I'm a liberal. But I'm a different kind of liberal. The old, gun toting, voting, liberty based kind.
(My personal view shouldn't influence you in acting on any of my advice and commentary on gettting involved with politics. If you are any sort of basically decent person, disagreeing with me and being active in politics is a far better case, IMO, than disagreeing with me and NOT being active in politics. Go Do Stuff!)
David Koeller writes thus:
- Def: A political belief in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the state. In its economic form, it advocates a respect for private property and free markets.
- As a political belief, its origins can be traced back to both the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Hebrews.
- But in its modern form, it begins on the one hand with the urban culture of Italy and the Northern European city-states and on the other with the Reformation, particularly with those dissenting sects which found themselves in opposition to the government.
- It is given shape during the Puritan Revolution in England, especially among the Diggers and Levelers.
- The first to give the modern view philosophical expression was John Locke, who wrote during the Glorious Revolution in England.
- Classical Liberalism was the ideology of the moderate, constitutional monarch phase of the French Revolution, which promoted limited government and was based on principles of natural law.
- Classical Liberalism should not be confused with democracy. One can be a liberal and yet be opposed to democracy.
- Classical Liberalism should also not be confused with modern, American liberalism, which is a mild variation of socialism.
In the entry from Wikipedia, you have this:
"Classical liberalism is a philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets. Classical liberalism developed in the 19th century in Europe, and the United States."
It's worth taking the time here to look through the whole entry. While I find Wikipedia to be slanted in terms of presentation of ideas, it's not a bad read by any means. (For example, the right to defence isn't ever mentioned in Wikipedia.)
The entry from Stanford is also essential reading.
What you see going on here is a shift, in effect a socialist shift- from classical liberalism to new liberalism.
I am not, by any stretch, a socialist.
Yet- I support a healthcare system- not the one we're getting!
How do you square this?
Well, one aspect lies in the role of government, another is technological, and a third is in the idea of what things should be profit based.
For the conservative Republican and the modern "capital L" Libertarian, everything should be permitted to be profit based. All actions, all activities.
Let's look at that some. When our nation was founded, strict limits were placed on corporations- including limited "lives", a necessity of performing a socially beneficial service, and owners & managers were responsible (directly!) for criminal acts.
There's more, of course- looking here and here would be useful.
I don't believe medical corporations should exist in any sense except the most harsh governance under our original charters. Profit from illness is a dangerous thing.
I'm quite happy with the government giving money to universities and university/military/religious hospitals to further improvements in medical technology!
I'm also- while not any sort of catholic or protestant Christian- perfectly happy with religious hospitals.
We are a technologically advanced enough civilization to provide a reasonable amount of healthcare to the entire population at a very low cost in actual resources.
Further, I would class what is going on with private corporations and government funded medical insurance/care as profiteering.
I agree- to an extent- with the classic liberal freedom of markets. I do see a place for governance in the enforcement of freedom. Because diligence and enforcement is required.
In terms of personal liberty- I am absolute. This is why I dislike "California style" direct democracy, where the actions of a majority can restrict the guaranteed rights of a political or social minority.
We were not designed as a direct democracy, and I find the tendencies in that direction quite as disturbing as the progressive tendencies towards a French styled system of professional politicians graduating from the École nationale d'administratio.
I, of course, hold firearms rights dear. This seems like a "conservative" trait- but most conservative groups I'm familiar with only support the rights of the people they care about or approve of.
I'm not much for the "personal defense against muggers" talk- I live in an area where personal defense mostly means keeping coyotes out of the livestock and the regretful job of having to take down an aggressive wild dog now and then.
I am a bit far from town and would feel really idiotic if my family got hurt because I didn't have a firearm, but it's not the forefront of my thinking.
National defense and societal defense are. This is one you either get, or you don't get. No point in trying to explain- but we've been saved as a nation from *actual* invasion, invasion plans, and the possibility of invasion on several occasions due to an armed citizenry.
My ideal of the right to keep and bear arms applies to all persons, all races, all creeds- without let or hindrance, paperwork nor registration. Oh, limiting access to weapons of mass destruction (reasonably defined as something on the order of a 20 pound bomb and items more destructive) - sure. Limiting access to violent felons for a period of years, sure. But that's about it.
And I am, very much, a classical liberal. Which has not a jot of socialism involved.