Liberalism Hijacked

In almost every single conversation I have ever had on the subject of politics, at one point or another, members of the Democratic Party are referred to as Liberals, this bothers me...



When started in 1828, the Democratic party was truly, classically Liberal, promoting policies for maximum social and economic freedom.  However, starting during the Great Depression in 1929, the Democratic party began a move away from its Classical Liberal roots toward its current prevailing philosophy of Social Liberalism.

Naturally, this raises the question for those less pedantic than myself about the meaning and usage of words "both say Liberal on the tin, how are they different".  In short, the difference is quite vast.  Classical liberalism emphasizes civil liberty, political freedom, and free market capitalism, in other words, maximum individual liberty with minimal government intervention.  In contrast, Social Liberalism places maximum emphasis on social justice, equality (often of outcome rather than of opportunity), and the use of a market economy.  In general, Social Liberals believe in much more state intervention both economically and socially.  Using these definitions, most Libertarian and many Republican Voters (unlike their politician class) could reasonably be classified as Classical Liberals, while Democrats and Green Party members can mostly be generalized as Social Liberals.



Why do I feel the word Liberal has been Hijacked?  Because liberty in Western Culture can be defined as the maintenance of maximum individual and economic freedom, with minimal interference from Society or the State.  Using this definition, many common tenants of Social Liberalism are antithetical to a true state of liberty.  Unfortunately, there has been a vilification of the term "liberal" into little more than a label for left-wing politics.



So, my request is that anyone who reads this changes the way they speak.  Stop adding to the denigration of the good name of Liberalism and try to gain a better understanding of the terms used to describe western political history. 

This is a mockup. Publish to view how it will appear live.

Andrew Epps