I have written before...and will not repeat it here...about the changing definitions of such things as "Right", "Progressive", "Fascist", etc., and whether they are "good" or "bad." But I was surprised these last few days by a chance foray into just what "Liberalism" meant...and how long it had meant what I (and, apparently, it's advocates)understand it to be (basically,being in alignment with Barack Obama, progressivism, Occupy Wall Street, and the Democratic National Committee).
But...back in the days of the Revolution the attitude was a bit different: American patriots rallied around the cause of “No taxation without representation,” there was fear of centralized governments that ruled with great authority, and a great desire for the relationship that people have with their government to forever change to one of the people holding their government in check. American liberals then, the most famous of which are known as the Founding Fathers, supported limiting the power of government as much as possible. They believed that government power would naturally and inevitably corrupt and needed checks at every turn. They did not subscribe to the view that empowering the government with more and more power would lead to a better society. They stood against such expansions as they already knew what happened when the government’s size and scope was beyond control. That is why the Constitution was designed the way it was, pitting each branch of government against the other, so that no one branch would grow powerful beyond control. I forget where I got the quote, but Economics Professor Don Boudreaux said, "Experience and reason recommended to liberalism’s founders (that) restraining the power of government might not be sufficient to ensure harmony and widespread wealth, but it is certainly necessary.”
Try running that by some of your Liberal friends and watch their minds self-destruct...if they even acknowledge these very real facts from the past. So...what happened between then and now? Just consider that Ludwig Heinrich Edler Von Misis, a noted Austrian-American economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the Austrian School and who lived from 1881 to 1973, wrote, "Imagine a world order in which liberalism is supreme . . . there is private property in the means of production. The working of the market is not hampered by government interference. There are no trade barriers; men can live and work where they want.” Clearly if he were alive today, he would be declared a Libertarian, not a Liberal. Again...what happened and How...and Why?
I, for one, have no idea. I wonder if today's Liberals do...or care.