Talk:Liberalism/old version usage liberalism
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- Capital-"L" Liberal and small-"l" liberal: In most countries, Capital-"L" Liberal is used to label the members of sympathizers of a Liberal Party, while small-"l" liberal is used to label the adherents of liberalism.
- Generally in Europe, the word liberal is used in mostly to refer to supporters of a broad tradition of individual liberties and limited government. In Northern European countries, as in the United States it refers to somebody who emphasizes individual liberty even outside economics and the free market, but it has generally nothing to do with the more general progressive political approach in connotes in the U.S. An exception is e,g, the use of the world "liberal" by Femke Halsema, the leader of GroenLinks (the Dutch "Left Greens"). In France and in Southern Europe, the word is used either to refer to the traditional liberal anti-clericalism or to economic liberalism. In France the word is used by minarchists; political liberalism in France was long associated more with the Radical Party, leading to the use of the term radicals to refer to political liberals. The French Radicals tend to be more statist then most European liberals, but share the liberal values on other issues. In France and in Southern Europe, the word "liberal" does not include the suggestion of general support for individual rights that it carries in Northern Europe. (See Liberalism in Germany, Liberalism in the Netherlands.)
- Australia: In Australia the situation is complicated by the fact that the Liberal Party of Australia is a right-of-centre party encompassing thought from both conservative and classical liberal traditions (although as of 2004 the conservative wing, represented by John Howard, is dominant). The special term "small-l liberal" in Australia generally refers to someone who champions civil liberties and progressive causes such as Australian republicanism and Aboriginal reconciliation, while maintaining a non-interventionist approach in economics. Some "small-l liberals", such as Malcolm Turnbull find a home among the Liberal Party, but many, such as Greg Barns, have moved to the Democrats.
- Canada: In Canada liberal refers mainly to the policies and ideas of the Liberal Party of Canada, the most frequent governing party of Canada for the last century and one of the largest liberal parties around the world.
- New Zealand: In New Zealand the term "liberalism" refers to a support for individual liberties and limited government. The term generally used with a reference to a particular policy area, e.g. "market liberalism" or "social liberalism". Unqualified liberalism is less common; in its extreme form it is known as "libertarianism".
- Russia: The so-called Liberal Democratic Party of Russia is not at all "liberal": it is a nationalist, right-wing populist party. Russian liberals are organised into the Yabloko and Union of Right Forces parties.
- United Kingdom: In the UK, the word "liberalism" can have any of several meanings. Scholars still use the term to refer to classical liberalism; The term also can mean economic liberalism or neoliberalism; it can simply refer to the politics of the Liberal Democrat party; it can have the imported U.S. meaning, including the derogatory usage by conservatives. However, the derogatory connotation is weaker in the UK than in the U.S., and social liberals from both the left- and right-wing continue to use "liberal" and "illiberal" to describe themselves and their opponents, respectively. (See Liberalism in the United Kingdom.)
- In the United States, the common meaning of "liberal" has evolved over time. In the 19th century it denoted classical liberalism. After World War II, it came to refer to left-of center (but anti-Communist) new liberalism. As McCarthyism made the term "socialism" and even "social democracy" anathema in America, the former New Dealers and others to the left of center adopted the name "liberal". To distinguish themselves from these, those in the U.S. who were closer to classical liberalism adopted the name "libertarian". Recently (since approximately the Reagan era), the word "liberal" has been so much used as a derogatory term by U.S. conservatives that much of the U.S. center-left now shuns even the word "liberal", calling themselves "progressives". (See Liberalism in the United States.)