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]

Real liberals standing up!

Bravo David Carr! I must say I agree that the word liberal, often used as a term of abuse across the big ditch, needs to be rescued. To my mind, the term connotes open-mindedness, freedom, skepticism about overweening plans for the betterment of mankind, endorsement of the free market and respect for privacy. Thanks to Roosevelt’s New Deal, and the “reforms” of the British Asquith government before the First World War, however, it has taken on an altogether more interventionist meaning since then, both in the U.S. and to a lesser extent, in the U.K. David is quite right to note, too, that liberal means something closer to what I hope it does mean when used in Continental Europe.

I think this issue of terminology matters because of the need by genuine liberals to distinguish themselves from conservatives, who may buy the economic side of liberalism but reject the social/cultural part, such as Britain’s Conservative Party. Vive la liberte!

Tom Burroughes (tom.burroughes@reuters.com)

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