“What Do You Mean, Liberal?”

by Chris Campbell
Laissez Faire Books

“What do you mean, liberal?”

It’s an important question to ask those who identify as “liberal.” Because the word, as you know, suffers from a severe case of mistaken identity.

Liberalism, in its purest form, means the absence of arbitrary state power — i.e. liberated from control or oppression. This is, in fact, how most countries use the word to this day.

Here in America, though, it’s largely used to describe the liberal use of state power, however the “public” sees fit. Which is, of course, the antithesis of liberalism.

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