To Walter: classical liberalism was born during the Renaissance by those who had access to and studied the classics for the first time. They were able to throw off the shackles of oppressive medieval conservatism and begin to expand their universe. That is my understanding from reading and studying the period. If you have a different one, please feel free to share it.
Classical liberalism (also known as traditional liberalism, laissez-faire liberalism, market liberalism or, outside the United States and Britain, sometimes simply liberalism) is a doctrine stressing individual freedom and limited government. This includes the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, individual freedom from restraint, constitutional limitation of government, free markets, and a gold standard to place fiscal constraints on government as exemplified in the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume, David Ricardo, Voltaire, Montesquieu and others. As such, it is the fusion of economic liberalism with political liberalism of the late 18th and 19th centuries. The "normative core" of classical liberalism is the idea that laissez-faire economics will bring about a spontaneous order or invisible hand that benefits the society, though it does not necessarily oppose the state's provision of some basic public goods with what constitutes public goods being seen as very limited. The qualification classical was applied retroactively to distinguish it from more recent, 20th-century conceptions of liberalism and its related movements, such as social liberalism, which promotes a more interventionist role for the state in economic matters. Classical liberals are suspicious of all but the most minimal government and object to the welfare state.
I went to Wikipedia and lifted their definition of Classical Liberalism as I mostly agree with their defintiion of what Classical Liberalism is, ...
Taken to a greater extreme, it becomes modern libertarianism (small 'L')
They were not addressing the 'birth' of classical liberalism but rather the philosophy that is contained within in.
Another conservative principle as assessed by Sowell was the decision to invade Iraq. Right or wrong, wise or ill advised, the decision was made on conservative principles and conservatives recognize that. Liberals, however, see that decision as a lie, dishonest, unethical, criminal, blood for oil, etc. and seem to be incapable of seeing anything else.
The modern American conservative is in fact pretty much what the classical liberal of the Rennaissance was.
foxfyre wrote:Another conservative principle as assessed by Sowell was the decision to invade Iraq. Right or wrong, wise or ill advised, the decision was made on conservative principles and conservatives recognize that. Liberals, however, see that decision as a lie, dishonest, unethical, criminal, blood for oil, etc. and seem to be incapable of seeing anything else.
Some would argue that these opinions are easily reconciled -- because lies, dishonesty, lack of ethics, law-braking, blood-for-oil etc. have all become conservative principles over the last few decades.
foxfyre wrote:The modern American conservative is in fact pretty much what the classical liberal of the Rennaissance was.
For the dissenting opinion of one distinguished classical liberal, I recommend Friedrich Hayek's essay on Why I am not a Conservative.
What particular salient point do you see that Hayek is making in this regard?
Let me return, however, to the main point, which is the characteristic complacency of the conservative toward the action of established authority and his prime concern that this authority be not weakened rather than that its power be kept within bounds. This is difficult to reconcile with the preservation of liberty. In general, it can probably be said that the conservative does not object to coercion or arbitrary power so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes. He believes that if government is in the hands of decent men, it ought not to be too much restricted by rigid rules. Since he is essentially opportunist and lacks principles, his main hope must be that the wise and the good will rule - not merely by example, as we all must wish, but by authority given to them and enforced by them. Like the socialist, he is less concerned with the problem of how the powers of government should be limited than with that of who wields them; and, like the socialist, he regards himself as entitled to force the value he holds on other people.
But was he addressing American conservatism as defined here?
In my perspective, conservatives have never been concerned with Clinton's personal life but focused exclusively on the perjury
This brings me to the first point on which the conservative and the liberal dispositions differ radically. As has often been acknowledged by conservative writers, one of the fundamental traits of the conservative attitude is a fear of change, a timid distrust of the new as such, while the liberal position is based on courage and confidence
. . . .The intellectual levels of politicians are just one of the many things that intellectuals have grossly misjudged for years on end.
During the 1930s, some of the leading intellectuals in America condemned our economic system and pointed to the centrally planned Soviet economy as a model-- all this at a time when literally millions of people were starving to death in the Soviet Union, from a famine in a country with some of the richest farmland in Europe and historically a large exporter of food.
New York Times Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for telling the intelligentsia what they wanted to hear-- that claims of starvation in the Ukraine were false.
After British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge reported from the Ukraine on the massive deaths from starvation there, he was ostracized after returning to England and unable to find a job.
More than half a century later, when the archives of the Soviet Union were finally opened up under Mikhail Gorbachev, it turned out that about six million people had died in that famine-- about the same number as the people killed in Hitler's Holocaust.
In the 1930s, it was the intellectuals who pooh-poohed the dangers from the rise of Hitler and urged Western disarmament.
It would be no feat to fill a big book with all the things on which intellectuals were grossly mistaken, just in the 20th century-- far more so than ordinary people.
History fully vindicates the late William F. Buckley's view that he would rather be ruled by people represented by the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard.
How have intellectuals managed to be so wrong, so often? By thinking that because they are knowledgeable-- or even expert-- within some narrow band out of the vast spectrum of human concerns, that makes them wise guides to the masses and to the rulers of the nation. But the ignorance of Ph.D.s is still ignorance and high-IQ groupthink is still groupthink, which is the antithesis of real thinking.
Believing that liberalism is still in the clutches of aging hippies is a quaint notion of pinched-brained conservatives.