(“In defining conservatism, Reagan said: “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”) ~ Conservatism in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

…..In defining conservatism, Reagan said: “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.

I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals—if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories.

Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...

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The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”[153]

Reagan’s views on government were influenced by Thomas Jefferson, especially his hostility to strong central governments.[154] “We’re still Jefferson’s children,” he declared in 1987. “Freedom is not created by Government, nor is it a gift from those in political power. It is, in fact, secured, more than anything else, by limitations placed on those in Government”.[155][156]…..

via Conservatism in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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11 Responses to (“In defining conservatism, Reagan said: “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”) ~ Conservatism in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  1. vonmises1881 says:

    Of course, one could argue that both parties are in fact conservative in this sense: They both want to use the power of big government to further their agendas. Since the early liberals or classical liberals were, as you stated, a counter to the ancien regime of privelege and centralized power how can we call either party conservative? In fact, there are those (Jeff Riggenbach is one) who would argue that FDR’s New Deal was conservative in that it centralized power in the state and ruled people’s lives with faceless bureaus and mountains of red tape all watched over by technocrats. Sounds a lot like France between the 15th and 18th century.

    Democrat/Liberal = Using state power to regulate and try to “even the playing field” for all. Also uses the state to modify people’s behavior to align more with what they consider to be right. Uses the state to distribute wealth more equitably as they see it.

    Republican/Conservative = Uses state power to subsidize large industries. Sometimes uses state power to limit lifestyle choices of individuals. Uses the state to centralize power in the hands of a strong executive branch and maintain an interventionist military state.

    Neither of these sound very libertarian to me. Libertarians are outside the confines of either party if one insists on using party labels which I think you and I can agree are sometimes ridiculous. If anything, libertarians could in fact be placed more in the Classical Liberal camp since in fact they are the followers of many of Jefferson’s ideas.

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