Classical Liberals: Real Liberals and Real Liberalism

Source:IZ Quotes- John F. Kennedy, talking about the value of freedom.
When you think of Classical Liberals, ( the real Liberals ) think of people who believe that liberty is worth defending. People who believe in liberal democracy, ( which is what liberalism is based on and all about ) people who believe in individual and constitutional rights, including property rights, along with civil liberties and freedom of choice, people who believe in equal rights and equal justice.

When thinking of Liberals, don’t think of people who think: “why don’t we give communism a try: what do we have to lose? Is capitalism no longer a necessary evil and should we just end it? Should we really let people make their own decisions? Isn’t personal freedom too dangerous, along with economic freedom?”

People ask on a regular basis and I’ve gotten this question myself: “what’s the difference between a Classical Liberal and a Libertarian?” As well as: “what’s the difference between a Classical Liberal and a Socialist?” And even what’s the difference between a Classical Liberal and Progressive.

Liberals believe in liberal democracy. It’s called liberal democracy, not classical liberal democracy. Liberal democracy is a governmental system based around, yes free and open elections, but individual rights, including equal rights, as well as limited government, open trade, and even property rights.

If there was ever a libertarian society anywhere in the world, government would only be limited to policing how people physically hurt each other: like stealing their property, physically assaulting innocent people, and defending the country from foreign invaders.

Socialists ( at least Democratic Socialists/Social Democrats ) believe in social democracy where it’s not just that government is a lot bigger and taxes a lot more, but where the central government is a lot bigger and taxes a lot more. Where not just governmental power is centralized and federalism is rare if ever, but power in the society is centralized with the government. People tend to have a lot of personal freedom in a social democracy, but the national state manages their economic well-being with a very large welfare state. And the people are highly taxed to fund that welfare state.

Classical Liberalism

This category on the blog is all about classical liberalism ( the real liberalism ) and what Classical Liberals ) the real Liberals ) believe in.

Free Speech

Without free speech, you really can’t have a liberal democracy, because whatever democracy you were left with would suddenly become very small if people were now subjected to being sued or even put in jail, simply because they said something, wrote a book, article, movie, play, etc, simply because someone was offended by it, or the government was offended by it, or someone even said something that was offensive and even hateful.

Freedom of Choice

Similar to free speech: without freedom of choice, whatever democracy you’re left with after freedom of choice is stripped from it, now becomes very small. A big part of liberal democracy has to do with personal freedom: the right for people to be able to make their own decisions. Not just for women to be able to make their own health care decisions or for gays and homosexuality to be allowed to exist, and for gays to be able to get married, but for everyone including women of all races and ethnicities and gays to be able to make their own personal decisions. Even if those decisions come with negative consequences for people making those decisions. Just as long as people aren’t hurting any innocent person with what they’re doing.

Gary Johnson

This is about former New Mexico Governor and 2012, as well as 2016 Libertarian Party nominee for President Gary Johnson. Who ran twice for the Libertarian nomination for President, but he was a Republican his entire political career before 2012. And he’s always been more inline with classical liberal thinking, then whatever is supposed to pass as mainstream libertarian thinking today.


This is obviously about John F. Kennedy, but before JFK was elected President. And looks at his career before The White House. He served in Congress from 1947-61: 1947-53 in the House and 1953-61 in the Senate. A lot of what this blog talks about and advocates from ideological standpoint, Jack Kennedy also supported.

Jimmy Carter

This is about the life and career of former President Jimmy Carter. Who was the first U.S. President to make human rights and individual freedom part of his foreign policy. He also spoke out against the War on Drugs ( big government on steroids ) and the first President ever to advocate for at least some form of marijuana legalization. He was also a strong believer in civil liberties and supported civl and equal rights in the early 1970s, as Governor of Georgia.

Learn Liberty

From the Learn Liberty website

“Learn Liberty is your resource for exploring the ideas of a free society. We tackle big questions about what makes a society free or prosperous and how we can improve the world we live in. We don’t have all the answers – but we’ve got a lot of ideas.

By working with professors from a range of academic disciplines and letting them share their own opinions, we help you explore new ways of looking for solutions to the world’s problems.”

They describe their own philosophy as classical liberal, not libertarian.

Liberal Democracy

As I mentioned at the top of this page: this is about liberal democracy, not classical liberal democracy. When you think of the word liberal, think of liberty, liberation , liberating, because they all mean freedom. Not big government and the state, or collectivism.

Milton Friedman

This is about Chicago University Economics Professor Milton Friedman, who described his own politics as liberal and called himself. While almost everyone else was calling him a Conservative or Libertarian.

The Economist

The Economist, is the preeminent classical liberal ( real liberal ) publication not just in Britain, but in America as well. They’re part of the Center-Right in Britain, even though they’re self-described Liberals, because they are Liberals. Which just gives you and idea of how different the political spectrums in Britain, Germany, and Australia are compared with America, where Liberals in these other countries are part of the Center-Right and Socialists ( at least Social Democrats ) are part of the Center-Left. Instead of Far-Left, like they are in America.

The Rubin Report

The Rubin Report is run and hosted by liberal ( or classical liberal comedian and commentator Dave Rubin ) is an online interview talk show that you can see on it’s YouTube channel as well. Where Dave Rubin interviews people about public policy and life. Dave Rubin, self-describes his politics as liberal, not libertarian.

Wendell Willkie

Wendell Willkie, was a Classical Liberal Republican in the 1940s ( try taking that in, making sense of it, and believing it ) in the 1930s, who opposed Progressive President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and left the Democratic Party in the 1930s, because he thought the Democrats were becoming Socialists. Another example of how Liberals, aren’t just different from Socialists, but Progressives as well.

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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960