No I'm not kidding.
"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.
the confusion? Why do many now use "Liberal" as an insult?
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:
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
Quoting SewingMamaLele:Well, it's a broad term, but generally pro choice, environmentalist, pro union, in favor of higher taxes and taxing the wealthier Americans in order to pay for more and wider sweeping social programs. In favor of greater regulation on businesses.... That should be a start! :)
Some of those are core to social liberalism, and some are incidental. If you look at the international context, you can see which values came first and are shared with social liberal movements in other countries, and which are peculiar to social liberalism in the USA.
It started in Britain. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, a group of
British thinkers, known as the New Liberals, made a case against laissez-faire
classical liberalism and argued in favor of state intervention in
social, economic, and cultural life. The New Liberals saw individual liberty as something
achievable only under favorable social and economic circumstances.
In their view, the poverty, squalor, and ignorance in which many people
lived made it impossible for freedom and individuality to flourish. New
Liberals believed that these conditions could be ameliorated only
through collective action coordinated by a strong, welfare-oriented, and
By 1906, the old system of charity—relying on the Poor laws and supplemented by private charity, public
co-operatives, and private insurance companies—was in crisis. The Liberal Party
in Britain introduced initiatives which became known as the Liberal reforms. The main elements included pensions for poor elderly people, health, sickness, and unemployment insurance based on earlier programs in Germany, and the establishment of labour exchanges. These changes were accompanied by progressive taxation.
In America, because of the Liberal coalition requried to get the 'Great Society' reforms passed, it got linked in with civil rights.
Quoting amsp259:Large government, high High taxes!!! Less privacy!! More killings over seas!!! More drones Obama has doubled down on than bush could ever dream. Less freedom!!! Oh and Internet taxes! Just look at liberal states run by liberals, Detroit, California, Illinois, Vermont .,,,, all either bankrupt or completely corrupt and other states with a surplus are fitting the bill!
Quoting amsp259:Liberals where not in favor of slavery to end. The rebublicans were the ones ie Lincoln who freed the slaves...,,,,, the NRA gave guns to the slaves to fight the KKK! MLK was a rebublican...
Quoting amsp259:Large government, high High taxes!!! Less privacy!! More killings over seas!!! More drones Obama has doubled down on than bush could ever dream. Less freedom!!! Oh and Internet taxes!
If you're trying to be witty, Bierce did it better:Conservative:
If you weren't, the failure is even worse.
Connect with CafeMom:
Switch to Mobile Site
Getting Started Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Part of the CafeMom family
© 2014 CMI Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved.