Lost Language, Lost Liberalism

A review of the changes 1880-1940 to the central semantics of liberal civilization.


Classical liberal meaning
New meanings; confusions
Procedural fairness in a sense of equal regard or dignity of individuals, within the system of governmental law and lawmaking; responsibly interpreting the fine points, gray areas, delimitations, etc. of the law; judging whether a law is good or just (in the widest sense of justice).Equal weight in reckoning social welfare; getting one’s “fair” slice of a collective pie (often justified by citing the diminishing marginal utility of wealth).

4L is authored by Daniel B. Klein, Professor of Economics, JIN Chair at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Associate Fellow of the Ratio Institute; email: dklein@gmu.edu

Quotations compiled by Ryan Daza & Daniel B. Klein