Saturday, February 07, 2009

The True Meaning of Liberal, Leftist and Conservative

I ran across a writeup on The True Meaning of Liberal, Leftist and Conservative, and thought it was really quite excellent. I've grown pretty weary of how abused these terms are.

It gets interesting when he discusses the antonyms of liberal:
If you're not ‘LIBERAL,’ what are you? By definition using antonyms, you are: uneducated, unintellectual, closed of heart, selfish, narrow, contracted, mean, small, fascist, racist, bigoted, homophobic, stingy, closed-minded, supportive of monarchies and slavery, against FREEdom of religious expression and speech, low in birth and mind, anti-American.

If you've been out bashing ‘liberals’, you're probably all of these things, as this would perfectly describe someone who would go out ‘liberal bashing’ (FREEdom bashing), which is also known as ‘liberticide’ – the destruction of civil liberties. (Webster's International Dictionary, 1893)

'Liber' (as in liberal), is also the root word of ‘liberty’ (FREEdom from restraint); ‘Libertarian’ (one who holds to FREE will); ‘libertine’ (a FREEd man); ‘liberalism’ (the principles of liberals); ‘liberalist’ (one who is a liberal, or who favors the principles of liberals.); ‘liberalized’ (FREEd from narrow views and prejudices); ‘liberate’ (to make FREE); and several others. Liber is Latin for "FREE."

In fact, the root word ‘liber’ is also the Latin word for ‘book’. This is because many ancient philosophies believed you could only FREE your mind through education and reading by learning the ‘logos’ (thought to be the written word of God). Where you FREEd your mind was in the universities and/or libraries, which held the books.

If we believe the stories told to us by our high school his-story books, then LIBERAL is what this country’s forefathers were and wanted!
(Note: I'm intentionally excluding the works of Howard Zinn, James Lowen, Michael Parenti, Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky etc. in order to make a point.)

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