In our time, we on the right side of the political compass often call those on the left “liberals”. The truth is, that word belongs to us.
I was reading Murray Rothbard’s For a New Liberty and what stood out to me in the beginning was his explanation of the evolution of political labels. The idea is essentially that around the time of the American Revolution and before, there was a spectrum of political ideology. On the right were the traditional authoritarians of their time, such as monarchists, feudalists, etc., and on the left were classical liberals, or libertarians as they would today be called. “Left wing” was synonymous with rebellious and pro-liberty (can you imagine such a time?).
Along the way, during the Industrial Revolution, a new branch of thought arose: Marxism. They were seen as to the left of the classical liberals, and since people liked to think of a nice dichotomy when talking about politics, they took over the left wing and classical liberals were eventually seen as right-wing, since the old right was dying in many areas around the world. In fact, libertarians could not only rightfully reclaim the term “liberal”, but also “leftist” and “left wing”, but we must take this one step at a time.
In modern times, we all know the Marxist left is anything but rebellious and the total opposite of pro-liberty. They have had control of the media and entertainment, the education, and much of the government for at least the past half-century. To be truly anti-establishment is to be anti-left.
They are in fact the new fascists. They are “in favor” of free speech only when it suits them, and vehemently opposed to it when it doesn’t. They believe the government should have ever-increasing power (but throw a tantrum when it ends up in the possession of a non-leftist).
They have utterly trashed the term “liberal” to the point that it is now seen as the exact opposite of what it means. You may still see me use “leftist” or “the left” to describe the insane Marxists in question, but from now on I will make it a point to at least take back the term “liberal” from them and return it to ourselves, its rightful owner.