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Pensamento em curso: «Em Portugal, a liberdade é muito difícil, sobretudo porque não temos liberais. Temos libertinos, demagogos ou ultramontanos de todas as cores, mas pessoas que compreendam a dimensão profunda da liberdade já reparei que há muito poucas.» (António Alçada Baptista, em carta a Marcelo Caetano)

16/11/2004

LOG BOOK: I'm a sceptic and I want "liberal" back to its original owner.

«Yet there ought to be a word - not to mention, here and there, a political party - to stand for what liberalism used to mean. The idea, with its roots in English and Scottish political philosophy of the 18th century, speaks up for individual rights and freedoms, and challenges over-mighty government and other forms of power. In that sense, traditional English liberalism favoured small government - but, crucially, it viewed a government's efforts to legislate religion and personal morality as sceptically as it regarded the attempt to regulate trade (the favoured economic intervention of the age). This, in our view, remains a very appealing, as well as internally consistent, kind of scepticism.
Better to hand "liberal" back to its original owner. For the use of the right, we therefore recommend the following insults: leftist, statist, collectivist, socialist. For the use of the left: conservative, neoconservative, far-right extremist and apologist for capitalism. That will free "liberal" to be used exclusively from now on in its proper sense, as we shall continue to use it regardless. All we need now is the political party.
»

[The Economist, Nov 4th 2004]

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