The Economist is right as usually - we classical liberals should reclaim the concept of liberalism from polarising abuses inflicted upon it by both the (US) conservatives and the (European) left. In a nutshell:

"The idea, with its roots in English and Scottish political philosophy of the 18th century, speaks up for individual rights and freedoms, and challenges over-mighty government and other forms of power. In that sense, traditional English liberalism favoured small government - but, crucially, it viewed a government's efforts to legislate religion and personal morality as sceptically as it regarded the attempt to regulate trade (the favoured economic intervention of the age)."

Unfortunately I am unable to recall in detail Anthony de Jasay's criteria of classical liberalism right now, which stroke me as very stringent when I read them ... but at least here's the Economist's article (subscription required).

BOTD: "I don't remember debates. I don't think we spent a lot of time debating it. Maybe we did, but I don't remember." On discussions of the Vietnam War when he was an undergraduate at Yale, Washington Post, July 27, 1999

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