Please stop confusing liberalism with leftists Watch

username2808800
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Why is that so many people confuse being a liberal with being left wing?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism
Please do some reading.
Hayek and Adam Smith were liberals and both were not left wing.

Neoliberalism is a form of liberalism and is right wing.(Milton Friedman was a liberal)

Libertarianism is a form of liberalism as well.
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Count Bezukhov
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It's confuses people because there are different types of liberalism. Economic liberalism is right wing, social liberalism is typically left wing.
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username1221160
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Anyone who has done any reading will be aware that liberal is a fairly generic term that has more than one meaning.

I would also advise anyone who believed that Adam Smith was right wing to do some reading as such a view displays a rudimentary ignorance as to what right wing means. While the term was not around while Smith was writing, his ideas flew in the face of a lot of conservative thought at the time.
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jkls92
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Also, people using liberal as a synonym for socialist and then proceeding to think that liberals are socialists.

The term has been contaminated in the English language and this linguistic disease is spreading to other countries. Originally, the fault was in the USA, then also the UK: “As a supreme if unintended compliment, the enemies of the system of private enterprise have thought it wise to appropriate its label” (Schumpeter).

The way I personally intend it, liberalism is about liberty. It is the idea that the freedom of the individual (that is political, social and economical) is the most important value. In particular, liberalism needs political equality, while socialism is about socio-economic equality and is the belief that equality, in general, is more important than liberty. A bit simplistic, but in practice it proves an effective framework.

It is also interesting to note how Italian distinguishes political liberalism (liberalismo) and economic liberalism (liberismo). The two usually go together, but it helps, in my opinion, to attribute full dignity to the lofty doctrine of political Liberty, which we might even root back to Cato Uticensis and others, and economic theories which instead can be found wrong and only partially regard ideals, given that economics is half science half politics.
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Quirky Object
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American political lexicon has changed the meanings of a lot of terms, "liberalism" and "libertarianism" among them; that doesn't make the American meanings of the words any less valid. They just happen to interpret the words differently, which is bound to happen in language.

"Classical liberal" is also quite a limited definition of pro-market liberalism. Ordoliberals are not classical liberals, and nor are centrists who also identify with the term "liberal" in several countries (the UK and Switzerland for example).
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jkls92
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(Original post by Sonechka)
American political lexicon has changed the meanings of a lot of terms, "liberalism" and "libertarianism" among them; that doesn't make the American meanings of the words any less valid. They just happen to interpret the words differently, which is bound to happen in language.

"Classical liberal" is also quite a limited definition of pro-market liberalism. Ordoliberals are not classical liberals, and nor are centrists who also identify with the term "liberal" in several countries (the UK and Switzerland for example).
It's not inherently wrong that words change meaning, but it has resulted in great confusion and has downside political effects for the liberal cause.

I now have to resort to newspapers to express my political ideas when asked because "right" partially misses the point, so I have to say "liberal, you know like the economist and -Italian newspaper-"
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Quirky Object
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
It's not inherently wrong that words change meaning, but it has resulted in great confusion and has downside political effects for the liberal cause.

I now have to resort to newspapers to express my political ideas when asked because "right" partially misses the point, so I have to say "liberal, you know like the economist and -Italian newspaper-"
There's only confusion across continents, I think. In the US, if you identify as a "liberal" (as opposed to a moderate or a libertarian, which more closely resemble the European meanings of the word), there's pretty much total consensus on what that means. The left/right distinction is inadequate anyway; it's better that we explain our positions in more detail, or people will just make undue assumptions, and this can happen with any ideology - people might assume that those who identify as "right-wing" are all socially conservative when that doesn't necessarily follow.

I totally relate to your having to describe yourself as "liberal like The Economist", though - that's my go-to as well
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jkls92
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(Original post by Sonechka)
There's only confusion across continents, I think. In the US, if you identify as a "liberal" (as opposed to a moderate or a libertarian, which more closely resemble the European meanings of the word), there's pretty much total consensus on what that means. The left/right distinction is inadequate anyway; it's better that we explain our positions in more detail, or people will just make undue assumptions, and this can happen with any ideology - people might assume that those who identify as "right-wing" are all socially conservative when that doesn't necessarily follow.

I totally relate to your having to describe yourself as "liberal like The Economist", though - that's my go-to as well
Exactly, looks like we share political ideas then.

Only thing I disagree about is that confusion is only across continents. Thatcher made speeches against "liberal policies", the current libdems seem to me leftish and think about the orange bookers: there is confusion. In Italy the term lost proper parliamentary representation, and most of the press use it for centre or centre left leaders that lack a proper and clear ideological position such as renzi and macron, but it is also used for Cameron.

The world needs a widespread liberal (liberaldemocratic in my opinion) shift if we don't want to fall to the populist right (the left has no chances), but until we call every opportunist without ideas a liberal, or identify socialists with liberals, this won't happen. If it doesn't, the consequence will be war.
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username878267
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(Original post by fleky6910)
Why is that so many people confuse being a liberal with being left wing?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism
Please do some reading.
Hayek and Adam Smith were liberals and both were not left wing.

Neoliberalism is a form of liberalism and is right wing.(Milton Friedman was a liberal)

Libertarianism is a form of liberalism as well.
It's a term with more than one meaning. In America it is pretty much synonymous with leftist.
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PhantomHill
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Adam Smith was not left-wing? I'd check that if I were you. The left-right spectrum is relative to different time periods, and in the 1700s Adam Smith was definitely left-wing. The right supported protectionism.
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Mair18919
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Also please stop confusing anti Globalist with 'far right'.
All the left wing parties in Britain self describe as 'liberal' as a euphemism for Globalist, but they are all for multinationals, the EU , open borders and free markets dictating the movement of people.
And they are anything but 'liberal' being against free speech and intolerant of those who disagree with them.
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wolfie3
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(Original post by fleky6910)
Why is that so many people confuse being a liberal with being left wing?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism
Please do some reading.
Hayek and Adam Smith were liberals and both were not left wing.

Neoliberalism is a form of liberalism and is right wing.(Milton Friedman was a liberal)

Libertarianism is a form of liberalism as well.
Isn't it ironic that you intended to correct inaccuracies yet right here you're making simplistic inaccuracies.
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Mair18919
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(Original post by PhantomHill)
Adam Smith was not left-wing? I'd check that if I were you. The left-right spectrum is relative to different time periods, and in the 1700s Adam Smith was definitely left-wing. The right supported protectionism.
What this underlines is what a silly and artificial spectrum right - left wing is!
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mahdachod
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Liberal is anything those cuunts Cleggers, Davey, Faron and Cable like.
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PhantomHill
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(Original post by Mair18919)
What this underlines is what a silly and artificial spectrum right - left wing is!
I think it's useless when talking about general ideas/principles/philosophy, but it's useful when talking about specific events or people from history, because the setting gives it more context.

But yeah, right/left in a general sense are useless. At different times both have promoted and attacked free markets and planned economy, free speech and censorship, totalitarianism and anarchy, conflict and collaboration. They tell you nothing on their own.
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