American liberals adopting the term left is cool and I'm for it, but y'all need to dig a little bit deeper in the differences between leftism and liberalism.

"Affordable healthcare" is liberalism, which I acknowledge is an improvement on the current situation.

"Healthcare is a right for all" is leftism and a much better solution.

It's also a strategically better demand. If you ask for a loaf of bread, you'll get crumbs. If you want a loaf, ask for the bakery.

@celesteh

I think you get this backwards. Liberal was turned into a dirty word during the '70s and '80s by the rise of Goldwater Republicans finally reaching theri peak during the Reagan-Bush years. It was a catch all term for anyone to their left.

It was pointless to rail against communism and communists at the time: Not only were the laws banning the Communist Party still on the books, it was the Cold War and Communism was widely understood to be the enemy. Socialists, in this conception, are the same as Communists. So, what do you have left of the left? Liberals.

@vt

Yeah, but in this time of fast communications between different cultures, the word "liberal" is returning to it's older definition as a term describing someone who rejects class-based politics in favour of individualism and capitalism. Today's US Democratic Party has a right wing that are basically Whigs, so liberal is a good word to describe them, but people who wish to be further left should absolutely look further left!

@vt

Obviously liberalism is to the left of the Republican Party and not everything about individualism is bad. So liberalism is pretty ok and I certainly share causes in common with them, like LGBTQIA rights (which was really their thing in a lot of countries) and voting for Biden.

But a lot of their useful and good values also exist further left. Like anarcho-communists also value personal freedom. Most socialists now support LGBTQIA liberation. And everybody wants Trump out.

@celesteh

Except that old-definition liberalism is squarely within the realm of how many Republicans see themselves, as you say "rejects class-based politics in favour of individualism and capitalism". If you called MAGA people "liberal" for espousing those views people in the US on the right and left would, at the very least, look at you funny.

So the term is in this weird limbo where it is used as a club by both the right and the left.

@celesteh

Its old definition had a lot in it about reform away from feudalism, at least from monarchy, and away from theocracy. There certainly are theocratic supporters and dark enlightenment neo-elitist types who use "liberal" in that same old, unmuddled sense.

It's weird to see the word used and then to wonder whether its being used in this mostly-meaningless contemporarily muddled way or is used in the old way, but by someone playing a longer, older, grimmer game.

@vt

MAGA people are intensely focussed on racial identity and I would argue they are neo-feudalists. They certainly are not in favour of individual rights of expression and prefer to focus on hierarchies. There is a concept they have of "ordered liberty" which has elements strikingly reminiscent of the antebellum system.

@vt

By contrast, liberalism rejects group identities except as it related to marketing demographics. This leads to capitalist alienation. While modern liberals not anti-heirarchy, they favour corporate structures which are nominally a meritocracy. The contradiction in this is that everyone is treated as an individual and power imbalances between people and corporations are ignored. Or sometimes given to HR departments to sort out.

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