What is the true definition of a Liberal?

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posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 11:52 PM
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Our founding fathers fought to be free from the British empire, they fought so we could enjoy many freedoms that they did not have.

Being a Liberal does not mean one is a Democrat as many people on here think, that cannot be further from the truth. Over the past few months I've been researching and thinking what being a liberal is really about and I came to this conclusion.

I believe that being a liberal means that you support the liberty of everyone to do with their bodies whatever they want to, without the state or federal government interfering. Everyone should have the same freedoms and I don't think any law should be passed that stems from a politician's religious beliefs or from what a holy book says. Our founding fathers tried to make sure this did not happen by including the separation of church and state in the Constitution.

I do not consider myself a Democrat nor a Republican. I consider myself a Liberal because I believe that the Liberal ideology in it's purest form, was the basis on which the United States was founded.

A lot of people accuse Liberals of supporting big government, but I don't think that to be true. I think we need a federal government to protect our liberties.




Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one ...
- Thomas Paine, Common Sense




posted on Sep, 2 2012 @ 11:59 PM
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reply to post by muse7
 


I think that these terms, liberal and conservative, have become severely distorted over the past few decades ( Since Reagan ) and possibly even far before that.

My belief is that it really is coming down to personality type. I'm thought of as a liberal because I tend to empathize with people in trouble. Sick people, injured people, weak people, old people... Anyone who isn't able to properly stand up for themselves. This also can be applied to my thoughts on disenfranchised folks. Take drug addicts for example... I'm of a mind that helping them is preferable to locking them away in cages without any support to overcome addiction. I'd rather pitch in to pay for support or rehab of these folks than to have to simply foot the bill for their imprisonment. I'd rather give a bit of what I have so that others don't end up wandering the streets, begging me for money because they have no other recourse or option.

In and of itself, this is somewhat selfish of me. I want to pay up front to avoid being asked to pay later, you might say.

The people who I think of as too conservative tend to be much more self-oriented. They tend to react, IMO, from a place of fear. They worry that others are going to cost them theirs. And this is sad to me. Reacting from a place of fear and protectionism, historically, never works out very well.

Giving these labels to political parties is highly divisive and polarizing. It's counter productive to the big picture and to America ( or any other nation ).

I wish it were different.

~Heff



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 12:07 AM
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Ive always considered myself a liberal. But what I have found is that I am a true conservative. What I have found is that I do believe in many of things that liberals do. However and no offense, I have found that many of my lib are friends are very superficial or shall I say hypocritical.



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I agree with you, I think a lot of people throw around these labels without knowing their true meanings. I don't think the current political system of 2 parties can be considered liberal or conservative. I think they have become a joke, they are controlled by whoever donates the most money to them. Maybe when we realize this, and take action to fix this country and return it to the top where it once was, maybe then our founding fathers can stop rolling in their graves.

I think our country is falling apart, we need to find some common ground on which to move forward. before it's too late.



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 12:36 AM
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Classical liberalism (libertarianism) and social liberalism are two vastly different ideologies.



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 12:36 AM
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reply to post by muse7
 


At one time Liberal meant standing for liberty in terms of personal thoughts and actions.

In the last few decades however the term has become somewhat associated with the concept of political correctness, which dictates how people will think.

Telling people how they must think is not liberalism in the traditional sense.

By the way, academic studies show that right wing people are actually more altruistic than left wing people.

Liberals on the other hand tend to talk a better game of being altruistic.

While this tends to appear counter intuitive, right wing people are more likely to actually personally help the group (with the group more narrowly defined), while liberals are more likely to force others (principally through co-coercion of the state) to help a much more widely defined group (for instance, government taxation being spent on foreign aid programs).



edit on 3-9-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by muse7
 


My favoured definition of a liberal is:One who recognises that everyone is free to pursue his/her beliefs/Ideals as long as there is no harm caused by those beliefs/Ideals to another,that everyone has the right to choose who they wish their political leaders to be(proportional representation).Your body is yours to do with as you wish and any such choices made by the free will of the individual is not to be the subject of political legislation.
In short live and let live.



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by muse7
 


Of course it doesn't mean dem or republican. A conservative is conservative about spending and creating laws. They less they spend and the fewer laws they make the more conservative they are. It has zero to do with religious, morals, etc. Obviously anyone looking to prevent gay marriage is suggesting creating a law defining marriage, that is liberal. Any law limiting a woman's right to choose is superflous, and liberal.

A liberal solves problems with spending and creating laws (which generally just creates more problems). It doesn't matter the natura of the laws morality, or if they are socially conservative. The nature of the law isn't what makes it liberal or conservative.

It's a deception that has mislead millions of people. The definition has been muddled intentionally. Probably at one point the GOP needed the extra votes and had to appeal more to christians and started changing the defition of conservative. A lot of people probably like how the word conservative fits into their lives, but they are very liberal people that like to push their opinions and lifestyles on other people.

Romney is in fact a liberal, as is Obama.
edit on 3-9-2012 by GogoVicMorrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by muse7
 


The people who I think of as too conservative tend to be much more self-oriented. They tend to react, IMO, from a place of fear. They worry that others are going to cost them theirs. And this is sad to me. Reacting from a place of fear and protectionism, historically, never works out very well.

~Heff


If conservatives are so selfish, and liberals are so caring, how do explain the fact that as a whole, conservatives tend to donate more to charities than liberals ever could?

Empathizing is one thing, but it takes action to really make a difference.
But even help and assistance should not be permanent, after a while, it's time to move on to he next person that requires assistance.

I think that's where the disconnect lies because more and more people now have gotten used to suckling on some govt teet program, and loving every penny.



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by muse7
 


Conservatives are taller and get the best girls. Plus we're cooler. We have better hair.



sheepslayer had an interesting thread on something like this. No-one is 100% conservative or 100% liberal.

Labels are easy. But they're also lazy.

Just sayin' (from a self-labeled conservative)



posted on Sep, 3 2012 @ 12:37 PM
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I think the real debate is not conservative vs. liberal but rather collectivist vs. individualist.



A collectivist sees the government as the solver of problems and the leveler of playing fields. They are fine with the government using force to achieve these goals.

An individualist sees the government as a protector of rights and nothing more. They see voluntary contributions and charity absent redistribution and force from the government as the way to solve problems.



posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 08:09 PM
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Liberalism and conservatism originally were not political opposites, they were both ideas of the upper and middle classes. (in Europe 'middle class' does not mean in the middle financially, but the class of people that were not capitalists but directly supported them, management etc.) Both were right wing ideologies.

Liberalism was not politically opposite to the conservatives, it was simply a way to appease the working class, and to keep them from revolting by offering a social safety net. Liberals still supported capitalism and the state.

"Liberalism is not socialism and never will be", Winston Churchill as the Liberal Party candidate for Dundee.

Winston was a conservative. He was a conservative party member prior to joining the Libs, which he eventually left and re-joined the conservatives. At that time there were real socialists, left-wing in government, who were the real opposition to the conservatives. WWII is what changed all that, as the working class was decimated and never re-gained the solidarity it had prior to WWII. After WWII the use of media for propaganda went into overdrive and the working class was conditioned toward individualism, social climbing and becoming 'middle class', rather than solidarity and class pride.

The conservative right, in it's attempt to reduce the threat of the working class's desire for socialism, promoted the liberals as the left-wing. They attempted, and mostly succeeded, to turn liberalism into the new socialism, the new left, because liberalism is not a threat to the establishment and capitalism. The conservatives in power do not care about liberalism, it costs them nothing, it's the working people who pay.

Real working class left, and socialism, was replaced by middle class liberalism and conforming to the state.

edit on 9/19/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 06:40 PM
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I think the confusion arises as a result of the belief that political and social ideology have one axis or dimension: Left to Right. I believe it's much more nuanced than that.

Even this is a crude analogy compared to how subtle I think the true reality is, but a good sense of what I mean is this website's "political compass."







As you can see, you can have authoritarians on the left, and libertarians on the right. It's not as black and white as we are continually told by the media and politicians in my opinion. Simply saying "liberal or conservative" seems like a very incomplete expression of one's positions and beliefs as a result, in my opinion.

You can take the website's quiz and see where you end up (but as I said, in my view even this is incomplete and somewhat crude compared to what I feel the reality is.) www.politicalcompass.org...

For instance, I ended up near Ghandi LOL. I don't think I'm anywhere near that enlightened, but I'll take the compliment I guess.


In any event, I don't think the left/right paradigm is complex enough to describe people's beliefs. Peace.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 07:19 PM
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Originally posted by AceWombat04
As you can see, you can have authoritarians on the left, and libertarians on the right.


And that makes it incorrect and backwards. The right and left is traditionally a scale of authority. The more right you go the more authority, fascism being the extreme. The more left you go the less authority, anarchism being it's extreme. To try to claim liberty is a right wing ideology is a twisted myth, only those who hold the authority have liberty. If liberty can only come by oppressing others, then it is not the kind of liberty I want.


The original political meanings of ‘left’ and ‘right’ have changed since their origin in the French estates general in 1789. There the people sitting on the left could be viewed as more or less anti-statists with those on the right being state-interventionists of one kind or another. In this interpretation of the pristine sense, libertarianism was clearly at the extreme left-wing.

www.la-articles.org.uk...

Here is Chomsky explaining this, remember he is a linguist, it is his job to know the meaning of words...



It really is very simple. The more authoritarian the system the more right wing it is. The problem comes from people appropriating terms and using them to mean something different that their original meanings, for example 'libertarian'. Libertarian is a left wing term, another word for anarchism.


As is well known, anarchists use the terms “libertarian”, “libertarian socialist” and “libertarian communist” as equivalent to “anarchist” and, similarly, “libertarian socialism” or “libertarian communism” as an alternative for “anarchism.” This is perfectly understandable, as the anarchist goal is freedom, liberty, and the ending of all hierarchical and authoritarian institutions and social relations.

Unfortunately, in the United States the term “libertarian” has become, since the 1970s, associated with the right-wing, i.e., supporters of “free-market” capitalism. That defenders of the hierarchy associated with private property seek to associate the term “libertarian” for their authoritarian system is both unfortunate and somewhat unbelievable to any genuine libertarian. Equally unfortunately, thanks to the power of money and the relative small size of the anarchist movement in America, this appropriation of the term has become, to a large extent, the default meaning there. Somewhat ironically, this results in some right-wing “libertarians” complaining that we genuine libertarians have “stolen” their name in order to associate our socialist ideas with it!


150 years of Libertarian

The confusion have come from the right wing state propagandizing the USSR etc., as being left-wing, when of course they were really right-wing by the traditional definition. The USSR was a highly authoritarian system.
The state wants you to think right-wing is freedom so they can exploit you without you questioning it.

You should go read some European history from the WWI to WWII and understand the left-right war that was going on between the fascist authoritarian system of Italy, Spain and Germany and the left wing working class.
It would help you understand what left and right actually is.


"If the left is understood to include 'Bolshevism,' then I would flatly dissociate myself from the left. Lenin was one of the greatest enemies of socialism." Chomsky Marxism, Anarchism, and Alternative Futures, p. 779



While there are many different types of anarchism (from individualist anarchism to communist-anarchism -- see section A.3 for more details), there has always been two common positions at the core of all of them -- opposition to government and opposition to capitalism. In the words of the individualist-anarchist Benjamin Tucker, anarchism insists on "the abolition of the State and the abolition of usury; on no more government of man by man, and no more exploitation of man by man." [cited in Native American Anarchism - A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism by Eunice Schuster, p. 140] All anarchists view profit, interest and rent as usury (i.e. as exploitation) and so oppose them and the conditions that create them just as much as they oppose government and the State.


A.1.2 What does "anarchism" mean?

edit on 10/7/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 07:23 PM
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Liberals typically claim that they're all for the weak and helpless - what's more weak and helpless than an unborn child?



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 


Well, what I think it is attempting (in a very crude, not really correct manner in my opinion, which I said,) is that there are ideological authoritarians who think they are on the left, and right winters who think they are libertarian. Perhaps even endorsing policies and positions that they intend to bring about those ends. Or, perhaps more to the point, their particular implementation of what they think is one or the other differs diametrically from those we commonly view as being part of different ideologies. I think it just seeks to give some more granularity to the simple left-right ideological axis based on implementation.

In any case, my main point was I don't think it's as black and white as people try to make it. Human beings and their minds and beliefs are very diverse and so are their intentions.

Peace.
edit on 10/7/2012 by AceWombat04 because: Typo



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by AceWombat04
Well, what I think it is attempting (in a very crude, not really correct manner in my opinion, which I said,) is that there are ideological authoritarians who think they are on the left, and right winters who think they are libertarian. Perhaps even endorsing policies and positions that they intend to bring about those ends.


And yes this is true. People think capitalism is freedom but fail to realise unless they are capitalists themselves, and just workers, then capitalism is exploitation. Those telling us it's freedom are capitalists because to them it is freedom. By law they have the right to exploit labour because they are lucky enough to own property.


In any case, my main point was I don't think it's as black and white as people try to make it. Human beings and their minds and beliefs are very diverse and so are their intentions.


But it is pretty black and white when it comes to the meaning of terms. We can't keep stretching meaning to accommodate peoples opinions.

Pretty simple, if you support authority and maintaining the status-quo you are right wing. If you are anti-authority and want change you are left-wing. For example liberalism (not libertarianism) is right-wing, but not as right-wing as fascism. Economically capitalism is right-wing because it is a highly authoritarian economic system. Socialism is left-wing because it is worker ownership, no economic authority.



posted on Oct, 7 2012 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by ANOK


But it is pretty black and white when it comes to the meaning of terms. We can't keep stretching meaning to accommodate peoples opinions.

Pretty simple, if you support authority and maintaining the status-quo you are right wing. If you are anti-authority and want change you are left-wing. For example liberalism (not libertarianism) is right-wing, but not as right-wing as fascism. Economically capitalism is right-wing because it is a highly authoritarian economic system. Socialism is left-wing because it is worker ownership, no economic authority.


I would tend to agree. But what happens if someone is left wing in the extreme, but also agrees with certain elements of what is considered by that definition a right wing ideology? Are they just not quite as far to the left as someone else? Okay, but that person is already extremely left wing? By any measure they are extreme left wing, but also pick and choose certain elements from the right with which they find affinity. What then?

I guess this is why I don't tend to adhere to political labels at all or when I do, I put them in quotes. Because there is so much terminological cross-pollination and colloquial evolution that I can never tell what the correct term to use is. For instance, I have a tendency to say "I'm not voting for Obama because he's not liberal enough for me." But you're saying liberalism is right wing because liberalism as defined in America's two party system is actually right wing. But I'm not talking about that context, I'm talking about my own context because to me liberalism means liberty. But you're saying that's libertarianism.

I shall just dispense with all labels as is my initial instinct, and be who I am I guess. I'm not part of a group, I'm just me. Peace.



posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 02:38 AM
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you might be interested in libertarian viewpoints then, op. as that is the ground premise.

if you believe in the rights of animals, nature, and ecologies to also prosper without corporate government dominance, they will call you a liberal because you believe in conservation. technically then, you are a conservative. since it is a radical idea that its ok to destroy our planet's ecology and crap in our own bed so to speak.

or look at it this way - liberals and conservatives in america are both branches of a single corporate/elitist dominated political democracy where candidates are selected for you, and you are labelled according to the devisive rhetoric fed to you by corporo-politico psyops spin through media - they call this form of corporate political control democracy in america.

in soviet russia, there was only one candidate and you could vote 'yes or no'. this was considered a lack of political choice in america. yet i can honestly say i would prefer that choice than having to pick one of two wallstreet candidates. we could vote 'no' for the first 3000 people the elites put up, and finally we would get a true freedom loving, humanity loving liberal conservative libertarian ...lol



posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 02:46 AM
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Originally posted by AceWombat04
I would tend to agree. But what happens if someone is left wing in the extreme, but also agrees with certain elements of what is considered by that definition a right wing ideology? Are they just not quite as far to the left as someone else? Okay, but that person is already extremely left wing? By any measure they are extreme left wing, but also pick and choose certain elements from the right with which they find affinity. What then?


But what elements? It is simply a scale of authority. If you are left-wing anti-authority, you wouldn't support any authoritarian right-wing ideas. If you are talking about modern ideas of what is a left or right issue, such as abortion I would argue that is not a left/right issue. There is no reason for a left winger to be against abortion, they are personal opinions, but have been used politically to divide people. Why is Christianity a right wing religion in America? Makes no sense to me.


I guess this is why I don't tend to adhere to political labels at all or when I do, I put them in quotes. Because there is so much terminological cross-pollination and colloquial evolution that I can never tell what the correct term to use is. For instance, I have a tendency to say "I'm not voting for Obama because he's not liberal enough for me." But you're saying liberalism is right wing because liberalism as defined in America's two party system is actually right wing. But I'm not talking about that context, I'm talking about my own context because to me liberalism means liberty. But you're saying that's libertarianism.


Modern Liberalism started in Europe basically as a conservative middle class ideology to help the poor. It was not a left-wing anti-state movement. For a political party to be considered truly left-wing it has to be revolutionary in it's approach to change towards socialism, worker ownership.

Left and right have become two sides of the same coin, the true left has been replaced by Bourgeois liberalism.
In reality the US has a conservative government no matter who is in office. So called liberal policies do nothing to change the way society and the economy are organised. It simply provides expensive band-aids.

Libertarian was a term first used by anarchists to mean liberty from the state. Libertarian socialism, liberty from the state, and worker ownership liberty from capitalism.

Modern American Libertarians just want freedom for themselves from government restrictions on the economy.
Not liberty for all, from all forms of hierarchical authority, which is what the true Libertarians wanted. Capitalism is by it's nature a form of hierarchical authority.


I shall just dispense with all labels as is my initial instinct, and be who I am I guess. I'm not part of a group, I'm just me. Peace.


Well I guess it all depends on how you view the world, as a part of it, or a part from it.

edit on 11/12/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)





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