Why Tim Worstall is a Lefty!

In fact, liberalism, meaning classical liberalism, has never been conservative.  It began as a movement of the left against feudalistic, conservative insiders and it remains so today.

11 thoughts on “Why Tim Worstall is a Lefty!”

  1. Absolutely. Sadly, in politics irresistible forces conspire to confound and confuse the original intentions motivating much initially useful terminology and then partisan herd behaviour does the rest.

    Who would have thought that this last Lib-Dem Party Conference in Britain would have been dominated by persistent expressions of what can only be described as ageism and attempts to get rid of their present leader, Ming Campbell, and supplant a younger leader in his place?

    So much for political principles.

  2. “But you’re a conservative, not a liberal.”

    Don’t know if that is supposed to relate to me but for the record, I very intentionally didn’t vote in the 2005 general election.

    The very first time I voted, at a byelection in Glasgow in the early 1960s, I voted for the Liberal candidate because the Labour candidate was an avowed Marxist. In subsequent elections, I’ve variously voted Labour, Conservative and Social Democrat depending on the context. I used to belong to the Labour Party but left in disgust in 1976 – the year Britain had to borrow from the IMF to stave off a collapse in the Sterling exchange rate. Since then, I’ve not belonged to any political party.

  3. This is probably a good point to pimp the political compass, which many of you have probably seen before (www.politicalcompass.org) – I think the split of economic and social issues is a good idea. I end up approximately in the middle Libertarian Left box (which is what people would probably think of as the traditional left).

    Tim adds:

    Economic Left/Right: 7.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.23

    The only reason I’m that authoritarian is the abortion question.

  4. Bob B:
    The LibDem conference was not dominated by such talk, except in the press…

    Those unhappy with Ming base it on other things.

    Of course, the LibDems aren’t a classically liberal party, although there are stirrings amongst some of its membership in that direction.

  5. Hey, I got -5.23 on the authoritarian scale too. I did notice many of the questions had “no, but” answers (e.g. “evil corporations are exploiting the third world’s biodiversity resources”: no, but patenting stuff that already exists and then stopping people who were already using it is an utter abuse of the intellectual property rights system).

    Anyway, did anyone else notice that the bottom right quadrant had no leaders in it at all (libertarian/right tendencies). And only the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela are placed below the zero authoritarian axis. Now why is that?

  6. “They put the LibDems just about in the Libertarian Right box.”

    Snnfppf! (sound of my coffee being snorted out through my nose)

  7. “classical liberalism, has never been conservative”: stupid bloody remark. “Conservatism”, at least in Britain, has contained a huge slug of “classical liberalism”: that was much of what quite a few 20th century, and even late 19th century, Conservatives were trying to conserve. The various forms of Socialism are the main enemies of liberalism – though now we can add Islamicism to the list.

  8. I attempted the test but was stymied on the first question:

    “If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.”

    This is not an either-or proposition. When Dell moved into places like Banglador, the corporation’s interests AND the local population’s interests were furthered.

    How many people have been lifted out of poverty through capitalists principles throughout the world just in the past 20 years?

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