|Source:November Revolution Men- Professor Noam Chomsky talking about what he and other leftists call neoliberalism.|
"Chomsky and other intellectuals on neo-liberalism and corporativism."
The Frenchman who spoke in this video who was talking about liberalism, said (and I'm paraphrasing) that the Adam Smith's and other Liberals from his era, would be rolling in their graves about what's and who is supposed to pass as liberalism and Liberals today. So let's talk about what's supposed to pass as liberalism and the people who are supposed to be as Liberals today and then I'll get into who Liberals really are and liberalism actually is.
To put it simply, everyone and everything on the left, from the center-left, to left-wing, to far-left, even the far-left in Europe and the rest of the developed world outside of America, is supposed to pass as liberalism and people who support those political factions, are supposed to be the Liberals today. At least according to the so-called mainstream media in America, as well as American pop culture, not to the mention the closeted Socialists in America who still call themselves Liberals, because being outed as a leftist, scares the hell out of them.
It's not just the so-called Progressives (whether they're actually progressive or not) who get called Liberals today or self-describe that way(even if they're actually not that progressive) but Democratic Socialists and Communists as well, people who either want social democracy in America or think communism is the way to go and that it's not just capitalism that needs to be replaced, but democracy and even individual rights, checks and balances, etc.
To put it more simply and lightly, if you are an antiestablishment, hipster, revolutionary, who sort of talks like you just woke up and found out that it's no longer 1971 and it's now 2012, but you still have the same politics, lifestyle, culture, language, etc, and you are still trying to take down the man (meaning the establishment) and replace it with some type of socialist system, the mainstream media would call you a Liberal today. Even if you don't and that you weren't even called a Liberal 40 years ago, but a leftist instead.
The fact is this is what liberalism really is:
"Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law. Liberals espouse various views depending on their understanding of these principles. However, they generally support private property, market economies, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), liberal democracy, secularism, rule of law, economic and political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. Liberalism is frequently cited as the dominant ideology of modern history.
Liberalism became a distinct movement in the Age of Enlightenment, gaining popularity among Western philosophers and economists. Liberalism sought to replace the norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, the divine right of kings and traditional conservatism with representative democracy, rule of law and equality under the law. Liberals also ended mercantilist policies, royal monopolies and other trade barriers, instead promoting free trade and marketization. Philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct tradition based on the social contract, arguing that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property, and governments must not violate these rights. While the British liberal tradition has emphasized expanding democracy, French liberalism has emphasized rejecting authoritarianism and is linked to nation-building."
The reason why we have terms like Classical Liberal and Modern Liberal, I think a lot of that has to do with the Cold War. Before communism became a force in the Western World, it if anything was considered cool (or swell) to be a Socialist and perhaps even Communist, especially during the Great Depression in the 1930s, because Socialists and Communists then were seen as people who would look after working people and defend their rights to exist and have a quality life.
The Cold War changed Americans views of socialism and communism, to the point thanks to U.S. Government and private right-wing propaganda, Socialists and Communists were then during the Cold War, seen as Un-American and people who wanted to take down the American form of government and way of life and replace it with some type of socialist state and system.
Socialists have always been around in America, it's just that Cold War sort of forced them to go underground politically and call themselves Liberals or Progressives, but still have their socialist philosophy, ideas, and antiestablishment, hipster language. They went underground politically in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, etc, a certain extent today of leftists (who are called Socialists in the real world) who are terrified of people finding out they are Socialists. You would think socialism is some disease for them that they don't want touching them. Even though they're proud to publicly express their socialist beliefs, values, and rhetoric.
But for me, political philosophies and values don't change, people do. Liberalism is about individuals and defending their individual rights. Not always looking to expand the government, so the government can do the most possible for the people and people would have to do the least for themselves.
To go back to my original point about liberalism, the first Liberals would be rolling in their graves if they could see how so-called Modern Liberals have tried to hijack their great philosophy and tried to turn it in the opposite of what it's always been, which is about the individual, not the state.