Updated: Older Liberals Like Me

Classical Liberalism,EU,Left-Liberalism And Progressivisim,libertarianism


James Burnham on classical liberals of the nineteenth century:

“Older liberals tended to be patriotic and nationalistic. They believed in the self-government, independence and sovereignty of their own country, and also in the right of other nations and peoples to be independent and self-governing. They were ready to fight, and did fight… There was little trace of pacifism in nineteenth century liberalism; rather more imperialism than pacifism.”

“As rationalists they believed that … other things being equal, peace among nations is better than war. But Peace had a modest priority; there were a number of other things, Liberty prominent among them, more important than Peace.” (Suicide of the West, 1964, p. 172)

In some respects, modern-day libertarians are closer to left-liberals than classical liberals—in preaching pacifism, and in their disregard for notion of the nation and its place among nations.

Update I (Jan. 3): Speaking of nineteenth-century liberals like myself, “Eurosceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus” is a good example. Klaus opposes the European Union for its sovereignty sundering supranational regulation, and “stubbornly refuses to fly the EU flag.”

Going against the grain in Europe, he supports Israel’s right to defend itself.

It’s a great shame that his people, who once cheered this free-thinking, free marketeer, are turning against him—and their better instincts—and toward the prevailing, pitiful PC around them. Resisting propaganda is never easy.

One thought on “Updated: Older Liberals Like Me

  1. gunjam

    Ms Mercer, Klaus is a great man. I admire him greatly on three counts: He pooh-poohs the global warming idiocy; he (as you note) refuses to fly the EU flag from his castle; and, finally, (again, as you note) he defends Israel’s right to defend itself by going into Gaza. [Have you a citation for this?] Of course, so much truth coming from one man at one time will surely be more than the Czech lemmings around him will be able to bear and will very likely prove to be his undoing. Europe is unworthy of this man.

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