Are you confused with all the political terms floating around today, feeling that none of them really describe your core beliefs? Well, if you love liberty and personal freedom, than chances are that you just may be a “Classical Liberal.” Now before you conservative types get all up in arms because the word Liberal is part of the phrase, take some time to study the definition and to watch this relatively short video on the core beliefs on Classical Liberalism.
Classical liberalism is a political ideology which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with limited government under the rule of law and generally promotes a laissez-faire economic policy.
Classical liberals agreed with Thomas Hobbes that government had been created by individuals to protect themselves from one another. They thought that individuals should be free to pursue their self-interest without control or restraint by society. Individuals should be free to obtain work from the highest-paying employers, while the profit motive would ensure that products that people desired were produced at prices they would pay. In a free market, both labor and capital would receive the greatest possible reward, while production would be organized efficiently to meet consumer demand.
Classical liberalism developed in the 19th century in Europe and the United States. Although classical liberalism built on ideas that had already arisen by the end of the 18th century, it advocated a specific kind of society, government and public policy as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization. Notable individuals whose ideas have contributed to classical liberalism include John Locke, who was a major inspiration for Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence. It drew on the free-market economics of Adam Smith and on a belief in natural law and progress.
The term classical liberalism was applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier 19th-century liberalism from the newer social liberalism.