Is Liberalism Dead?

Co-editor Fred Foldvary kicks off the discussion:

The word “Liberal” comes from the same root as “liberty.” Liberalism is the ideology of equal individual freedom, the natural right of all persons to do anything that is peaceful and honest. It is implemented by a constitutional law that prohibits coercive harm to others and avoids restricting or imposing a cost on all other human action.

In the modern era, liberal philosophy blossomed after the publication of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government […]

Internationally, liberalism became a global ideology with the recognition of universal human rights by the United Nations. But during the early 1800s, liberalism already started losing its way. While it marched forward for civil rights, such as the equal right to vote, liberalism became confused in the economic front.

Classical liberalism called for freedom on all fronts, including the economic, where it opposed state-imposed monopolies as well as restrictions on trade. Pure liberalism implies a truly free economy […] Liberalism also includes the spirit of tolerant generosity, the acceptance of diverse viewpoints. Tolerance is the heart of liberalism. Economic liberalism died with the Great Depression of the 1930s, and now we are witnessing the death of liberal tolerance.

Do read the whole thing, as he has much to say about anti-Semitism in Europe and the demise of libertarian strains of thought.

2 thoughts on “Is Liberalism Dead?

  1. Classical liberalism is dead, in my opinion. So long as there are people willing to trade their freedom for free stuff, modern liberalism and it’s variety of ism forms will never die. Our best hope is to suppress it by appealing to the more moral side of man that believes in the value of choosing one’s path to life, using one’s abilities, however disparate, to make the best life, possible in the pursuit of happiness and the importance of recognizing and respecting the individual privacy and property rights of others and insisting that others do the same. A sad summary, but one I think is close to the truth.

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