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The origin of the "conservative" label

Reader comment on item: Fascism's Legacy: Liberalism
in response to reader comment: Liberal/Conservative ???

Submitted by Robert (United States), Jan 11, 2008 at 13:30

It appears that the term "conservatism" originated as a way of describing a desire to conserve the liberties that the people in the Anglo-Saxon world had already enjoyed for centuries:

http://ray-dox.blogspot.com/2006/07/monograph-below-monograph-is.html#1114

Liberalism indeed started out as describing a concern for individual liberties. Today we seem to have to say "classic liberalism" to refer to that, as Leftists have tried to claim the Liberal label for themselves, even though they are anything but concerned about individual liberties. Whenever I see the term "Liberal", I have to look at that type of policies advocated to determine if it is referring to the true classic liberal definition, or if it is being used as a synonym for Leftist. Hopefully those of us who believe in liberal amounts of freedom and liberty can take back the Liberal label to mean what it originally meant. Until then, we have two labels, "classic liberal" and "conservative" to refer to those who want liberal amounts of individual freedom/liberty or to conserve the liberties individuals already enjoy, and have for centuries. To refer to those who want to restrict freedom that individuals enjoy, thereby increasing the power of the state to intrude into the lives of individuals, I consider Leftist the proper term for that.

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