Since Oct 13, 2004
Classical Liberal (from Ralph Raico at the Mises Institute):
“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, in English-speaking countries at least (but not, for instance, in France), because liberalism has come to be associated with wide-ranging interferences with private property and the market on behalf of egalitarian goals. This version of liberalism if such it can still be called is sometimes designated as “social,” or (erroneously) “modern” or the “new,” liberalism. Here we shall use liberalism to signify the classical variety....
...Classical liberalism is often contrasted with a new social liberalism, which is supposed to have developed out of the classical variety around 1900. But social liberalism deviates fundamentally from its namesake at its theoretical root in that it denies the self-regulatory capacity of society: the state is called on to redress social imbalance in increasingly ramified ways. The plea that it intends to preserve the end of individual freedom, modifying only the means, is to classical liberals hardly to the point as much could be claimed for most varieties of socialism. In fact, social liberalism can scarcely be distinguished, theoretically and practically, from revisionist socialism. Furthermore, it can be argued that this school of thought did not develop out of classical liberalism around the turn of the century when, for instance, the alleged fraudulence of freedom of contract in the labor market is supposed to have been discovered. Social liberalism existed full-blown at least from the time of Sismondi, and elements of it (welfarism) can be found even in great classical-liberal writers such as Condorcet and Thomas Paine.
With the end of the classical-socialist project, classical liberals and antistatist conservatives may agree that it is contemporary social liberalism that now stands as the great adversary of civil society. The political preoccupation of classical liberals is, of necessity, to counteract the current now leading the world toward what Macaulay called “the all-devouring state” the nightmare that haunted Burke no less than Constant, Tocqueville, and Herbert Spencer. As older quarrels grow increasingly obsolete, liberals and antistatist conservatives may well discover that they have more in common than their forebears ever understood.
From the inimitable Ms. Ann Barnhardt: Beware of ANYONE who is constantly pushing one of these political or economic extremes, because both move AWAY FROM GOD, and ultimately meet up in the same place: hell. When far leftists are beating the drum of the poor and the people, that means there is about to be a massive, and utterly dehumanizing confiscation of wealth, which will end up in the hands of the oligarchs, and the poor will get poorer, thus necessitating more dehumanizing confiscations in the name of the poor. And that is when the dead bodies REALLY start to pile up. Run away from that evil at full speed. And when capitalism becomes unrestrained and there is no Rule of Law, and all that matters is who you know and what connections you have, and the only way to succeed is to be a thieving thug psychopath, then run away at full speed. Thats what I did.