Tuesday, January 1, 2008



One of the most frustrating issue during this election is the MISS USE of the word Liberal(ism) (by both the Republicans and Democrats). Democrats say it with pride and Republicans treat it as a bad word. However, they have both twisted and misused this word to a point that its definition has changed.

Initially, the word Socialism had a negative connotation to it – as it is part of the genus of collectivism and similar to communism. The NAZIs were the National Socialist Party. So it is obvious that people in the US do not really want to call themselves Socialist. However – Liberal and Liberalism in this country are used synonymously with socialism – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

It is interesting that the rest of the world uses Liberal to mean something COMPLETELY different than what we here in the U.S. think of as Liberal. The Democrat and Republican miss use of the word has lead to having to ADD the word CLASSIC in front of Liberal to refer to its intended original meaning.

Classic Liberalism: (a doctrine stressing individual freedom and limited government – individual property rights, natural rights, protection of civil liberties, constitutional limitations of government, free markets, and individual freedom from restraint.) It is a derivative of Liberty – not Socialism!

When I hear someone say they are a "liberal" (inferring they are for more social programs and nationalizing of services) – it is frustrating. Not that I have a problem with their view (that is a different matter) it is the use of the word – they should just say they are a Socialist. The frustration lies in that they have no IDEA what liberalism means. We have completely changed the meaning of the word – we ignorant fools.

The reason for the change – no one wants to call themselves a Socialist – because of the possible negative connotation – but that is WHAT we mean in this country when someone is referred to a liberal or liberalism. I am a liberal – but only in the CLASSICAL sense (as it pertains to liberty) – what the founding fathers and the rest of the world consider a Liberal. Unfortunately I have to use the word Classic in front of liberal – since the meaning in this country has changed so drastically. Even when I say Classic Liberal – people think I am some Far Left Socialist– which couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is too bad that the Democrats and Republicans have butchered that very important word the defines what our founding fathers fought for.

In Europe when you say you are a Liberal - you are FOR free markets, smaller government, and NO social programs. They still use the classic sense of the word - and have not twisted it into something completely different.

The brilliance of the Democrats changing the world Liberal to its current utilization of more government, social programs, and nationalization - is almost as good as the marketing genius behind "Intelligent Design" by the Right to get religious theory taught in schools. Whoever is responsible for these bits of marketing genius should probably move into the advertising field.

It is time to bring back that beloved word that is a derivative of Liberty and restore its original meaning!


Anonymous said...

This is entirely wrong!
1)implicit in classical liberalism is the redistribution of wealth, not just rights (see: against liberalism by Kekes)
2)socialism refers to government owning all private means of production
3)it is the word socialism, which has been expanded to mean other things, making it nonreferencial.

Ragnar Danneskjold said...

I think there maybe some confussion. It could be my fault for not writing as clear as one would of liked.

Classical Liberalism is the doctrine of individual freedom and free markets. Not the redistribution of wealth. Webster’s has it defined as “a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition”. The Economist has clearly stated on several occasions that their economic philosophy is Liberal and has explained in the past that it is NOT what those in the U.S. believe to be Liberal. Wikipedia even added “Classical” to infer to the original intended meaning (as found in Webster’s). The root word is Liberty – not collectivism.

As per Socialism, it doesn’t necessarily mean the government owning ALL private means of production – that is usually an extreme view of Socialism. Sweden is a Socialist country – but there are many private industries in Sweden. Socialism is a form of collectivism – advocating for a collective and/or government administered and/or owned production of goods. The government doesn’t need to own all business – but Socialism may derive in a government mandated, controlled, and owned services as well.

However, you are right – Socialism – just like Liberalism has been expanded to mean other things.

But may I point out that the recent changes in this country have clearly reflected a MOVE towards Socialism.

Freddie and Fannie – nationalized (controlled and administered by the government)

AIG – nationalized (majority owned by the government)

Citi – (majority owned by the government)

GM – (bailout money, CEO fired, bankruptcy in the cards, about the be managed by the government)

National Health Care

We are moving towards Socialism – as defined by Webster’s.