I always get sick and tired that people always misidentify leftists as liberals. They’re not liberals, they’re either progressives or collectivists. Or they can just be called leftists as I always do. Liberalism by its dictionary definition is “a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard”. Though then again there are also definitions pointing to the left. More specifically this is called classical liberalism. That’s not what the left stands for at all; rather completely opposite of that which government running all/most things and controlling our lives. I think liberalism by its modern interpretation first came about with FDR who identified himself as a liberal. It’s partially why people so often identify leftists as that so often as opposed marxist or collectivist (either would be more accurate). Or you could even call them progressives since that’s a term they actually invented themselves.
It’s not just the historical context that gives me a problem, but also how it’s used in different varieties in western countries. For example, there’s the Liberal Democrat party in UK and the Liberal party in Canada which are left-of-center, but there’s also the Liberal party in Australia which is conservative. There’s also the Liberal Democratic party in Japan which is right-of-centre. I guess I can concede that the term liberal can be loosely applied to identify the right or left, but I still don’t feel comfortable in using it myself. In my eyes, people like Michael Moore are what they are which is either marxist, collectivist or just leftist.
Classical liberalism in essence is libertarianism which is what the founders were as well as other figures like John Locke or Adam Smith. It’s especially incorrect to refer Barack Obama as a liberal. He’s anything but that and more accurately a socialist or even marxist. I can understand if people are simply use to calling these low life scums liberals since it’s what they’ve traditionally called. The left has always shifted labels around since the late 19th century. First they were progressives, then they were liberals. Then went back to progressive for awhile and now they’re “no-labels” or “moderates” since those terms have a negative stigma attached to them. Best to identify them as leftists if not anything else. Just keep that in mind. Type in the comments below what you think.