentrate on the opportunities portion of social justice. Liberals believe in an opportunity society. Where everyone has the ability to make a good life for themselves. Where everyone has access to a quality education even if they live in poverty. And if they live in poverty that their parents or parent, has the ability to finish and further their education so they can get themselves a good job and make a good living.

Get off of public assistance, buy a nice home and live in a nice community where they don’t have to worry about being physically harmed when they go to the grocery store, or are coming back or going to school. Where they have a basic fundamental sense and reality when it comes to their own economic and physical security. And then what the people make for themselves financially, they’re able to keep most of that and pay back in taxes what it takes for the government to function effectively and to do only what we need for government to do well for us, that is also consistent with strong economic and job growth so people are encouraged to be productive and make a good living for themselves and their families.

And yes you need an effective government to invest in what makes economies strong so as many people can benefit from capitalism and private enterprise as possible. Not to run the economy or to run business’s, or tax and regulate private business so much that the government essentially owns and runs those companies.

But to see that everyone can get a good education. Where kids aren’t sent to school simply because of where they live, but what’s the best school for them even if that might mean a charter school or private school all together.

Where economic development is encouraged so you don’t have ghost towns essentially where the only people who live there are people who can’t afford to live anywhere else. Where gangs and organize criminals run the communities.

Where you have an modern infrastructure system so companies can get their products to market (to use an old phrase) and also to encourage more private economic development.

A responsible regulatory state to protect consumers from predators and worker from abusive employers.

And a limited effective safety net (not welfare state) that serves an economic insurance system for people who are out-of-work, or lack basic skills to get themselves a good job. But also empowers low-skilled individuals to get themselves on their feet by finishing and furthering their education and learning a trade so they can get themselves a good job.

Where Liberals separate from Socialists has to do with government’s involvement in the economy. Socialists want government to take most of the national income and dish it back out based on what they believe people need to do well. Where Liberals differ with Libertarians is that Liberals believe that the people should be able to to keep most of what they earn. But that Liberals believe there is a real role for government even in a free society and that being part of a free society is like being part of a club. Where you end up paying for the services that you consume and even some of the services that don’t personally benefit you.

Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Social Justice in The Classical Liberal Tradition


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Cold War Liberal

Cold War Liberal

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The reason why in the past the word Liberal has almost been seen as bad as a cuss word or someone would call someone a Liberal like they would call someone a jerk or a bastard or an insult worst than that, is because of how successful the partisan right-wing going back to Richard Nixon and perhaps even to Barry Goldwater to make Liberals look like something they aren’t. And liberalism something that it isn’t. Which is some big government statist ideology that is all about government running people’s lives for them. And against everything that has made America work mostly having to do with freedom.

Another reason why the word Liberal has been seen as something as bad as a horrible insult, is that people who aren’t Liberals, but have more of a big government statist Far-Left ideology, get called Liberals by people in the media who don’t understand liberalism. And people who again share that big government statist philosophy calling themselves Liberals. Even though they don’t even understand liberalism themselves. Or prefer to be called Liberal instead of something else that is even less popular in America. Like a Socialist, Communist or Statist.

But if you go up to 2008 the charge against Barack Obama when he was running for president the charge from the right-wing was no longer labeling him a Liberal. But a Socialist and for good reason, because Americans now no longer see Liberal as a bad thing especially younger Americans. More Americans are learning more about liberalism and understanding it. And also more Americans now see their own politics as Liberal as well which is a big reason why young Americans overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama for president in 2008. And reelected President Obama in 2012.

Liberal is not a dirty word, but a clean beautiful word that is about liberty, liberation, empowerment. Notice the words Liberal and Libertarian sound similar because even though they are certainly different. But they believe in similar things like individual rights and liberty and privacy. And are skeptical about what large organizations can do for them that they can’t do for themselves. Whether they are public or private institutions and more Americans now believe in these things as well.
Wendell Willkie: 1940 Presidential Election

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Founding Fathers

Fathers of American Liberalism

Source: D Kendel: The Founding Fathers- Classical Liberalism

Putting the slave issue aside just for a minute and trying to put aside the fact. That our founding fathers did own slaves and slavery would go on in America for roughly ninety years after the founding of the Federal Republic. Our founding fathers the first Liberal-Democrats in America wrote the perfect document and the foundation. For what American-Liberalism is built on what it truly means to be a Liberal-Democrat. Forget about classical versus modern Liberal, I’m just talking about Liberalism in its real sense. I mean just think about it and look at the United States Constitution and the bill of rights and the constitutional amendments. That all men are created equal with certain undeniable rights. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and even though they weren’t talking about Africans. And other people who became Americans the fact that they said all men. Meaning persons in America includes Africans, Latinos, Asians, Indians and other Americans and not just Europeans.

Just look at out constitutional amendments and bill of rights. The right to free speech, free press, freedom to practice or not to practice religion. The right to privacy, the right to own our own property, the right to self-defense. The checks and balances so no one in government has too much power and could use that power against individuals. The separation of powers from the Federal Government to the states and localities creating a true Federalist Republic. Rather than centralizing all power in one authority which is what we came from as a nation from the United Kingdom. With the commerce clause the right and responsibility to regulate the private sector that government has so we do not have too much power. Centralized with the private sector and big business and the wealthy. This is the foundation that Liberalism is built around. Rather than having some superstate there to take care of us and for the individuals the freedom. To not have to make major decisions for themselves because the Federal Government. Is going to take care of most of that for us.

Our founding fathers wanted a limited but effective government there to protect our individual liberty. So that all Americans can have it but not there to try to run our lives for us. And what I take from that is a government to see that all Americans. Have access to the tools that they need to live successfully and live in freedom. And for me that gets to education and job-training, yes a safety-net. With the welfare clause but not a welfare-state there to take care of everyone so we don’t have to make. Major decisions with our own lives but an insurance system that we can collect from when we need it. While we are preparing ourselves to be able to live in freedom. That the safety-net can help with. Which is really what classical-Liberalism real Liberalism is built around. And we have the founding fathers to thank for that.

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Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat


Source: The Fiscal Times: Opinion- Bruce Bartlett-The Coming Revival of Liberalism

Before you discuss liberalism I think you first need to know what you are talking about. Because generally speaking Liberals in America tend to be stereotyped as being in favor of big government and higher taxes, centralization of government, they worship the Federal Government, Federal control, anti-success, anti-wealthy, anti-business and at times today even anti-capitalism. As well as being anti-military, anti-law-enforcement and today even not liking Caucasians and perhaps men in general. Want the Federal Government to run our lives for us and anti-America as well. And if I didn’t know any better when I hear a lot of Americans who are either very partisan on the Right or are ignorant about liberalism, I would have to assume that they are talking about Communists or at least Social Democrats that are common in Europe. And that it is the Conservatives who are in favor of capitalism, low taxes, economic freedom, limited government, strong defense, protecting the streets and so-forth.

I just laid out what liberalism isn’t and before I layout what liberalism is, I just want to point out that the fact it is both Liberals and Conservatives believe in capitalism. Both Liberals and Conservatives believe in a strong defense and are in favor of effective law enforcement. As long as it is consistent with our civil liberties. Both Liberals believe in limited government even at the Federal level. Both Liberals and Conservatives believe in low taxes at least for middle class workers and both Liberals and Conservatives love America. Want Americans to succeed and be able to do well in life on their own and not be dependent on public assistance. I’ve said this before, but it’s not so much that Liberals and Conservatives differ as far as who believes in freedom and who doesn’t and loves America and who doesn’t, because both factions believe in the same things. But we tend to differ on how to accomplish those things. Rather us differing on whether we should have freedom or not. Whether America is a great country or not and or whether we should have a limited government or a big expansionist government with no ends and limitations.

So if you are a Liberal you believe in freedom both personal and economic but that freedom should apply to everyone. Not just a privilege few and that we should all have the freedom to live our own lives and be able to take care of ourselves and not be dependent on government to take care of us. But where government comes in is to see that all Americans have those opportunities to be successful in life. And that gets to education, job training for low-skilled workers and unemployed adults. And effective and understandable regulatory system that protects workers, consumers and even employers from unfair practices by others. And that we all pay our fair share of taxes, but  not to the point that it discourages us from living in freedom and having to live off of government. But just to the point that it funds the limited government that we need. To do the things that we need government to do for us.

And the reason why I believe that liberalism is on the way up or as Bruce Bartlett puts it, ‘The coming revival of Liberalism’, is because Americans tend to believe in these things. Both economic and personal freedom. Which is why high taxes and big government are still unpopular in America, but big government across the board is unpopular. That Americans tend to want both their economic and personal freedom. As we are now seeing with the unpopularity of the War on Drugs, War on Terror, gay marriage on the rise, legalization of marijuana coming to a state near you, as well as gambling. And this is something that Republicans have to be aware of and successfully deal with if they are going to have any power in the future at. Least at the Federal level and not become a long-term opposition-minority-party.

TYT Interviews: Bruce Bartlett Steps Into TYT

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Wendell Willkie

Wendell Willkie

The Limits of Liberalism – YouTube.

What this professor seems to be saying and I’m not that fluent in Yale speak but what I get from my decoding of this lecture. Is that Liberalism is counter to Christianity and religion in general. In other words if you are a Liberal, you worship the state rather than some God. I’ve heard these stereotypes before and I’m sure there are some Atheist Liberals just like there. Are Atheist Conservatives and Libertarians and of course Socialists or Communists probably have the largest. Percentage of people who are Atheists. But if you are a Liberal, you do not worship the state and you do not worship anything necessarily. Because Liberals base their beliefs on the best available evidence at the time and base their ideology on. Freedom so we do not worship the state because we are not Communists or Socialists. Liberals are supposed to question authority and the establishment. Well government tends to be the largest establishment and authority in any developed society.

As a Liberal I could define Liberalism and what Liberals believe in a few sentences. A Liberal believes that governments number one role is to protect our freedom. Everything that government does is based on that. Protect freedom for those who have it and still deserve it. Expand freedom to those who do not have but need and deserve it. Not leaving people who are physically and mentally able dependent on the state for an indefinite period of time. For their economic well-being. Liberals believe in both personal and economic freedom. But that there needs to be rules in place. To prevent people from harming innocent people either in a personal or economic sense. In other words a responsible and effective regulatory system as well as rule of law. Hate to break it to the non believers when it comes to Liberalism. But Liberals are not Socialists or Anarchists.

Liberals are not Libertarians or Socialists two other political factions that we tend to get mixed up with. We are not antigovernment or pro-government but believe government needs to be limited and effective. So it doesn’t get in the way of individual freedom and responsibility. Let people s wings fly and lets see how well they can fly on their own once they have the resources and skills. They need to be successful in life and that’s what Liberals are about.

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