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Definition of Liberal by Jan Irvin

Definition of Liberal by Jan Irvin

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Published by 8thestate
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Published by: 8thestate on Jul 06, 2011
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10/23/2013

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The True Meaning of Liberal, Leftist and Conservative
November 5, 1997, By Jan Irvin (Original 1997, updated 01/07/2009)³I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to force it upon anyone.´-H.L. MenckenINTRODUCTIONEveryday in the mainstream, corporate underwritten or so-called µliberal media¶, we hear how of all of  America¶s problems can be blamed on the µliberals.¶ For those of you who may not know, here are thetrue definitions of µliberal,¶ µleftist,¶ and µconservative.¶ These definitions are certainly not what most of youcurrently understand when referring to liberals.First I will present a 150-year history of definitions of the word µliberal¶ via several dictionaries at mydisposal. I will use multiple dictionaries so there will be no confusion as to the so-called µOLD,¶ and µNEW¶definitions of the word liberal. The dictionaries I will use are:* 1) Webster¶s An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1853 ± 1st publication 1828* 2) Webster¶s International (Unabridged) Dictionary of the English Language 1893 ± 1st publication1890* 3) Hurst¶s new Nuttall¶s Dictionary of the English Language, 1898* 4) Webster¶s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary 1983-1990* 5) Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition 1989* 6) Webster¶s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, 1996Following the breakdown of the word µliberal¶, I will break down the words µleftist¶ and µconservative,¶ goingover what they mean in the political sense today. Finally, I will discuss how these political terms havebeen used and what that means to you.IS µLIBERAL¶ A DIRTY WORD?Webster¶s An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1853(containing the whole vocabulary of the 1st edition of 1828)LiberalLIB¶ER-AL, a. [Fr., from L. liberalis, from liber, free. see Libel.]1. Of a FREE heart; FREE to give or bestow; not close or contracted; munificent; bountiful; generous;giving largely; as, a liberal donor; the liberal founders of a college or hospital. It expresses less thanProfuse or Extravagant. 2. Generous; ample; large; as, a liberal donation; a liberal allowance. 3. Notselfish, narrow, or contracted; catholic; enlarged; embracing other interests than one¶s own; as, liberalsentiments or views; a liberal mind; liberal policy. 4. General; extensive; embracing literature and thesciences generally; as, a liberal education. This phrase is often, but not necessarily, synonymous withCOLLEGIATE; as, a collegiate education. 5. FREE; open; candid; as, a liberal communication of thoughts. 6. Large; profuse; as, a liberal discharge of matter by secretions or excretions. 7. FREE; notliteral or strict; as, a liberal construction of law. 8. Not mean; not low in birth or mind. 9. Licentious; FREEto excess. Shak. Liberal arts, as distinguished from mechanical arts, are such as depend more on theexertion of the mind than on the labor of the hands, and regard amusement, curiosity, or intellectualimprovement, rather than the necessity of subsistence, or manual skill. Such are grammar, rhetoric,painting, sculpture, architecture, music, &c. Liberal has of before the thing bestowed, and to before theperson or object on which anything is bestowed; as, to be liberal of praise or censure; liberal to the poor.LIB¶ER-AL, n. One who advocates greater freedom from restraint, especially in political institutions.
 
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Webster¶s International (Unabridged) Dictionary of the English Language, 1893(comprising the issues of 1864, 1879, and 1884)LiberalLib¶er¶al (lib¶er-al), a. [F. liberal, L. liberalis, from liber FREE; perh. akin to libet, lubet, it pleases, E. lief. Cf.Deliver.] 1. FREE by birth; hence, befitting a FREEman or gentleman; refined ; noble; independent;FREE; not servile or mean; as, a liberal ancestry; a liberal spirit; liberal arts or studies. ´Liberaleducation.´ Macaulay. ³A liberal tongue.´Shak 2.Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a FREEman;generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver.³Liberal of praise.´Bacon.Infinitely good, and of hisgood.As liberal and FREE as infinite. Milton 3. Bestowed in large way; hence, more than sufficient;abundant; bountiful; ample; profuse; as, a liberal gift; a liberal discharge of matter or of water. 4. Not strictor rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; FREE; as, a liberal translation of a classic, or aliberal construction of law or of language. 5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged inspirit; catholic. 6. FREE to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious. ´Most like a liberalvillain.´ 7. Not bound by orthodox tenets or established forms in political or religious philosophy;independent in opinion; not conservative; friendly to great FREEdom in the constitution or administrationof government; having tendency toward democratic or republican, as distinguished from monarchical or aristocratic, forms; as liberal thinkers; liberal Christians; the Liberal party. I confess I see nothing liberal inthis ³order of thoughts,´ as Hobbes elsewhere expresses it. Hazlitt. Liberal has of, sometimes with ,before the thing bestowed, in before a word signifying action, and to before a person or object on whichanything is bestowed; as, to be liberal of praise or censure; liberal with money; liberal in giving; liberal tothe poor. The liberal arts. See under Art. ² Liberal education, education that enlarges and disciplinesthe mind and makes it master of its own powers, irrespective of the particular business or profession onemay follow.Syn. ² Generous; bountiful; munificent; beneficent; ample; large; profuse; FREE. ±Liberal, Generous.Liberal is FREEborn, and generous is highborn. The former is opposed to the ordinary feelings of aservile state, and implies largeness of spirit in giving, judging, acting, etc. The latter expresses thatnobleness of soul which is peculiarly appropriate to those of high rank, ² a spirit that goes out of self,and finds its enjoyment in consulting the feelings and happiness of others. Generosity is measured bythe extent of the sacrifices it makes; liberality, by the warmth of feeling which it manifests.Lib¶er-al, n. One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of theestablished systems; a reformer; in English politics, a member of the Liberal party, so called. Cf. WHIG.Hurst¶s new Nuttall¶s Dictionary of the English Language, 1898LiberalLiberal, lib¶-er-al; a. giving largely; munificent; generous; ample; large; not selfish or narrow; embracingothers interests than one¶s own; favorable to liberty and progress; become a gentleman; refined; FREE;open; candid; not too literal: s. one who advocates greater FREEdom in political institutions, and moreespecially their greater popularization (L. liber, FREE)Webster¶s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary, 1983-1990LiberalLib.er.al \¶lib(-e)-rel\ adj [ME, fr. MF, fr. L liberalis suitable for a FREEman, generous, fr. liber FREE; akinto OE leodan to grow, Gkeleutheros FREE] (14c) 1 a; of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts<~education> b archaic; of or befitting a man of FREE birth 2 a; GENEROUS, OPENHANDED < a ~giver> b: given or provided in a generous and openhanded way < a ~ meal> C: AMPLE, FULL 3 obs :lacking moral restraint : LICENTIOUS 4 : not literal or strict : LOOSE < a ~ translation> 5: BROAD-MINDED; esp : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms 6 a: of favoring, or basedupon the principles of liberalism b cap : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with
 
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the principles of political liberalism; : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associatedwith ideals of individual esp. economic FREEdom, greater individual participation in government, andconstitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives ² lib.er.al.ly \-re-le\adv±lib.er.al.ness n.syn LIBERAL, GENEROUS, BOUNTIFUL, MUNIFICENT mean giving FREEly and unstintingly. LIBERALsuggestions openhandedness in the giver and largeness in the thing or amount given; GENEROUSstresses warmhearted readiness to give more than size or importance of the gift; BOUNTIFUL suggestlavish, unremitting giving or providing; MUNIFICENT suggests a scale of giving appropriate to lords of princes.2 Liberal n (1816); one who is liberal; as a: one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways b cap: a member or supporter of a liberal political partyc: an advocate or adherent of liberalism esp. in individual rights.The Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition, 1989 (The world¶s most authorative dictionary.)Liberal A. adj. 1.Originally, the distinctive epithet of those µarts¶ or µsciences¶ (see art 7) that were consideredµworthy of a FREE man¶; opposed to servile or mechanical. In later use, of condition, pursuits,occupations: Pertaining to or suitable to persons of superior social station; µbecoming a gentleman¶ (J.).Now rare, exc. of education, culture, etc., with mixture of senses 3 and 4: Directed to general intellectualenlargement and refinement; not narrowly restricted to the requirements of technical or professionaltraining. Freq. in liberal arts. 2. a. FREE in bestowing; bountiful, generous, open-hearted. Const. of.b. Of a gift, offer, etc.: Made without stint. Of a meal, an entertainment, etc., also of a fortune: Abundant, ample.c. Hence occas. of outline, parts of the body, etc.: Ample, large. 3. ‚a. FREE from restraint; FREE inspeech or action. In 16±17th c. often in a bad sense: Unrestrained by prudence or decorum, licentious.liberalarbitre (= F. libéralarbitre, L. liberumarbitrium): FREE will. Obs. b. Of passage, etc.: FREElypermitted, not interfered with. Obs. exc. arch.c. Of construction or interpretation: Inclining to laxity or indulgence; not rigorous. ‚Also of a translation: FREE, not literal. ‚d. With agent-noun: That doessomething FREEly or copiously. Obs. 4. a. FREE from narrow prejudice; open-minded, candid. b. esp.FREE from bigotry or unreasonable prejudice in favour of traditional opinions or established institutions;open to the reception of new ideas or proposals of reform. Hence often applied as a party designation tothose members of a church or religious sect who hold opinions µbroader¶ or more µadvanced¶ than those inaccordance with its commonly accepted standard of orthodoxy, e.g. in Liberal Catholic. Liberal Christian:in the U.S. chiefly applied to the Unitarians and Universalists; in England somewhat more vaguely tothose who reject or consider unessential any considerable part of the traditional system of belief; soliberal Christianity, liberal theology. Also in application to Judaism. 5. Of political opinions: Favourable toconstitutional changes and legal or administrative reforms tending in the direction of FREEdom or democracy. Hence used as the designation of the party holding such opinions, in England or other states;opposed to Conservative. Liberal-Labour, of or pertaining to (persons associated with or sympathetic to)both the Liberal and the Labour parties. So Liberal Labourism.Cf. Lib-Lab a. In Liberal Conservative, theadj. has rather sense 4 than this sense; the combination, however, is often hyphened, which perhapsindicates that it is interpreted as µpartly Liberal, partly Conservative.¶ Liberal Unionist: a member of theparty formed by those Liberals who refused to support Mr. Gladstone¶s measure of Irish Home Rule in1886. 6. Comb. as liberal-anarchic, -bourgeois, -cultural, -democratic, -empiricist, -hearted, -humanist, -minded, -scientific, ‚-talking adjs.; liberal-anarchism, -mindedness. B. n. 1.A member of the Liberal party(see A. 5).a. in continental politics. b. in British politics. Early in the 19th c. the n. occurs chiefly as appliedby opponents to the advanced section of the Whig party: sometimes in Sp. or Fr. form, app. with theintention of suggesting that the principles of those politicians were un-English, or akin to those of therevolutionaries of the Continent. As, however, the adj. was already English in a laudatory sense, theadvocates of reform were not reluctant to adopt the foreign term as descriptive of themselves; and whenthe significance of the old party distinctions was obliterated by the coalition of the moderate Whigs withthe Tories and of the advanced Whigs with the Radicals, the new names µLiberal¶ and µConservative¶ took

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