Discussion:
OT: "Old-fashioned liberal" and "classical liberal" - what's the difference?
(too old to reply)
l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-09 23:51:39 UTC
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I already tried this at alt.usage.english - no luck.


When I say "old-fashioned liberal," I'm thinking of people like Wendy Kaminer, former board member of the ACLU and author of maybe ten books. (She's now 70.)

From The Promiscuous Reader's blog:
_____________________________________________

This reminds me an anecdote Wendy Kaminer tells in the introduction to her 1996 book True Love Waits. The editor of the National Review asked her to write a book review. She protested that she's "an old-fashioned liberal," and he reassured that it was okay, because she's "sensible."

Quote:

"But you don't understand," I explained. "I believe in the welfare state. People think I'm conservative because there are messages about self-reliance in my work, and I value self-reliance, but I don't expect it of children." There was a long pause. He stopped reassuring me that I was sensible.
______________________________________________


Offhand, though, I can't think of any well-known people who call themselves classical liberals anymore.

So what's the difference? Thanks.

If this helps (it doesn't mention classical liberals):

https://acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-2-number-4/four-liberalisms




Lenona.
Steve Hayes
2020-01-11 02:42:20 UTC
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On Thu, 9 Jan 2020 15:51:39 -0800 (PST), ***@yahoo.com wrote:

I already tried this at alt.usage.english - no luck.


When I say "old-fashioned liberal," I'm thinking of people like Wendy
Kaminer, former board member of the ACLU and author of maybe ten
books. (She's now 70.)

From The Promiscuous Reader's blog:
_____________________________________________

This reminds me an anecdote Wendy Kaminer tells in the introduction to
her 1996 book True Love Waits. The editor of the National Review asked
her to write a book review. She protested that she's "an old-fashioned
liberal," and he reassured that it was okay, because she's "sensible."

Quote:

"But you don't understand," I explained. "I believe in the welfare
state. People think I'm conservative because there are messages about
self-reliance in my work, and I value self-reliance, but I don't
expect it of children." There was a long pause. He stopped reassuring
me that I was sensible.
______________________________________________


Offhand, though, I can't think of any well-known people who call
themselves classical liberals anymore.

So what's the difference? Thanks.

If this helps (it doesn't mention classical liberals):

https://acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-2-number-4/four-liberalisms




Lenona.
--
Steve Hayes
http://www.khanya.org.za/stevesig.htm
http://khanya.wordpress.com
Bryan Styble
2020-01-11 05:57:14 UTC
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I think the brilliant Michael Kinsley certainly qualifies.

(I haven't seen anything from Kinsley in a long time, so I fear his nervous-system malady--Parkinson's I believe--may be making it prohibitively difficult for him to write for publication these days. I'd especially like to hear his usually quite original--and always wryly witty--take on the Trump presidency.)

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
Adam H. Kerman
2020-01-11 20:54:32 UTC
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Post by Bryan Styble
I think the brilliant Michael Kinsley certainly qualifies.
I have no idea what "old-fashioned liberal" means, but it sounded like
liberalism in the sense of Johnson-era Great Society thinking. Kinsley
was a modern version of a classical liberal.
Post by Bryan Styble
(I haven't seen anything from Kinsley in a long time, so I fear his
nervous-system malady--Parkinson's I believe--may be making it
prohibitively difficult for him to write for publication these days.
I'd especially like to hear his usually quite original--and always wryly
witty--take on the Trump presidency.)
I didn't know he was ill. That's too bad. Looking him up, I got an ad
for Michael Kors Kinsley fashions.
l***@yahoo.com
2020-01-12 20:45:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Adam H. Kerman
I have no idea what "old-fashioned liberal" means, but it sounded like
liberalism in the sense of Johnson-era Great Society thinking. Kinsley
was a modern version of a classical liberal.
Well, aside from the information I gave about Kaminer, here's one person's perspective:

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/mark-davis/2014/10/29/the-democratic-party-has-no-actual-liberals-left

Of course, the magazine is known for being conservative, so I couldn't quite say if Kaminer would agree with the article's arguments. (But she's a fierce defender of free speech.)

Anyway, I suspect many would call Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners) an old-fashioned liberal, if only in the social sense (as you might guess, she never talks politics, for more than one reason). Those who hate rules in general and refuse to read her books do not realize this, of course. How is she liberal? For starters, she's said: "Rudeness to children counts as rudeness." In other words, yes, children deserve a certain respect, too.

More on Kaminer, from Wikipedia (one book of hers, about self-help groups, is "I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help Fashions":

...In the late 1970s, Kaminer worked with Women Against Pornography, where she advocated private consciousness-raising efforts and opposed legal efforts to censor pornography. She contributed a chapter to the anti-pornography anthology, Take Back the Night, wherein she defended First Amendment freedoms and explained the dangers of seeking legal solutions to the perceived problem of pornography. She opposed efforts by Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin to define pornography as a civil rights violation. She critiqued the pro-censorship movement in a 1992 article in The Atlantic entitled "Feminists Against the First Amendment." An ardent free speech advocate, she is currently a member of the advisory board of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Kaminer, a self-described equality or "individual rights feminist", was an early opponent of late 20th-century "protectionist" feminism, reflected in the movement to censor pornography, and of the "difference" feminism associated with Carol Gilligan. She critiqued "Feminism's Identity Crisis" in an October 1993 cover story for The Atlantic.

Kaminer was a member of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts from the early 1990s until June 2009. She was a national board member of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1999 until her term expired in June 2006. In 2003, during her tenure on the national board, she became a strong critic of the ACLU leadership and was centrally involved in a series of controversies, including the attempted ouster of the executive director, that culminated in a highly publicized effort to prohibit board members from criticizing the ACLU. In 2009 she published a book on her experience and views, called Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity and the ACLU.

As of 2018, Kaminer still comments on the ACLU and what she believes is the appropriate relationship between protecting civil liberties and civil rights. “No one else is doing this work with the kind of national impact, and the kind of skilled lawyering.”...

(snip)

Also, I know she very much resents anyone who's looking for a guru to follow - such people are not adults, in her opinion. Even when they're her own fans.


Lenona.

Steve Hayes
2020-01-11 09:21:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@yahoo.com
I already tried this at alt.usage.english - no luck.
When I say "old-fashioned liberal," I'm thinking of people like Wendy
Kaminer, former board member of the ACLU and author of maybe ten
books. (She's now 70.)
_____________________________________________
This reminds me an anecdote Wendy Kaminer tells in the introduction to
her 1996 book True Love Waits. The editor of the National Review asked
her to write a book review. She protested that she's "an old-fashioned
liberal," and he reassured that it was okay, because she's "sensible."
"But you don't understand," I explained. "I believe in the welfare
state. People think I'm conservative because there are messages about
self-reliance in my work, and I value self-reliance, but I don't
expect it of children." There was a long pause. He stopped reassuring
me that I was sensible.
______________________________________________
Offhand, though, I can't think of any well-known people who call
themselves classical liberals anymore.
So what's the difference? Thanks.
https://acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-2-number-4/four-liberalisms
I suppose I could call myself an "old liberal". because I'm old, and I
ceased to be a card-carrying Liberal when the Liberal Party was forced
to disband in 1968.

The article doesn't do much to clear up the confusion, though it does
provide a few interesting historical snippets.

But I would say there are three types of liberals, who are all to be
seen in the article, though not distinguished there.

Political liberals
Economic Liberals
Theological liberals

Let's get the theological l;iberals out of the way -- the article
calls them "old liberals", and distinguishes them theologically from
the "early liberals".

The economic liberals -- nowadays called "neoliberals" -- are Hayek,
von Mises et al.

The people who liked to call themselves "classical liberals" are
similar, in that they liked to combine political liberalism with
economic liberalism as in the days pre-Marx.

Political liberals are the ones who dig human rights, the ones who
think people should be free and their freedom should be guaranteed by
law. As in things like Bills of Rights and the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights and things like that.

The difference between pre-Marx and post-Marx is that Marx analysed
the workings of capital. And the neoliberals want capital to have the
same or more rights than people.

For Christians who are political liberals but not economic liberals
(since the article mentions Christians), the principle is simple: the
Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Economic power,
like the sabbath, was made for man, and not man for the economic
forces, whether, like the neoliberals, you call those forces "the free
rein of the market mechanism" or like Marxist leninists, "the
dialectical forces of history".
--
Steve Hayes
http://www.khanya.org.za/stevesig.htm
http://khanya.wordpress.com
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