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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
Replies (31-40):
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM
1 mom liked this

LMAO!  I love the hippies, though.  :D

You have an impressive way with words, I always really dig your posts.

Quoting AdrianneHill:

I thought I smelled patchouli and failure.

(just kidding, some of my best friend are hippies. But I gee up around a bunch of punks but we loved the hippies even with all the shit talking because we were both equally likely to get our asses kicked by thevat majority of normal angry people. Brothers in arms, enemy of my enemy is my friend thing.


Quoting LucyMom08:

 You rang? ;)


Quoting AdrianneHill:

Damn hippies

 


Donna6503
by Gold Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM
1 mom liked this
Sorry; if I misread your reply. Still, I don't feel we are that far apart.


Quoting rfurlongg:

I never said Mill was good of bad for liberalism.



Quoting Donna6503:

Hmmm, many people would consider saying, Mill to be the father of modern Liberalism. Probably, the most influential English philosopher of the 19th century. While; I'll agree with you that there isn't one country that purely ran on "Millism." His influence on "liberalism" can't be understated (nor is his utilitarianism) in matters of economic, socially, or politically.





Look, from the right or conservatives; is there anyone who point to a nation that runs purely on "Burke" Yet, Burke is to conservative is what Mill is to Liberal.





As to whether; Mill is "bad" to liberalism is really another debate.






Quoting rfurlongg:

Honestly, neither to do I.  Mill presented a philosophical ideal; humans are full of fallacy and reaching philosophical ideals has not proven to be our strength. Has there ever been a country that truly and fully embody his philosophy? 

Quoting Donna6503:

I hope you're correct; I just don't see "John Struat Mill" quite yet, in any of the these government.











Quoting rfurlongg:



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Donna6503
by Gold Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM
Damn, why am I now in the mood for, "Blood, Sweat, and Tears"?


Quoting stacymomof2:

LMAO!  I love the hippies, though.  :D

You have an impressive way with words, I always really dig your posts.

Quoting AdrianneHill:

I thought I smelled patchouli and failure.



(just kidding, some of my best friend are hippies. But I gee up around a bunch of punks but we loved the hippies even with all the shit talking because we were both equally likely to get our asses kicked by thevat majority of normal angry people. Brothers in arms, enemy of my enemy is my friend thing.




Quoting LucyMom08:

 You rang? ;)



Quoting AdrianneHill:

Damn hippies


 



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Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

 Great post :)

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:13 PM
1 mom liked this


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

Because tyhe term liberal, was hijacked by the progressives, who perverted the term.

incognito116
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM
No confusion here, it's how liberals self identify and portray themselves that make others use the word as an insult.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
pvtjokerus
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:20 PM

So can it be said that California is a 'good' example of a liberal state?

krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Sigh. And the post was going so well, with so much intelligent discussion.

All good things must end, apparently...

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:21 PM
1 mom liked this
I kid because I love

Quoting stacymomof2:

LMAO!  I love the hippies, though.  :D

You have an impressive way with words, I always really dig your posts.

Quoting AdrianneHill:

I thought I smelled patchouli and failure.



(just kidding, some of my best friend are hippies. But I gee up around a bunch of punks but we loved the hippies even with all the shit talking because we were both equally likely to get our asses kicked by thevat majority of normal angry people. Brothers in arms, enemy of my enemy is my friend thing.




Quoting LucyMom08:

 You rang? ;)



Quoting AdrianneHill:

Damn hippies


 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Not really. But we aren't a wholly Liberal country anyway. We have national and state forests. Hell, we have a standing army as well as interstates and federal investigators. We wouldn't like a wholly Liberal state because they suck to live in.

Quoting pvtjokerus:

So can it be said that California is a 'good' example of a liberal state?

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