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Response to cali (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 12:36 PM

46. A good course in political history will show that Liberalism and Capitalism (Adam Smith)

were always inextricably intertwined because liberalism championed individual freedom, and economic freedom was a part of broad individual freedoms championed by liberalism.

The problem, of course, is that what passes for Capitalism today is not "The Wealth of Nations" but a marriage of Consumerism and Corporatism (neither of which are classic Capitalism of the Adam Smith variety).

The model envisioned by Adam Smith, and the way it was practiced between the end of WWII and the early 70's, is not what we have today. The right wing mania for deregulation (especially of large Corporate Business and Banks) has created a Plutocratic Oligarchy where power focused in the hands of moneyed interests has created a system that suppresses individual freedoms and even economic freedoms of the majority of people.

Economic freedom is the right to work at an occupation for a living wage or to seek opportunity to become as wealthy as one wants. Deregulation created a system where those who have money have become a form of nobility that control wealth and power. A relative few people manage to enter the ranks of the wealthy elite, but for the most part it remains a closed club.

Finally, liberalism as we know it was adopted slowly by the Democratic party that was once a Southern institution that did not champion liberalism in any way, shape, or form. The Republican party in its origins with the dissolution of the Whigs was, at the time, a progressive and relatively liberal party. The parties took their modern forms after WWII, beginning with Truman for the Democrats. The post War Republican Party created by Buckley with such leaders as Eisenhower is not at all what grew out Nixon's southern strategy and the Reagan Revolution. Today, someone espousing Reagan's beliefs and his achievements (Raised taxes, championed more taxes for the rich, and provided amnesty for undocumented workers) would be called a socialist by todays Republican Party.

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