Liberals stray from the path

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The Article

Classic liberalism was abandoned

SALEM, Oregon—I tell my Republican friends here the ongoing tragedy of modern-day liberalism is so few professed Liberals today are really liberal.

Not in the classical sense.

How many so-called liberals today adhere to the philosophies of John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek or Ludwig von Mises?

All these philosophers and economists believed in smaller government, greater personal freedom, and spreading economic benefits to every level of society.

They believed big government stymied economic growth and prosperity. That big government inevitably meant more and more regulations enforced on individuals and regimentation of the population.

And big government meant big taxes, thereby making average people poorer rather than richer, and the poorer you are the less personal liberty you have.

Yet both Democrats in the U.S. and Liberals in Canada have moved away from Classical Liberalism into Big Statism.

They have forgotten what Locke, Smith, Mill, Hayek and Von Mises had to say.

Locke’s Two Treatistes of Government (1690) greatly influenced Thomas Jefferson, which basically says it all.

It was Smith in The Wealth of the Nations (1776) who first realized free trade brought cheaper goods to consumers and bound nations together out of mutual needs.

In On Liberty (1859) Mill contended government should only enact laws—or regulate the rights of individuals—if an individual’s personal actions were a threat to someone else.

Hayek, in one of the most clearly-stated books ever written, clearly demonstrated in The Road to Serfdom (1944) big government, Communist or socialist, trapped people in chains while free enterprise enhanced their liberty.

Von Mises in The Anti-Capitalist Mentality (1956) argued those who oppose free enterprise do so generally out of bitterness of their own failure. They are pessimists, not optimists.

Today’s Liberals have in reality become socialists, or even worse Nihilists, believing in nothing.

In a very real way, today’s Conservatives are the Classical Liberals of yesterday. They adhere to the principles of Locke, Smith, Mill, Hayek and Von Mises.

Coincidentally, two Canadian think tanks promoting classical Liberal values are The Fraser Institute and Reform party founder Preston Manning’s own institution The Manning Centre for Building Democracy.

That today’s so-called Liberals mock and scorn these fonts of research and wisdom, is one more indication of how today’s Liberals have subverted their own historical philosophy.

Aside from casting aside classical liberal values, today’s Liberals—or so-called Liberals—have tarnished themselves in another way.

They have become intolerant. Not liberal-minded at all.

Oh, they will claim to be tolerant and open-minded, but they are only tolerant and open-minded so long as you agree with their views.

Disagree with them, and you are a reactionary, a racist, a bigot, mean, greedy and unfeeling towards the underprivileged.

Not only do they feel Conservative values—actually classical liberal values—are invalid but they feel no one should have a right to even espouse those values.

The dialogue must always be one-sided.

Conservatives—and the root of the word says it all, conserving what is of value in our world whether it be the environment or moral standards—have a firm set of principles that serves both them and our society well.

All based on time-proven principles of classical liberalism.


Paul Jackson
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