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The Liberal Mindset

Posted by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 5:15 AM
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In another thread, someone asked about "the Liberal Mindset".   I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding among many Americans upon what the word "Liberal" actually means, and I'd like to have a go at correcting that here...

"Liberal" comes from the Latin adjective "liberalis" which means "Of or pertaining to freedom".

Liberalism, as a philosophical philosophy, developed during the Age of Enlightenment, as a contrast to monarchy and societies where not everyone was equal because there were nobles at one end  (with additional rights) and slaves at the other end (with fewer rights).

Liberal democracy is the form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of liberalism. It is characterized by fair, free, and competitive elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, and the protection of human rights and civil liberties for all persons. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either formally written or uncodified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract.   Liberals support capitalism (not necessarily Laissez-faire capitalism, but at least some private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit), and a free press.

Liberalism is the most successful political philosophy ever developed, and vast majority of the Earth's most successful countries are liberal.   They include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and, yes, The United States of America.


So why the confusion?   Why do many now use "Liberal" as an insult?

The Liberal Mindset, of freedom and equality, is a broad one, with room for quite a bit of variance within its bounds.   There are two main strands:

I think the confusion in America is due to the right forgetting that they count as Liberals too, and leaving the word solely to refer to social liberals.

by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 5:15 AM
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Replies (1-10):
rfurlongg
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 7:25 AM
Bump!
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TCgirlatheart
by TC on Oct. 3, 2012 at 7:33 AM
Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.
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romalove
by Roma on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:02 AM
11 moms liked this

 This information notwithstanding, both "liberal" and "conservative" are used by the other side as insults, usually shortened to "libs" and "cons".  Conservatives are heartless selfish greedy people who don't care about anyone but themselves and are happy to suck the earth and underlings dry in their zeal to accumulate ever more wealth.  Liberals are lazy wealth redistributors who don't want to work and expect government to take money from the greedy wealthy and give it to the starving poor.

Stereotypes and misunderstandings all blown up for political effect.  It is annoying.

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:02 AM
Interesting; I mostly agree with the post.

Except, I wouldn't say; Brazil, Peru, Spain, and India are good examples of successful countries of liberalism.
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rfurlongg
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:12 AM
1 mom liked this
I thinks perhaps she is referring to the immense progress those nations have made. Brazil, for example, progressed from a military controlled govt generally referred to as a '3rd world' country to a major international player (particularly in rubber, sugar, ethanol and oil). The political upheavals of the 50's through the early 90's has led to a liberal and direct democracy. They are currently flourishing economically. While I am not as versed in the history of the other nations I do know India is a larger player in the IT field and they are flourishing as well. I suspect the other nations have similar stories of advancement and progress.

Quoting Donna6503:

Interesting; I mostly agree with the post.



Except, I wouldn't say; Brazil, Peru, Spain, and India are good examples of successful countries of liberalism.
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Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:55 AM
1 mom liked this
Brazil, has a long ways to go ... Their support of FARC and other Latin American terrorists and militant groups, really isn't a model of liberalism. About 60% of the country is without proper sewerage service and running clean water, and no garbage removal. Also, about 1 in 6 are in an extreme poverty. Despite, having a large economy (on mobile but I believe they are the 8 or 9th largest in the world) but they have the highest crime rate of any of the 15 largest economy in the world.

India, of the four countries I listed, this one I'm the mostly willing to say I maybe wrong. But, their success really on started taking place in the mid '80s as they moved away (politically) from USSR to the USA. Also, they have a billion people yet, over 750 million are living poverty.

Spain; had a fascist dictator, Franco until '75, and even now is in a major economical mess, that threatens to tear apart the EU.

Peru, really Peru, just because Peru mess isn't as big as Bolivia, I wouldn't call it a success.

I don't disagree with the premise of the post, but, I would say Iran and Israel (despite their external politics) are better examples of liberal governments.


Quoting rfurlongg:

I thinks perhaps she is referring to the immense progress those nations have made. Brazil, for example, progressed from a military controlled govt generally referred to as a '3rd world' country to a major international player (particularly in rubber, sugar, ethanol and oil). The political upheavals of the 50's through the early 90's has led to a liberal and direct democracy. They are currently flourishing economically. While I am not as versed in the history of the other nations I do know India is a larger player in the IT field and they are flourishing as well. I suspect the other nations have similar stories of advancement and progress.



Quoting Donna6503:

Interesting; I mostly agree with the post.



Except, I wouldn't say; Brazil, Peru, Spain, and India are good examples of successful countries of liberalism.

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Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM

bump

rfurlongg
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 9:02 AM
1 mom liked this
They absolutely have a long way to go. However, they have progressed immensely in the last 20+yrs, particulary since changing their form of govt. It is a comparison of where they were and where they are headed.

Quoting Donna6503:

Brazil, has a long ways to go ... Their support of FARC and other Latin American terrorists and militant groups, really isn't a model of liberalism. About 60% of the country is without proper sewerage service and running clean water, and no garbage removal. Also, about 1 in 6 are in an extreme poverty. Despite, having a large economy (on mobile but I believe they are the 8 or 9th largest in the world) but they have the highest crime rate of any of the 15 largest economy in the world.



India, of the four countries I listed, this one I'm the mostly willing to say I maybe wrong. But, their success really on started taking place in the mid '80s as they moved away (politically) from USSR to the USA. Also, they have a billion people yet, over 750 million are living poverty.



Spain; had a fascist dictator, Franco until '75, and even now is in a major economical mess, that threatens to tear apart the EU.



Peru, really Peru, just because Peru mess isn't as big as Bolivia, I wouldn't call it a success.



I don't disagree with the premise of the post, but, I would say Iran and Israel (despite their external politics) are better examples of liberal governments.




Quoting rfurlongg:

I thinks perhaps she is referring to the immense progress those nations have made. Brazil, for example, progressed from a military controlled govt generally referred to as a '3rd world' country to a major international player (particularly in rubber, sugar, ethanol and oil). The political upheavals of the 50's through the early 90's has led to a liberal and direct democracy. They are currently flourishing economically. While I am not as versed in the history of the other nations I do know India is a larger player in the IT field and they are flourishing as well. I suspect the other nations have similar stories of advancement and progress.





Quoting Donna6503:

Interesting; I mostly agree with the post.



Except, I wouldn't say; Brazil, Peru, Spain, and India are good examples of successful countries of liberalism.

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Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 9:50 AM
I hope you're correct; I just don't see "John Struat Mill" quite yet, in any of the these government.


Quoting rfurlongg:

They absolutely have a long way to go. However, they have progressed immensely in the last 20+yrs, particulary since changing their form of govt. It is a comparison of where they were and where they are headed.



Quoting Donna6503:

Brazil, has a long ways to go ... Their support of FARC and other Latin American terrorists and militant groups, really isn't a model of liberalism. About 60% of the country is without proper sewerage service and running clean water, and no garbage removal. Also, about 1 in 6 are in an extreme poverty. Despite, having a large economy (on mobile but I believe they are the 8 or 9th largest in the world) but they have the highest crime rate of any of the 15 largest economy in the world.





India, of the four countries I listed, this one I'm the mostly willing to say I maybe wrong. But, their success really on started taking place in the mid '80s as they moved away (politically) from USSR to the USA. Also, they have a billion people yet, over 750 million are living poverty.





Spain; had a fascist dictator, Franco until '75, and even now is in a major economical mess, that threatens to tear apart the EU.





Peru, really Peru, just because Peru mess isn't as big as Bolivia, I wouldn't call it a success.





I don't disagree with the premise of the post, but, I would say Iran and Israel (despite their external politics) are better examples of liberal governments.






Quoting rfurlongg:

I thinks perhaps she is referring to the immense progress those nations have made. Brazil, for example, progressed from a military controlled govt generally referred to as a '3rd world' country to a major international player (particularly in rubber, sugar, ethanol and oil). The political upheavals of the 50's through the early 90's has led to a liberal and direct democracy. They are currently flourishing economically. While I am not as versed in the history of the other nations I do know India is a larger player in the IT field and they are flourishing as well. I suspect the other nations have similar stories of advancement and progress.







Quoting Donna6503:

Interesting; I mostly agree with the post.



Except, I wouldn't say; Brazil, Peru, Spain, and India are good examples of successful countries of liberalism.


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AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM
2 moms liked this
Damn hippies
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