O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

terça-feira, fevereiro 22, 2005

I, Liberal

Artigo de Sheldon Richman na Ideas on Liberty.

[I]t [is] (...) nice to be in a place where the word "liberal" is understood. In the linguistically challenged United States, to be a liberal is to favor the government over the individual. Before the word was hijacked in the Progressive Era by devotees of what Ludwig von Mises called "statolatry," a liberal supported private property, free markets, and the rule of law as a bulwark against the state. The words "liberal" and "liberty" obviously share the same root. They originate in the Latin word for "free."

But that's all forgotten. Now that "liberal" is associated with bully government, it has become a dirty word, especially during elections, and no one wants it anymore - not even the advocates of bully government. The Economist on November 4 pointed out that it is derisory in Europe too, although over there it retains much of its original meaning.

I'd like to associate myself with what The Economist said:

There ought to be a word . . . to stand for what liberalism used to mean. The idea, with its roots in English and Scottish political philosophy of the 18th century, speaks up for individual rights and freedoms, and challenges over-mighty government and other forms of power. In that sense, traditional English liberalism favoured small government - but, crucially, it viewed a government's efforts to legislate religion and personal morality as sceptically as it regarded the attempt to regulate trade (the favoured economic intervention of the age). This, in our view, remains a very appealing, as well as internally consistent, kind of scepticism.

The magazine went on to lament the absurd division of freedom into personal and economic varieties, one for the left and one for the right: "That separation explains how it can be that the same term is now used in different places to say opposite things. What is harder to explain is why "liberal has become such a term of abuse. When you understand that the tradition it springs from has changed the world so much for the better in the past two and a half centuries, you might have expected all sides to be claiming the label for their own exclusive use."

posted by Miguel Noronha 12:24 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."
F.A.Hayek

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