Classical liberalism redefined

Rightwing think-tank Civitas has a new blog, which claims to be ‘classically liberal’.

If they followed the Adam Smith Institute‘s lead and suggested that the government should privatise everything and legalise most things, that would be fair enough. But no. Their first posts discuss how it would be great to send more people to jail, let in fewer immigrants, and hire more coppers.

If that’s classical liberalism, then I’m Norman Tebbitt. Still, what can you expect from an organisation which makes Stephen Pollard a Senior Fellow?

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7 thoughts on “Classical liberalism redefined

  1. I really think these right-wingers ought to be allowed to try their ideas out – just not on us. Surely they’ve got enough cash between them to buy a small country on which to carry out their grand experiment?

  2. Actually, how does one go about setting up a political think-tank? Is it really just a case of registering a limited company teh writing down the first lot of crap that comes into your head, saving it as a PDF and charging a few grand for the priviledge of reading it?

  3. Broadly yes, but you need to spend about ten years beforehand going to lots of parties with MPs and journalists so that people are actually willing to pay up.

  4. So *that’s* why my mate from Uni has been doing that for the last ten years… It always sounded like an intolerable chore to me, but it makes sense now…

  5. Liberalism as economics has been capitalist, verging between free trade and laissez faire. As philosophy from Greek philosophers onwards it has championed rational free speech. Bert Russell, George Orwell, Albert Camus, Sakharov, Popper et al were among twentieth century champions. I support rational, nonracist free discussion agendas, and while not being a capitalist, I support the right of civitas folk to expound their views and have them freely debated.

  6. Think you’re missing my point, Gareth – my problem with Civitas’s claims of ‘liberalism’ isn’t that they’re capitalist, which is fine by me, but that they’re socially authoritarian.

  7. I think Lord Tebbitt is a shining light in a world consumed by Liberalism and Political Correctness.

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