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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Political Fundamentalists—A Grave Threat to World Liberty

Political Fundamentalists—A Grave Threat to World Liberty:

I. What is Modern Liberalism

Those demanding that Conservatives be politically sidelined are modern liberals—but what is modern liberalism? This definition is essential. Scholars claim the term “liberal” was employed during the last three centuries to describe the theories espoused by advocates of liberty. Then, around the turn of last century, socialists decided this term would be helpful to spread their ideas. Writes historian of Liberty Ralph Raico.

“Classical liberalism” is the term used to designate the ideology advocating private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade. Up until around 1900, this ideology was generally known simply as liberalism.

The qualifying “classical” is now usually necessary because liberalism has come to be associated with wide-ranging interferences with private property and the market on behalf of egalitarian goals, ie socialism.