Saturday, May 7, 2011

Liberal Defined

I got a spur in my britches and decided it would be prudent to define the adjective, "liberal." After all to understand something you should find out about it's beginnings, where it came from, if you please. So after checking the etymology of the word, here is the results....

Liberal; late 14c., from O.Fr. liberal "befitting free men, noble, generous,"

Now this made me even more curious, it's a bit of a contradiction of the definition of the big government liberals of today's society. I was wondering how they strayed? Further research revealed...

Purely in reference to political opinion, "tending in favor of freedom and democracy" it dates from c.1801, from Fr. libéral, originally applied in English by its opponents.

Again it strays from the liberal of modern day. How free is a man bound by a controlling government seeking cradle to grave entitlements, and interfering with everything from child rearing to diet? Then I found the perversion of the original intent of the word.....

But also (especially in U.S. politics) tending to mean "favorable to government action to effect social change," which seems at times to draw more from the religious sense of "free from prejudice in favor of traditional opinions and established institutions" (which dates from 1823)

Apparently 1823 was the year being liberal morphed from enjoying freedom from government, to imposing government as a means of change. Good thing liberal mean the first definition at the founding of our country, not the later we struggle with now.

God Bless!
Capt. Bill

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