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AnxiousAtypical
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Is Classical Liberal left, centre, or right ring?

I know people label themselves as classical liberal but they don’t call themselves liberals.

What the difference? Is is similar to Libertainism
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CountBrandenburg
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Classical liberals at least from my perspective are centre right. They do have quite a bit common ground with Libertarians but for different reasons ( whilst Libertarians tend to see the existence of government as a necessary they see that it must be limited at all costs to allow for progress)
Classical liberals base their entire thoughts on freedom and see that the government has a necessary role to play, and that the rule of law is important to maintain this freedom. Thus it’s an ideology based on the free market (laissez faire policies especially seem during the mid to late 19th century) but the government must also provide services ( not that many though) that cannot be maintained by the free markets.
The divergence between modern liberals and classical liberals seem to be on rights, where modern liberals see that it’s the government’s job to enshrine these rights into policy and taxation is needed to maintain these rights, hence initiating more government involvement. Classical liberals see it as that the best guarantors of rights is the individuals themselves and it shouldn’t fall to the government to do so, since more government would counterintuitively lead to the subversion of these liberties
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HighOnGoofballs
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(Original post by CountBrandenburg)
Classical liberals at least from my perspective are centre right. They do have quite a bit common ground with Libertarians but for different reasons ( whilst Libertarians tend to see the existence of government as a necessary they see that it must be limited at all costs to allow for progress)
Classical liberals base their entire thoughts on freedom and see that the government has a necessary role to play, and that the rule of law is important to maintain this freedom. Thus it’s an ideology based on the free market (laissez faire policies especially seem during the mid to late 19th century) but the government must also provide services ( not that many though) that cannot be maintained by the free markets.
The divergence between modern liberals and classical liberals seem to be on rights, where modern liberals see that it’s the government’s job to enshrine these rights into policy and taxation is needed to maintain these rights, hence initiating more government involvement. Classical liberals see it as that the best guarantors of rights is the individuals themselves and it shouldn’t fall to the government to do so, since more government would counterintuitively lead to the subversion of these liberties
I disagree.

Classical Liberals and Libertarians are two sides of the same coin in my opinion. You are correct in stating that Libertarians generally focus on decreasing government power whereas Classical Liberals focus on strengthening rights, however, Libertarians, in their crusade to decrease government outreach, in practice, end up strengthening individual rights (since government power is the largest threat to these rights) and Classical Liberals, in their crusade to enshrine human rights, end up decreasing the side of the government (since the government in the biggest threat to the rights they wish to preserve).

So essentially, Libertarians, and Classical Liberals end up reaching the same end product broadly, even though their goals are different.
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TCA2b
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(Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
I disagree.

Classical Liberals and Libertarians are two sides of the same coin in my opinion. You are correct in stating that Libertarians generally focus on decreasing government power whereas Classical Liberals focus on strengthening rights, however, Libertarians, in their crusade to decrease government outreach, in practice, end up strengthening individual rights (since government power is the largest threat to these rights) and Classical Liberals, in their crusade to enshrine human rights, end up decreasing the side of the government (since the government in the biggest threat to the rights they wish to preserve).

So essentially, Libertarians, and Classical Liberals end up reaching the same end product broadly, even though their goals are different.
Agreed. Classical liberals like Locke would be seen as anything but centre-right these days. Ironically, these people were the "left" in their time (in terms of where they took seats in the French assembly and given that they were vehement opponents of state-granted privileges), but classical liberalism is but a few steps removed from right-libertarianism.
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FakeNewsEditor
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(Original post by AnxiousAtypical)
Is Classical Liberal left, centre, or right ring?

I know people label themselves as classical liberal but they don’t call themselves liberals.

What the difference? Is is similar to Libertainism
Classical liberalism is simply a form of Libertarianism. Libertarianism includes a lot of sub-ideologies. From anarcho-capitalism on the extreme side to centrist "neoliberalism". All those people, anarcho-capitalists, minarchists, neoliberals of the right, etc call themselves libertarians.

Classical liberals themselves are further subdivided. From someone like Ludwig von Mises who was basically a minarchist (minarchists are the standard libertarians in a sense - who believe the government has to provide national defence, courts, police and pretty much nothing else) to someone like Hayek who was basically a centrist "neoliberal" (Hans Hoppe has called him a sort of social democrat).

In short, all classical liberals are libertarians but not all libertarians are classical liberals. The main forms of classical liberalism are minarchism and what is nowadays called "neoliberalism". The latter is more complicated to explain because there is no set policy package they propose, just a general belief in free-markets, free trade, private property, etc but might include quite a few government interventions like social insurance and unemployment benefits (yes people like Hayek supported both of those things).
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PTMalewski
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The division for the left and the right is obsolete and terribly inaccurate.
It was good in the XIXth century, when the hybrid ideologies turned up.

National-socialism for example, how do you want to classify that? Saying it's either left or right is just wrong, as it clearly has properties of from both wings.

The two-axis divisions are much better



there are however many ways to construct them. I think any division without specific definitions of particular ideologies are worthless anyway.
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bob072
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(Original post by AnxiousAtypical)
Is Classical Liberal left, centre, or right ring?

I know people label themselves as classical liberal but they don’t call themselves liberals.

What the difference? Is is similar to Libertainism
It doesn't really fit on the modern left-right scale, they don't just call themselves liberals because that word has been claimed by very unliberal people.

It's basically being accepting and tolerant of everyone and letting people live their lives how they want (as long as not harming others).
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by bob072)

It's basically being accepting and tolerant of everyone and letting people live their lives how they want (as long as not harming others).
And for a very important reason: liberalism is a doctrine aware on limitations of human perception and freedom of human mind.
It knows that we generally lack exact information on most if not all of things, so enforcing someone to do something that or other way, can be harmful because the enforcer may be terribly wrong. In these aspect, liberalism is against any form of totalitarianism or authoritarianism, whatever civil or religious one.

Also you cannot change people's opinions by the force, so liberalism says they should have freedom of thinking, to prevent cynicism, hypocrisy and discontent which may lead to rebellions or revolutions.

In these terms, progressive liberalism is the opposite to classical liberalism.
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