Liberals Believe In Capitalism

Did you know that liberals believe in capitalism; that they consider themselves capitalist? I have been laboring for many years under the misconception that liberals believed in anything but capitalism. You can imagine my shock when I learned yesterday that I have been wrong all these years.

Yesterday, as I do most days, I stopped by the Questions and Observation blog. I have long considered Bruce McQuain one of our better conservative/libertarian pundits. His articles have inspired more than a few of my posts here at Conservatives on Fire. One of McQuain’s articles yesterday was titled Should Liberal’s support Occupy Wall Street? he was responding to an editorial at The New Republic. The editorial starts out talking about the many themes that liberals and the Occupy Wall Street protestors have in common. The editorial then goes on to say:

But, to draw on the old cliché, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Just because liberals are frustrated with Wall Street does not mean that we should automatically find common cause with a group of people who are protesting Wall Street. Indeed, one of the first obligations of liberalism is skepticism—of governments, of arguments, and of movements. And so it is important to look at what Occupy Wall Street actually believes and then to ask two, related questions: Is their rhetoric liberal, or at least a close cousin of liberalism? And is this movement helpful to the achievement of liberal aims?

And this is the bit that caught McQuain’s eye and you can see why:

One of the core differences between liberals and radicals is that liberals are capitalists. They believe in a capitalism that is democratically regulated—that seeks to level an unfair economic playing field so that all citizens have the freedom to make what they want of their lives. But these are not the principles we are hearing from the protesters. Instead, we are hearing calls for the upending of capitalism entirely.

They believe in a capitalism that is democratically regulated—that seeks to level an unfair economic playing field…” Really? That is their idea of capitalism? Well, McQuain has a lot of fun with this and, also, quotes some other mainstream liberals that support the view expressed by The New Republic editorial. Please give McQuain’s article a read. I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. For now, take a look at how he closes:

When you realize what is at the root cause of the problems we now are fighting to overcome, you realize the progressive version of “capitalism” is a failure.   As usual, their instrument of change is the blunt force of government where one doesn’t have to convince, persuade or sell.  Just dictate and do.  That’s the antithesis of capitalism and markets.

I don’t think the word means what they think it means.

But don’t tell them … they really, honestly think they’re capitalists.

You would think after all these years of wandering through this vail of tears that I could no longer be surprised by the twisted logic of the liberal mind; but, this one really knocked me off-balance. This is what the liberal education system teaches or maybe better said; this the result of the indoctrination of our liberal education system. No wonder this country is so screwed-up!

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?



21 thoughts on “Liberals Believe In Capitalism

  1. It seems that what liberals really believe in is twisting words to make it seem like they have the same values as most people do. Change the meaning to mean what people want to hear!

    1. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
      “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
      “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master that’s all.”

  2. Conservatives have wisely observed that we do not share the goals of the OWS people. There can be no common cause.

    We have a problem with banking and finance, and the root of the problem is DC.

  3. I guess my confusion comes in at the point when the term “Progressives” came into play, and when the term Liberal became passe. It seems now to me to be the same folks at this point, but in my mind, these are not your fathers Liberals that I grew up with. Any elightenment appreciated. A Progressive? I know one when I see one, the Liberal thing, not so much,

    1. Labels have always been difficult to nail down. You say “…but in my mind, these are not your father’s Liberals that I grew up with.” I would say the are not my fathers Democrats or more precisely who my father thought the Democrats were. I say that because my father’s Democrats included Woodrow Wilson and FDR. My father thought they were for the working man. I would disagree with my father.

    2. For the most part, liberals are now called “blue dog democrats” (some of them are pretty progressive, though, so it’s not a true measure). Blue dogs are the “old school” Democrats, and it’s very telling just how far into commie land we are that they aren’t even just “democrats” anymore.

      As it became more and more clear how truly, deeply socialist-Marxist-communist they are (the term “progressive” has simply become a mask for the anti-American far left), I stopped calling them liberals. “Leftists” is more accurate and helps avoid any confusion.

  4. Well, liberals DO believe in capitalism. Think of JFK, think of Harry Truman, think of the Reagan Democrats, of the “silent majority,” of the millions of Americans who are true patriots but either haven’t noticed or don’t understand that the Democratic Party has been infiltrated and “fundamentally transformed.”

    “Liberal” means small government, remember; it means respecting a constitutional republic, due process, rule of law, free markets . . . everything we believe in. Or it did. The commies, Marxists, and socialists (under the label “progressive”) began running for and being elected office, began working from within the (D) party under the radar because they needed to keep the apathetic and/or unengaged “old-style liberal” dems under the delusion that it was the same party it had been. It was all a lie. We know this now, and the more they come out into the open with their insane ideology, the more people will wake up.

    1. Fuzi,

      You are referring to “classic liberalism”, which is more Conservative than some folks think. This modern-day version is not classical liberalism.

      You nailed it.

    2. The infiltration of which you speak of ebbed and flowed in the early part of the last century. They were very active in the Woodrow Wilson era and even more so in the FDR era. I’m not sure where history will put JFK. He certainly demonstrated a profound understanding of the benefits of capitalism and free markets during his three years in office. But, many of the programs that LBJ pushed through were originated by JFK. The concepts of centralized planning though a big central government is no longer just the domain of the left or of the Democrats. I’m hopeful we are seeing the awakening of a sleeping giant that does believe in capitalism, free markets and the small central government with the enumerated powers our Founders gave to us.
      Thanks for the great comment, Fuzzy.

  5. Interesting question and arguments, Jim. So much meaning and content is lost in the fog of semantics and definitions in the mouths of politicians that it is difficult to pin them down. It doesn’t help that the word “liberal” has been transformed from its 19Th C. English roots to the present American political scene, with almost opposite meanings.

    Present day American liberals and Progressives use the word ‘capitalism’ only when is electorally convenient and to imply that they are for free markets, which, of course, they aren’t.

    Good post, Jim.

    1. No one is better at manipulating language and words than those on the political left. Maybe we should just refer to them as the left; but, maybe statist is better because statist would include some Republicans as well.

  6. The leftist idea of capitalism is now called, Public Private Partnerships. This is the fancy word for crony capitalism, otherwise known as Fascism. Am just looking deeper into this and will post on it soon. If it weren’t so tragic, we’d all be on the floor laughing at the absurdity of it all….my opinion.

  7. Without delving in to things too deeply, this piece is a textbook example of the power of law – which by nature, is the art of definitions. To draw a strange comparison, your article explains why a credit card contract is five pages long with miniscule text…

      1. CoF:

        Don’t forget, they also like to murder The US Constitution. Or is it use it as toilet paper? I always seem to get that one mixed up.

  8. So, liberal capitalists want to “level an unfair economic playing field so that all citizens have the freedom to make what they want of their lives.”


    “We want to take away your economic freedom by taking your earnings and giving it to the folks who’ll keep us in power.”

    Yep, that’s the left’s definition of capitalism, alright.

    Nice find.


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