We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

More news from the semantic battlefront…

Several readers have written in on the subject of the term ‘liberal’ and the following e-mails from Evan McElravy and Joe Clibbens also make good points

Evan McElravy writes:

It’s worth noting that the positive connotations of our ideology are so overwhelming that not only have the left stolen “liberal” from us, they are now working on “libertarian” too. Noam Chomsky, notoriously, refers to himself as a “libertarian socialist” and I was just the other day reading an article claiming much the same ground for Rosa Luxembourg, on the basis that she opposed Bolshevik centralism. The independent bookstore Book People in Austin, TX, where I just returned from, has their political books organized roughly by orientation. In the conservative shelf is Pat Buchanan along with David Boaz’s The Libertarian Reader, and a few other books of theirs and ours muddled together, while the “Liberal/Libertarian” shelf is home to Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, and Ralph Nader, as well as those more mainstream liberal writers you’d expect. On the other hand, the magazine section had more copies of Reason than anywhere I’d ever been, prominently displayed, and outnumbering widely The Nation and the National Review. So I’ll give them some credit, even if their history section was decidedly pedestrian.

Joe Clibbens writes:

I could not agree with you more in this campaign, and I myself have for years used the ‘liberal’ label, albeit with the necessary addition of ‘classical’ in certain company, whenever possible and never use it to refer to social democrats, but I am writing to suggest you expand it to other hijacked terminology.

The term progressive has its roots firmly in liberalism, while socialism has always been reactionary and luddite. Every time I hear a socialist referred to as ‘progressive’ I go all bug-eyed, they are in fact the very antithesis of its true meaning.

Of course ‘leftist’, traditionally speaking, would also denote minimal government, and the socialist bludgeoning of the left-right paradigm is the very reason it no longer makes any sense.

Still, all’s fair in love and propaganda, but it’s time we started fighting back.

Up the Revolution!

[Ed: I have always preferred ‘Up the Evolution!’ myself, for rational libertarians are nothing if not radical evolutionaries]

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