When the term “liberalism” (from the Latin word liberalis, meaning “pertaining to a free man”) first emerged in the early 1800s, it was founded on an unwavering belief in individual rights, the rule of law, limited government, private property, and laissez faire economics. These would remain the defining characteristics of liberalism throughout the liberal epoch, generally identified as the period from 1815-1914.(from newsrealblog.com)
But many who call themselves “liberals” today are in fact leftists – i.e., the very antithesis of liberals. The modern Left – which traces its roots back to a faction of early-19th-century French liberals who proclaimed that capitalism and private property were agents of inevitable moral decay – is animated by a desire to topple the existing capitalist order and to replace it with a socialist regime where the utopian ideal of perfect equality will reign. Disingenuously portraying itself as an agent of enlightened commitment to “liberal” causes, today’s Left in fact rejects each of the liberal ideals enumerated in the preceding paragraph. We can readily observe, for instance, that the modern Left is the stalwart champion of:
By calling themselves “liberals,” leftists have entirely redefined the terms of debate. The media and the general public have largely gone along with this fraudulent self-identification, as evidenced by the fact that few people nowadays draw any distinction between liberalism in its original and authentic sense, and leftism — or socialism posing as “liberalism.”
- group rights and collective identity, rather than of individual rights and responsibilities (e.g., racial preferences, notions of collective guilt and innocence, and a devotion to identity politics generally);
- the circumvention of law rather than the rule of law (as exemplified by the flouting of immigration laws and nondiscrimination laws, and by a preference for judicial activism whereby judges co-opt the powers that rightfully belong to legislators);
- the expansion of government rather than its diminution (favoring ever-escalating taxes to fund a bloated welfare state and a government that oversees — and intervenes in — virtually every aspect of human life); and
- the redistribution of wealth (through punitive taxes and, again, a mushrooming welfare state), rather than its creation through free markets based on private property.
Ridicule is man's most potent weapon - Saul Alinsky
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