WHY MODERN “LIBERALISM” IS FAR FROM LIBERAL
Let’s admit it, in the modern world it’s safe to identify yourself as a liberal. Actually, it’s the safest option of all: you simply can’t do anything wrong. “Centrist” is dull, “Communist” or “Marxist” is hip, but there are still people who consider it ‘radical’. Some of them could even be your potential employers, for whom “Socialist” dangerously reminds of the Cold War and trade unions. However, being Right Wing is “literally Hitler”.
But liberal- is all about freedom, right? And who would be against freedom? Nobody, that’s obvious. Within the last decades, „Liberalism“ has developed into a sort of default mindset for people who consider themselves educated, but don’t really care about politics. It universally fits for everybody, like some kind of State-sanctioned politically-correct glove. The only problem is: the term “Liberalism” has often been misused, misinterpreted and altogether misunderstood.
WORTHY OF A FREE PERSON
Originally Liberal had nothing to do with Libertine. Liberal was linked to the sciences/arts and also philosophy – thus the “Liberal Arts” i.e. artes liberales, subjects and skills that in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free person – base origin Latin: Liberalis = “worthy of a free person”. They were considered to be intrinsic to becoming noble, these included participating in public debate, defending oneself in court, serving on juries, and most importantly, military service. Grammar, logic, and rhetoric were the core liberal arts, while arithmetic, geometry, the theory of music, and astronomy also played a part.
However, people tend to conflate the term Liberal today with Liberal Arts Education, which is a modern term that is interpreted in different ways, usually refer to overall studies in a liberal arts degree program covering the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities. Since the mid to late 20th century it has been primarily focused on humanities and social sciences… which is where “new” studies/academic courses developed for example: gender studies, environmentalism, youth studies, disability studies, dialectology, ethnic studies, a variety cross-cultural studies including a plethora of “meme” type of “studies” like Cultural dissonance, Media archaeology, Popular culture studies etc…
Where am I going with this? Well… the fact is the term Liberal in it’s classical sense has been engineered/adapted to refer to what Libertine used to refer to, and today Liberal now is similar. Difference? Libertine is connected to sexual proclivity, however this was not the case originally.
See Libertinism originally was the practice/belief in rejecting moral, class, societal and/or sexual restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctified by the larger society. We find this inherent, because Cultural-Marxism in fact adapted Libertinism, enforced it within it’s academic culture… where we see today a total outrage/disdain against traditions/customs and morality overall.
LIBERALISM WAS CONSERVATISM
The term Liberal originally referenced people who wished to become enlightened, and educate themselves to nobility. Liberalism was Conservatism. Conservatism didn’t even exist as a mainstream term up until the 20th century. Western Conservatism is often conflated with the Restoration/Loyalist movements of the 1660s in the United Kingdom. This again is a Modern interpretation by adapting words to justify misrepresentation. Toryism was far from conservative, and more so Loyalist (to the King/monarchy).
Tories opposed the idea that sovereignty derived from the people, and rejected the authority of parliament and freedom of religion. The conservatives ironically always refer back to liberal minds like Edmund Burke (of the Whig Party – an anti-Loyalist) as the originator of the Conservative movement in the West along with David Hume an empirical Naturalist. Both were Neo-Platonists – thereby they saw the prevalence of an authoritative ruler, but one that is educated, intelligent and overall a philosopher King.
Other contributors to this movement from a more authoritarian angle were Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Francis Bacon. So you see Classical Liberalism converges to the origins of the actual Western Conservative movement. Ask any true Whig or conservative, or European Republican (not a Loyalist/Royalist) who they admire or consider as an icon for the movement, most will point to Burke, Hume or even Hobbes.
Royalists and Loyalists were not conservatives, Conservatism applies to conserving the traditional values/customs of a society but nonetheless adhering to liberal principles (those same liberal principles from antiquity) to enlighten, embolden and advance – as well as rule, the nation.
WHO PUT “NEO” IN NEOLIBERALISM?
Neoliberalism is simply another “new” term in the lexicon of Newspeak, which is no different from Neoconservatism. Both essentially represent the same thing – they are “mutations” of the modern equivalent, only focused on the new order of globalism. So it has nothing to do with “free markets”, “free speech”, “individual freedom” and other fundamental values of Classical Liberalism. The idea in itself is not unlike Neo-nazism or neo-fascism. It is the same thing but adapted/applied to advance towards a cohesive modernized model – in this case the new political demagoguery of globalism – the post-modern “new” political/economic doctrine. Conservatives in name but submit to the globalist platform, just as “Liberals” on the Left.
The difference between Liberalism and Neoliberalism is not only markets, but indeed it has a major factor – as globalism does indeed refer to both. And what is Globalism? It is an advanced extension of International-Socialism. The think tank of socialism applied to a greater extent for the rest of the world, one where the ideology/ideals and values of Socialism would be applied on a universal basis. The trouble is Neoliberalism has often been misused in the U.S./Europe to refer to economic laissez-faire free market liberalism, merely because it refers to liberal economic ideas applied through the lens of a progressive and expansionist model – therefore, less capitalist and much more corporatist. This is where the lines begin to get blurred because words have been re-applied or adapted for redefinition. Liberal no longer means what it once did; instead it focuses on the progressivism perpetuated by the Socialist doctrine on an Internationalist level.
However, this doesn’t always apply to the rest of the world. In Russia, for over more than a century under the disastrous system of a “command economy”, the modern conservative government introduced free trade and a flat-scale tax, which made its economy actually more liberal than the European model, in the classical sense of this term. In other places across Europe, true Liberals are considered conservative nowadays: take the original Republican movements of Spain, Italy and Romania, now misguided and placed on the “Left” against the Loyalist/Royal “Neoconservatives”. This confusion emanates from the Spanish Civil War (more on this in another article).
The trouble is (in this case at least), most people want to refer to the Liberal economic theory. This is an ENTIRELY different thing. Once again economics is not the sole factor that refers to ideological political practice… Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, J. S. Mill’s Principles in 1848, Say’s law, Malthus theories of population and Ricardo’s iron law of wages which have all become central doctrines of classical economics.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the principles of classical liberalism were being increasingly challenged by downturns in economic growth, a growing perception of the evils of poverty, unemployment and relative deprivation present within modern industrial cities, and the agitation of organized labour. The ideal of the self-made individual (adaptation of the original concept from Neo-Platonist’s Philosopher King), who through hard work and talent could make his or her place in the world, seemed increasingly implausible. A major political reaction against the changes introduced by industrialisation and laissez-faire capitalism came from conservatives concerned about social balance – this would later see the cancer of Socialism grow and develop, and subvert….
THE NEW BEGINNINGS
“New Liberals” began to adapt the old language of liberalism to confront these difficult circumstances, which they believed could only be resolved through a broader and more interventionist conception of the state. And this is where the unholy alliance of Western values of classical liberalism/conservative Republicanism etc. were submerged into the tyrannical Socialist doctrine
But why and how did Classical Liberalism eventually get distorted in its true natural definition to later refer to represent the ideals of Progressivism and Liberal-Socialism? In order to understand how this developed we need to explore the evolution of the Left/Right Wing spectrum from the mid 1700s to the modern era, by dismantling the terms and observing the ideologies that properly refer to each side. All this and how Socialism has been the overall debilitating factor behind a larger-scale agenda will be in a new featured article.