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I was reading through some of Churchill's speeches and came across this paragraph in a 1908 speech on Liberalism and Socialism (the whole speech can be found here: ). I thought this perfectly summed up the difference between how liberals perceive themselves and how we are perceived or rather portrayed by conservatives (Socialists).

"Liberalism has its own history and its own tradition. Socialism has its own formulas and its own aims. Socialism seeks to pull down wealth; Liberalism seeks to raise up poverty. [Loud cheers.] Socialism would destroy private interests; Liberalism would preserve private interests in the only way in which they can be safely and justly preserved, namely, by reconciling them with public right. [Cheers.] Socialism would kill enterprise; Liberalism would rescue enterprise from the trammels of privilege and preference. [Cheers.] Socialism assails the pre-eminence of the individual; Liberalism seeks, and shall seek more in the future, to build up a minimum standard for the mass. [Cheers.] Socialism exalts the rule; Liberalism exalts the man. Socialism attacks capital; Liberalism attacks monopoly. [Cheers.] These are the great distinctions which I draw, and which, I think, you will think I am right in drawing at this election between our philosophies and our ideals. Don't think that Liberalism is a faith that is played out; that it is a philosophy to which there is no expanding future. As long as the world rolls round Liberalism will have its part to play - a grand, beneficent, and ameliorating part to play - in relation to men and States.   [Cheers.]"

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Comment Preferences

  •  Conservatives and socialists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Ralphdog

    are not the same thing. I think you are a little confused.

    In fact Churchill was a conservative.

    •  You got your fact wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When he said those words he was in the Liberal Party. he later (re) joined the Conservative Party in 1925

      He stood for the Liberals again in the 1923 general election, losing in Leicester, and then as an independent, first without success in a by-election in the Westminster Abbey constituency, and then successfully in the general election of 1924 for Epping. The following year, he formally rejoined the Conservative Party, commenting wryly that "anyone can rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to re-rat."[64][

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 05:45:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The diarist meant conservatives *see* liberals... (0+ / 0-) socialists.  The point of Churchill's speech was to acknowledge the distinction, which most modern conservatives fail to do.

  •  This from the man eager to use poison gas... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on those uncivilized wogs in Britain's colonies.

    Churchill was a thoroughly vile bully, a child of wealth and privilege who was able to implement some truly horrible ideas (just look up the Gallipoli campaign) because of his inherited influence. In some respects his career bears some resemblance to another bullying child of privilege named George W. Bush.

    Churchill just happened to be correct about the one big thing in the 20th century- the true character of Adoph Hitler- before most others realized it. For this he is lionized by conservatives the whole world over.

    But folks should note that Churchill was voted out of office almost the instant the war ended, by the people who knew him best.

  •  "Liberal" in UK = pro free-market, anti-govt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is a little overlap with the use in the US, and I think us progressives should build on this more -- e.g., an emphasis on the individual, on progress, the Enlightenment, rationality, etc. But UK liberals are opposed to unions, critical of welfare, subsidies, etc. The Economist magazine has a UK-liberal ideology. UK conservatives, by contrast, are more defenders of the monarchy, elite traditions, class, 'good breeding', etc.

    (Likewise, note that "public" schools in the UK are more like what we call private schools here in the US: non-government run, elite, paid for by parents. UK's 'state schools' are more like our public schools. )

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