Sunday, April 27, 2014


A statement of no surrender on the word "liberal."
In the 17th and 18th centuries there was an ascendant cultural outlook that may be termed the liberal outlook. It was best represented by the Scottish enlightenment, especially Adam Smith, and it flowed into a liberal era, which came to be represented politically by people like Richard Cobden, William Gladstone, and John Bright. The liberal outlook revolved around a number of central terms (in English-language discourse, the context of the semantic issue that concerns us).
Especially from 1880 there began an undoing of the meaning of the central terms, among them the word liberal. The tendency of the trends of the past 130 years has been toward the governmentalization of social affairs. The tendency exploded during the First World War, the Interwar Years, and the Second World War. After the Second World War the most extreme forms of governmentalization were pushed back and there have since been movements against the governmentalization trend. But by no means has the original liberal outlook been restored to its earlier cultural standing. The semantic catastrophes of the period 1880-1940 persist, and today, amidst the confusion of tongues, governmentalization continues to hold its ground and even creep forward. For the term liberal, in particular, it is especially in the United States and Canada that the term is used in ways to which we take exception.
We the undersigned affirm the original arc of liberalism, and the intention not to relinquish the term liberal to the trends, semantic and institutional, toward the governmentalization of social affairs.

Our goal is to gather at least 500 signatures (we hope even more wish to sign!). We have focused our efforts on people from Anglophonic countries because in most other countries “liberal” largely retains the original meaning.
Current Signatories:
Timothy Andrews, Executive Dir., Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance
Winton Bates, Blogger, Freedom and Flourishing
Chris Berg, Dir. of Policy, Inst. of Public Affairs
Juel Briggs, Businesswoman
Gabriel Buckley, National President, Liberal Democratic Party
Mark Hornshaw, Lecturer in Econ., U. of Notre Dame Australia
John Humphreys, Visiting Lecturer of Economics, U. of Queensland
Darryn Jensen, Senior Lecturer in Law, U. of Queensland
David Morrison, Reader in Law, The U. of Queensland
Julie Novak, Senior Fellow, Institute of Public Affairs
James Paterson, Dir. of Dev. and Communications, Inst. of Public Affairs
Suri Ratnapala, Prof. of Public Law, The U. of Queensland
Brad R. Taylor, Postdoctoral Fellow, The Australian National University
Brian Lee Crowley, Managing Director, Macdonald-Laurier Institute
Pierre Desrochers, Associate Prof. of Geography, U. of Toronto
Bradley Doucet, English Editor, Le Québécois Libre
Pierre Lemieux, Professeur associé, Université du Québec en Outaouais
Janet Neilson , Director, Inst. for Liberal Studies
Xavier de Vanssay, Prof. of Economics, York U.
New Zealand
Bernard Robertson, Barrister, Wellington
Paul Walker, Economist, Christchurch
South Africa
Brian C Benfield, Prof., Insurance and Risk Mgt., U. of the Witwatersrand
Eustace Davie, Director, Free Market Foundation
United Kingdom
Victoria Adams, President, Queen Mary Libertarian Society
Nigel Ashford, Prof. of Politics, Staffordshire U.
Philip Booth, Prof., City U., London and Inst. of Economic Affairs
Ryan Bourne , Head of Public Policy, Inst. of Economic Affairs
Sam Bowman, Research Director, Adam Smith Institute
Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute
Peter Cleppe, Head of Brussels office, Open Europe
Timothy Congdon, Chair of The Freedom Association
Iain Dale, Drivetime presenter, LBC Radio
Stephen Davies, Education Director, Institute of Economic Affairs
Tim Evans, Senior Fellow, Adam Smith Institute
Roger Fox, Visiting Fellow, U. of Buckingham
Andrew Haldenby, Director, Reform
Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive, The TaxPayers’ Alliance
Lee Jenkins, Deputy Editor, The Backbencher Magazine
Ketan Jha, Managing Editor, Sussex Law Review
Gavin Kennedy, Emeritus Prof., Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt U.
Stephanie Lis, Head of Communications, Inst. of Economic Affairs
Mark Littlewood, Dir. General & Ralph Harris Fellow, Inst. of Economic Affairs
Alan Macfarlane, Prof. of Anthropology, Cambridge U.
John Meadowcroft, Senior Lecturer, King’s College London
Chris Mounsey, UX Director, Blogger, Devil’s Kitchen
Kristian Niemietz, Senior Research Fellow, Inst. of Economic Affairs
Mark Pennington, Prof. of Public Policy, King’s College London
Robert Sauer, Prof. of Economics, U. of London
Marc Sidwell, Managing Editor, City A.M.
Craig Smith, Lecturer, The U. of Glasgow
Christopher Snowdon, Research Fellow, Inst. of Economic Affairs
Tim Worstall, Senior Fellow, Adam Smith Institute
United States
Sherzod Abdukadirov, Research Fellow, George Mason U.
Paul Dragos Aligica, Senior Fellow, George Mason U.
William Allen, Professor of Economics, UCLA
Jonathan Anomaly, Lecturer, Duke
Larry Arnhart, Prof. of Political Science, Northern Illinois U.
Jose Azel, Senior Research Assoc., U. of Miami
John Baden, Chairman, FREE
F. William Ballou, Member, Mont Pelerin Society
Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
Tom W. Bell, Prof. of Law, Chapman U.
Bruce Benson, Prof. of Economics, Florida State U.
Daniel Bier, Executive Editor, The Skeptical Libertarian
Simon Bilo, Asst. Prof. of Economics, Allegheny College
Walter Block, Prof. of Economics, Loyola U. New Orleans
Peter Boettke, Prof. of Economics & Philosophy, George Mason U.
Cecil Bohanon, Prof. of Economics, Ball State U.
Mark Bonica, Asst. Prof., Baylor U.
Peter Bos, President, Polydyne, Inc.
Donald Boudreax, Prof. of Economics, George Mason U.
Jason Briggeman, Adjunct Faculty in Economics, Central Texas College
James Broughel, Program Manager, Mercatus Center at George Mason U.
Henry N. Butler, Executive Director, Law & Econ. Center, George Mason U.
Nicolas Cachanosky, Asst. Prof. of Economics, Metropolitan State U. of Denver
Peter T. Calcagno, Prof. of Economics, College of Charleston
Bruce Caldwell, Prof. of Economics, Duke U.
Troy Camplin, Lecturer of English, U. of North Texas at Dallas
Nicholas Capaldi, Prof., Center for Spiritual Capital, Loyola U.
Alejandro Chafuen, President, Atlas Network
Henry C. Clark, Visiting Prof., Clemson U.
Michael Clark, Prof. of Economics, Hillsdale College
Warren Coats, Retired, International Monetary Fund
John P. Cochran, Emer. Dean Sch. of Bus. & Emer. Prof. of Econ., Metrop. State U. of Denver
Joseph Connors, Visiting Asst. Prof., Wake Forest U.
Christopher J. Conover, Research Scholar, Duke U.
Kevin Currie-Knight, Postdoctoral Fellow , U. of Illinois, Springfield
D. Allen Dalton, Adjunct Faculty in Economics, Boise State U.
Daniel D’Amico, Assoc. Prof. of Economics, Loyola U.
Harry David, Copy Editor and Proofreader, Invisible Order
Antony Davies, Assoc. Prof. of Economics, Duquesne U.
Shawn Decker, Research Chemist, Entrepreneur
Gregory Delemeester, Prof. of Economics, Marietta College
Henry Demmert, (retired), Santa Clara U.
Gregory Dempster, Prof. of Econ. and Business, Hampden-Sydney College
Arthur M. Diamond, Jr., Prof. of Economics, U. of Nebraska
Jennifer Dirmeyer, Asst. Prof., Ferris State U.
Matt Dobra, Prof. of Economics, Methodist U.
William Doss, Deputy Dir., Grassroots Programs, Leadership Institute
Lenore T. Ealy, President, The Philanthropic Enterprise
Richard Ebeling, Professor of Economics, Northwood U.
John B. Egger, Prof. Emeritus, Towson U.
Ross Emmett, Prof. of Pol. Economy and Pol. Theory & Const. Democracy, Michigan State U
Richard Epstein, Prof. of Law, New York U.
John Estill, Lecturer, San Jose State U.
Larry Eubanks, Assoc. Prof., U. of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Williamson M. Evers, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Fred Foldvary, Lecturer in Economics, San Jose State U.
Corrie Foos, Co-Founder, Mont Hamilton Society
Micah Frankel, Prof., California State U.
David E.R. Gay, Prof., U. of Arkansas
Warren Gibson, Economics Lecturer, San Jose State U.
Ephraim Gildor, President, Gildor Investments
Peter Gordon, Prof. Emeritus, USC
Joe Green, Asst. Prof. of Political Science, Dixie State
Walter Grinder, President Emeritus, Institute for Civil Society
James Gwartney, Prof. of Economics, Florida State U.
Colleen Haight, Associate Prof. in Economics, San Jose State U.
Eric Hammer, Research Fellow, George Mason U.
Michael Hammock, Asst. Prof. of Economics, Middle Tennessee State U.
Thomas W. Hazlett, Prof. of Law & Economics, George Mason U.
Christine Dunn Henderson, Senior Fellow, Liberty Fund, Inc.
David R. Henderson, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Stephen Hicks, Ph.D., Prof. of Philosophy, Rockford U.
Arnold Hite, Prof. of Economics, Charleston Southern U.
Fergus Hodgson, Editor in Chief, PanAm Post
Andrew Hofer, Managing Dir., Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
Robert M. Hoffman, Publisher, U. of Chicago Press
Randall Holcombe, Prof. of Economics, Florida State U.
Steven Horwitz, Prof. of Economics, St. Lawrence U.
Lee Hoskins, Senior Fellow, Pacific Research Institute
Daniel Houser, Prof. of Economics, George Mason U.
Hunter Hustus, Mr, Northeastern U.
Sanford Ikeda, Assoc. Prof. of Economics, Purchase College, SUNY
Jonathan B. Imber, Prof. of Sociology, Wellesley College
Brian Jacobsen, Assoc. Prof., Wisconsin Lutheran College
Garett Jones, Associate Prof. of Economics, George Mason U.
Jerry L Jordan, President, Pacific Academy for Advanced Sciences
Mitchell Kaufman, Philosophy Instructor, U. of Washington
Carrie B. Kerekes, Asst. Prof. of Economics, Florida Gulf Coast U.
Daniel B. Klein, Prof. of Economics, George Mason U.
Eric Kohn, Chairman, America’s Future Foundation – Chicago
David Kopel, Research Dir. & Adj. Prof. of Const. Law, Denver U.
Alan Charles Kors, Prof. of History, U. of Pennsylvania
David Kotter, Assoc. Prof. of Theology and Economics, Colorado Christian U.
Jason Kuznicki, Research Fellow, The Cato Institute
Warren Lammert, Founder, Granite Point Capital
Richard Langlois, Prof. of Economics, The U. of Connecticut
George Leef, Director of Research, Pope Center for Higher Ed. Policy
Jean Leonard, Owner, Great Divide Publishing
Peter Lewin, Clinical Prof., Economics, U. of Texas at Dallas
Hyrum Lewis, Assoc. Prof. of History, Brigham Young U.-Idaho
Jody Lipford, Prof. of Economics, Presbyterian College
Loren Lomasky, Prof. of Political Philosophy, U. of Virginia
Phillip Magness, Academic Program Dir., Inst. for Humane Studies, George Mason U.
Spencer MacCallum, Director, The Heather Foundation
Alexei Marcoux, Assoc. Prof. of Business Ethics, Loyola U. Chicago
Frederic Marks, Author, Capitalism: The Liberal Revolution
Michael L. Marlow, Prof. of Economics, California Polytechnic State U.
Christopher S. Martin, Asst. Prof. of Economics, Hillsdale College
Donna Matias, Prof. of Law, U. of San Diego
William H.A. McBride, Chief Economist, Tax Foundation
Deirdre McCloskey, Prof. of Econ. & History, U. of Illinois at Chicago
James E. McClure, Prof. of Economics, Ball State U.
Tom Means, Prof. of Economics, San Jose State U.
Stephen Miller, Assoc. Prof. of Economics, Western Carolina U.
Lotta Moberg, Economics Instructor, George Mason U.
Adam D. Moore, Assoc. Prof., Information School, U. of Washington
Julian Morris, VP of Research, Reason Foundation
John Moser, Prof. of History, Ashland U.
James Mulcahy, Adjunct lecturer, SUNY at Buffalo
Mike Munger, PPE Director, Duke U.
Todd Myers, Assoc. Prof., Grossmont College
Patrick Nolan, Distinguished Prof. Emeritus, Sociology, U. of South Carolina
Philip Nuetzel, VP – Mortgage Modeling and Analytics, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Barbara Oakley, Prof. of Engineering, Oakland U.
James Otteson, Teaching Prof. of Political Economy, Wake Forest U.
Alexandre Padilla, Assoc. Prof. of Economics, Metropolitan State U. of Denver
Tom G. Palmer, Executive Vice President, The Atlas Network
George Pearson, Board Chair, Kansas Policy Institute
Sam Peltzman, Prof. of Economics, U. of Chicago
Patrick Peterson, Chief Networker, Silicon Valley Freedom Initiative
Benjamin Powell, Prof., Texas Tech U.
Ivan Pongracic, Jr., Professor of Economics, Hillsdale College
Greg Ransom, Blogger, Taking. Hayek Seriously
Roger Ream, President, Fund for American Studies
Andrea Millen Rich, President, Center for Independent Thought
Jeff Riggenbach, Senior Fellow, Randolph Bourne Institute
Mario J. Rizzo, Associate Prof. of Economics, New York U.
Dalibor Rohac, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute
Kevin Rollins, Editor, Free Liberal
Clark Ruper, Vice President, Students For Liberty International
Paul H. Rubin, Prof. of Economics, Emory U.
Thomas Carl Rustici, Asst. Prof. of Economics, George Mason U.
Thomas Saving, Prof. Of Economics, Texas A&M U.
D. Eric Schansberg, Prof. of Economics, Indiana U. Southeast
Michael Schwarz, Asst. Prof. of History, Ashland U.
Daniel Shapiro, Prof. of Philosophy, West Virginia U.
Amity Shlaes, Chair, Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation
William F. Shughart II, Prof. of Public Choice, Utah State U.
Randy T. Simmons, Prof. of Political Economy, Utah State U.
Sarah Skwire, Fellow, Liberty Fund Inc
Adam C. Smith, Asst. Prof., Johnson & Wales U.
Daniel J. Smith, Asst. Prof. of Economics, Troy U.
George H. Smith, Lecturer, Cato Institute
Jeffrey Smith, Prof. of Economics, U. of Michigan
Vernon Smith, Prof. of Economics, Chapman U.
Nicholas Snow, Visiting Asst. Prof. of Economics, Kenyon College
Jason Sorens, Lecturer, Dartmouth College
Mark Steckbeck, Prof. of Economics, Campbell U.
John Stephens, Site Design and Operations, Econ Journal Watch
Edward Peter Stringham, Prof. of Economics, Texas Tech U.
John Strong, Owner, EtherPros
Michael Strong, CEO, FLOW
Amy H. Sturgis, Asst. Prof. of Liberal Studies, Lenoir-Rhyne U.
Daniel Sutter, Prof. of Economics, Troy U.
James Stacey Taylor, Associate Prof., The College of New Jersey
Harry E. Teasley Jr., Emeritus Chairman, Reason Foundation
Justin Teeman, Guest Lecturer of Psych., U. of Central Oklahoma
Fernando Tesón, Eminent Scholar, Florida State U.
David J. Theroux, Founder and President, The Independent Institute
Clifford F. Thies, Prof. of Economics & Finance, Shenandoah U.
Diana Thomas, Assoc. Prof., Creighton U.
Michael D. Thomas, Asst. Prof., Creighton U.
Clint Townsend, Leadership Manager, Students For Liberty
Matthew Tyrmand, Deputy Dir., American
Douglas Den Uyl, VP of Educational Programs, Liberty Fund
Richard Vedder, Prof. Of Economics Emeritus, Ohio U.
Marion Warin-Miller, Translator/Writer, Franco-American Translations
Nikolai G. Wenzel, Visiting Asst. Prof. of Econ., Florida Gulf Coast U.
Michael White, Mercatus Center Donor
Bonnie Wilson, Associate Prof. of Economics, Saint Louis U.
Abel Winn, Asst. Prof. in Economics, Chapman U.
Bill Woolsey, Assoc. Prof., The Citadel
Martin Morse Wooster, Author,
Zenon X. Zygmont, Prof. of Economics, Western Oregon U.
Todd Zywicki, Prof. of Law, George Mason U.
I signed the petition because I broadly agree with its aims, though I have some reservations on details, which is to be expected among academics (any 5 economists in a room would have  5+ interpretations of economic theory and practical policies, etc.).  
I have long admired the Works of many of the above signatories, such as” For example: Vernon Smith, James Otteson, Mike Munger, Deirdre McCloskey, Daniel B. Klein, Ross Emmett, Donald Boudreax, Peter Boettke, Bruce Caldwell, Philip Booth, Tim Worstall, Craig Smith, Iain Dale, Eamonn Butler, Sam Bowman, and Paul Walker.  
Almost all of the above disagree to some extent and intensity with my take on the use by Adam Smith of the “invisible hand” metaphor, as readers of Lost Legacy may have noticed; I have sometimes profound differences with others on aspects of their thinking, but not so profound as to withhold my signature. I interpret such thinking on my part as well within the ambit of the word “liberalism”, which is not a dogma, nor an ideological stance. My own stance on ‘Liberalism’ in today’s society can be summed as: ‘markets where possible; state where necessary’.
Readers of Lost Legacy who are broadly sympathetic to the project to clarify and re-instate the English language meaning of ‘Liberalism’ may contact the sponsors at:


Blogger airth10 said...

‘markets where possible; state where necessary’.

The challenging part is determining where one is possible and the other necessary. It takes a sophisticated bunch to figure that out. The difficulty is that the goalposts are always moving, in this world that is always in flux and full of competing interests.

6:38 pm  

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