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View Diary: Dark Affinities: Liberal and Neoliberal (3 comments)

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  •  in Europe, 'liberal' means "libertarian" (0+ / 0-)

    The kind of people who think that all the great political questions were answered in the 1700s and that rule of law, equality before the law, small-'r' republican government, and a rejection of mercantilism in favor of free markets are necessary and more importantly sufficient for a equitable and just society.  Compared to absolute monarchy, fusion of church and state, feudal privileges and obligations, and guilds and royal monopolies, classical liberalism was a huge step forward.  The 19th Century was where those 18th Century ideas fought and finally won, but trading aristocrats for capitalists only traded old problems for new ones.  Socialism was first and foremost a reaction to those new problems.

    'Neoliberal' is descended from the European meaning of the word; people who reject the social democracy/democratic socialism of the postwar era with its welfare state and large public sector economy and/or regulation, taxation, and subsidy of the private sector economy, instead privileging international trade, privatization, deregulation, etc. not simply on practical grounds, but on moral ones.  Unfettered capitalism was supposed to lead to unfettered capitalists and this was seen as a good thing: the fulfillment of the promise of human freedom against communism and dictatorship.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:13:56 PM PST

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