In another post where I list the Guiding Principles of the Melbourne Traditionalist, long time reader Mr. Grieb has asked the following:
" "Opposition to Liberalism, Right Liberalism, Left Liberalism and Feminism." What is the difference between Classical Liberalism and Right Liberalism? Where do Libertarians fit in the spectrum of political categories? (Are they strict Classical Liberals, Right Liberals or a mix between the two?) Why does Feminism have its own separate category and is not a part of Left Liberalism, also known as Progressive Liberalism in America?"
Some good questions there Mr. Grieb, so let me look at each in turn.
What is the difference between Classical Liberalism and Right Liberalism?
Classical Liberalism once covered nearly all of Liberalism, but as I wrote in The Death of Classical Liberalism, that unity no longer exists and now Liberalism is split into three, including Right Liberalism. Classical Liberalism was a unified political philosophy, it had opinions on nearly everything. There was hardly an area where it was absent, at least when it came to having an opinion. It had an opinion on everything from economics (Free Trade), to society, to crime and punishment and so on and so forth. But when Liberalism split that was no longer true, Each side in the split took the things that it thought was important within Liberalism and that which it didn't think was important it abandoned. The Right Liberals thought that economics was of most important and so they took nearly everything of importance that related to economics. Left Liberals however rejected economics and now you rarely ever hear them talk about economics.
But just as Left Liberals rejected economics, Right Liberals rejected society, they started as socially conservative, but over time they have given leadership of all social issues to Left Liberalism, just as the Left Liberals have given economic leadership to Right Liberalism. That is why we hear Right Liberals (calling themselves Conservatives) saying that they support homosexuals getting married and homosexuals adopting children as they support marriage and families. They cannot see that these things are a rejection of marriage and family. In turn that is why you hear Left Liberals supporting Corporations while at the same time they complain about economic inequality.
Where do Libertarians fit in the spectrum of political categories? (Are they strict Classical Liberals, Right Liberals or a mix between the two?)
Libertarianism has two quite contradictory origins, Classical Liberalism and Anarchism. Libertarianism, has taken the idea that the individual is supreme and that not only should he be free from Government interference but so should his money, from Classical Liberalism. But it kept going further where it met up with Anarchism, which rejected society as society holds back the individual and it rejected the Government as all Governments control and oppress the individual. I would describe Libertarianism as right wing Anarchy. The only real difference being that some Libertarians believe in limited Government and all Libertarians believe in money. Libertarianism is the extreme right of modern Liberalism.
Why does Feminism have its own separate category and is not a part of Left Liberalism, also known as Progressive Liberalism in America?
When Classical Liberalism split it split into three parts, Right Liberalism, Left Liberalism and Feminism. I've already described how Right and Left Liberalism split, but I totally understand your confusion regarding Feminism. At first sight Feminism shares so much in common with Left Liberalism that they seem the same. Feminism, no matter what it says in public, believes in women, full stop. Left Liberalism believes in much more than just women. It has a whole of society approach, something Feminism is too narrow minded to have.
Feminism has officially existed since the 1840's, but its record over that time is mixed, sometimes it has been very powerful(1870-1920's & 1960's-) and at others it has even appeared to be extinct (1920's-1960's). Today it is very powerful, mainly because Left Liberalism supports it. Once Left Liberalism turns off the tap then Feminism will appear to be extinct again. Of course it will not be extinct, In short Left Liberalism can and will be strong without Feminism, but that is not true in reverse. Feminism is a very fringe philosophy, lets face it it rejects half of the human race, but it appears bigger than it is because Left Liberalism has decided to include it. If that ever changes then it will no longer appear bigger than it is, it will appear as if it is invisible.
I hope this answers your questions.
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