Friday, January 06, 2006

On Liberalism and Socialism. Europe versus the USA

What we call "socialists" or "Leftists" in Europe, Americans call "Liberals". So I use "classical liberalism" as a moniker to distinguish between the laissez faire liberalism and statist liberalism respectively. Classical Liberals are opposed to state interference with peoples lives. What the Americans call Liberals is similar to the European Socialists and Greens who want to use Statist intervention to cure human existence from all its ills. "Just one more law, just a little bit more tax".

I think that the American Left is abusing the word Liberalism to promote what is in reality a form of Socialism and not Liberal at all. The root "Liber" after all means "Free". Allthough I am a Conservative I quite like Liberalism because it leaves me alone and does not bother me. The rule here is: "if it does not leave you alone and tries to bother you, then it is not Liberalism, no matter how much it may cloak itself."


eyesallaround said...

Interesting. We call what you've described "libertarians" - very small government. I think that's what the founding fathers originally intended. The states were supposed to provide the majority of laws, services, etc... It was always a struggle between those who liked central/large versus those who liked state/small.

nouille said...
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netron said...

and it gets even more confusing in the UK. The third biggest party is the "Liberal Democrats" who are actually to the left of the Labour Party and are very much in favour of state intervention - more so than Labour is!