Putting Liberalism In Perspective

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by othervoice, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. othervoice

    othervoice New Member

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    Conservatives, libertarians, and self described classical liberals maintain that modern liberals are socialists or social democrats because they support a regulated marketplace and welfare. This view is wrong because it overlooks how liberals from the mid nineteenth century to the early twentieth century onward sought to understand individual liberty, its preservation, and expansion amid the specter of deprivation, periodic crisis, and concentrated private power associated with urban industrial capitalism. In Britain the New Liberals like Thomas Hill Green, J.A. Hobson, and Leonard T. Hobhouse were central to this process. In America the progressives like Herbert Croly and Walter Weyl led the way. The problem with critics of liberalism is to see private property, small government, and non intervention in the economy as values and goals of liberalism rather than means. Individual liberty and the equal right to it is core value and goal of liberalism. For generations in reaction to the abuses and inefficiencies related to monarchy and mercantilism liberals rightly insisted on small government and non intervention in the economy and society ensured liberty. Industrial capitalism with monopolies, large corporations, and problems meant for large numbers of poor workers in cities they were really not free. Furthermore these concentrations of private economic power were seen a threat to political freedom and democracy to which liberty depends on. Liberals in Europe and America knew this. They slowly embraced a regulated market economy along with social welfare to ensure liberty and prosperity for all. This allowed them to preserve private property for profit, markets, and competition. This was consistent with liberal values and goals. It also headed off socialists who would have got rid of capitalism and individual liberty with it. Liberalism is always changing and rethinking what must be done to ensure and expand individual liberty. Critics who call liberals socialists or say they have betrayed the tradition are wrong.
     
  2. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that very basic economics seems to be not understood by those who use the term "liberal" and "socialist" interchangeably. For those folks these words are merely labels to be applied to anything they don't like.
     
  3. akphidelt2007

    akphidelt2007 New Member Past Donor

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    I'm almost as social conservative as it gets, but just because I believe in an economic system that utilizes government and central planning I'm considered as socialist and liberal as it gets. It's amazing how you have to be 100% apart of the cult or else you are the bad guy. My economic beliefs have absolutely nothing to do with liberalism or socialism. It just so happens Democrats aren't so crazy.
     
  4. Bluespade

    Bluespade Banned

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    Wow, this coming from a guy that has regularly stated:
    *phony money can be pulled out of thin air to infinity without consequences.
    *basic accounting practice doesn't apply to government finances.
    *Another world war would be just dandy for our economy without wanting to except the moral ramifications of a world war.

    Ya, but everyone else is a cult.:rolleyes:
     
  5. akphidelt2007

    akphidelt2007 New Member Past Donor

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    Never said any of those. Nice strawmen.
     
  6. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Well-Known Member Donor

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    A conservative is also in favor of a well regulated free market. The statutory laws and regulations for the framework from which our free market system thrives. Welfare to a certain point can also be a legitimate a function of government. Where a conservative and a modren liberal depart on policy, is when the liberal wants to empower the centralized federal government to usurp the powers and authorities that belong to the states.

    Being a social conservative is not the same as a constitutional conservative. I know social conservatives, some are pretty much just bible thumpers; they're good people, but like liberals, the big nanny state government running roughshod over the state and citizens is fine with them.
     
  7. othervoice

    othervoice New Member

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    I am interested to know if you believe Federal regulations and welfare are in violation of the Tenth amendment to the Constitution ? Thanks for your response to my initial point.
     

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