Liberal conservatives

The Liberal Democratic Party’s David Leyonhjelm (“Liberals don’t live up to their name, unlike the LDP”, The Australian, 1/10) correctly points out that the word “liberal” is not a trademark; one might add that nor is it an apt title for a conservative party.

But it is similarly presumptuous for Leyonhjelm to lay exclusive claim to the word “libertarian”, as do many on the Right these days. That philosophy originated from the Left, and many of its contemporary strands retain that character.

The root of both philosophies, liberty itself, has been discovered by the Right in recent decades, but in the process has come to refer only to economics. The original left-wing version came in a package along with the matching democratic values of fraternity and equality, but as yet the Liberals, the LDP and the Right in general have as yet found no use for those.

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