Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
That depends on what 'liberal' means. In economics and political science in England it meant the transition from traditional ways of handling land, labor and capital that had evolved organically, even if not with much consideration for the lower rungs of society,  over thousands of years. At least it understood that the needs of subsistence of the lower classes had to be taken into account. Liberal economics turned many of those concerns into 'externalities' and smashed the organic view of society into millions of individuals, each with the 'personal responsibility' to take care of themselves, regardless of how impossible that might be. Such problems were not the concern of businessmen, who had to operate now according to the 'rational' rules of the new liberal economic political economy.

Classical Liberal Economics was the champion of the business class and the middle class against the rules of the feudal order. Especially of interest were changes to the way in which the biggest embodiment of capital - land - was treated, and of the substitution of 'rule of law', adjudicated by impartial trained jurists for rule by the aristocracy from traditional practice, but labor was next in line. And the rationality was from the context of economic competition. That is the core of present day conservatism and 'ordoliberalism' seems to me just another suit of clothes for the ideology, perhaps with truncheons as accessories.

I certainly did not take Schauble to be a liberal. Nor do I find adherents of the Austrian School to be particularly liberal according to how that term is used today. But then 'liberalism' today remains tainted by the economic liberalism of its youth in the early 19th Century. But Socialism has been smeared beyond recognition by a concerted, well funded 50 year PR campaign from the right. Karl Polahyi's Great Transformation is my touchstone here. He was a Socialist in Red Vienna after WW I who moved to England where he wrote his much neglected masterpiece. Unsurprisingly, conservatives prefer to ignore it. It would be hard for them to deal actively with his criticisms.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2015 at 08:11:22 PM EST
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