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Two can play at this game

I think I may have stumbled upon (or possibly even coined) a counter-cultural smear word for deployment by the good guys against the bad.

I was having lunch with a business associate today and, at some point, conversation turned to discussion of a mutual acquaintance. While groping for the right words to describe this persons character, the word “liberophobe” just seemed to pop out of my mouth.

Liberophobia – an irrational fear of freedom.

I do not not know whether this word popped out of my brain prior to popping out of mouth or whether is was lying subliminally in wait as a result of my having heard the word elsewhere. In any event, I am far more concerned about spreading this meme than I am about claiming any moral rights to the term.

‘Liberophobic’. I like it and I recommend that it be put to good use by whoever feels so inclined.

22 comments to Two can play at this game

  • Tim Starr

    Actually, there’s already a perfectly good word for this: agoraphobia. It’s just usually used only in a psychological context, not a political one.

  • sark

    Tim, agoraphobia is a fear of open or public places, not freedom!

    I prefer the word ‘life hater’ for such folks myself 😛

  • Hank Scorpio

    Fear of Liberians?

  • ernest young

    Or Libertarians, or even Librarians…:-)

  • or liberals, in the 20th century sense.

    “a person illogically afraid of helping those in need”, is what they’ll spin it.

    how do you say ‘jack boot’ in latin? [insert]ophelia

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    How about neo-socialist? G-d knows the left have turned the otherwise devoid of meaning “neoliberal” and “neoconservative” into slur words.

  • I like “liberophobia”, because people will first think they know what it means, and then will realize they have to stop and check what it means… it can help break a rant’s rhythm.

    There’s a previously-existing Greek term, though, “eleutherophobia”. I think I picked it up through Robert Anton Wilson years ago.

  • Tim Haas

    If you’re going to mix Latin and Greek, it should probably be libertophobia — “libertas” being the Latin for “freedom”. “Libero” would more plausibly be fear of books (liber, libri) or children (liberi).

  • liberalophobic – liberalophobia is better, but you certainly were on the right track. “LIBER” is shared with liber-tarian, liber-tine, and Liber-ace, unfortunately.

  • Oscar

    Librophobe: one who is afraid of people born between September 24 and October 23.

  • Well, I got what you meant, Tim, coz I is posh. Not so posh as to actually speak Latin, mind, but I’m pretty sure “agora” means marketplace.

  • Tim Starr

    Natalie is correct, “agora” does mean marketplace, but it’s Greek, not Latin. 🙂 So, “agoraphobia” in a political sense means fear of markets – “open” or free markets.

    Makes a nice fit with “hoplophobia” – fear of armed citizens.

  • Love it, but aren’t they all just Blunketts?

  • Nifty new word David. I plan to use it often and with intent.

  • Kevin Smith

    How about the fip-side of the liberophobe coin?


    Pretty much describes the French, oui?

    (Now, boys, no cracks confusing tyrannophile with “tyrannosaurophile.”)

  • I like it. It describes perfectly the type of person who rants on about “forces of conservatism”, “neo-conservatives” and “reactionaries”. Maxicaligulaphiles to the man/woman/person! Tyranophile has a nice ring to it as well – I feel another post coming on!

  • Guy Herbert

    As an agoraphobic, I can verify that it derives from the Greek for marketplace. Most agoraphobics aren’t really frightened of the space–it isn’t really the opposite of claustrophobia–it is more encountering the people who might be in it, thus a marketplace is perfectly apt. It is not the market but the people gathered for it that are the problem.

    Was this posting prompted by Blunkett’s recent attack on the “liberati”? I couldn’t help noticing that libertus (pl.liberati) means a freedman, traditionally sneered at by the Roman magisterial classes for expecting to be treated as better than the slave he once was. The psycholinguistics are clear, the (no doubt classically educated, even if Blunkett isn’t) Home Office looks on anyone insisting on their freedom in the same light as the Klan did the “uppity niggers” who felt their lot might change.

    Somehow I don’t feel effectively degraded by that. Manumission from Blunkett seems like a noble cause.

  • M. Simon

    The French are liver philic and liber phobic.

  • Guy Herbert

    Well if they like Merseyside, it is alright by me if they take it away.

  • Tim Haas

    I found one instance of “libertophobia”
    in Google, from 2003. Surely a precedent!

  • Tim Starr

    Tyannophile is a good one that I haven’t seen before. I have seen “cratophile” before, used to describe one who loved to be ruled (e.g., Canadians :-).

  • Dan

    Tyrannophile neo-Communists is an excellent description of International ANSWER.Michael Moore, the Castro apologists, the IRA lovers, the Dhimmis, and many of the other mainstays of the socialist left.