There is some confusion surrounding terms here. When Ludwig von Mises published his book Liberalism in English translation, he changed the title to The Free and Prosperous Commonwealth. He did so because by the latter half of the twentieth century, the word “liberal” no longer carried the meaning it once had. It had come to mean centralization, the welfare state, and a substantial government presence in economic and social life.
The liberalism I have in mind, of course, is not the modern liberalism
of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but the classical liberalism of
Thomas Jefferson and Frederic Bastiat. Classical liberalism, by
contrast, believed in free markets, free trade, toleration, and civil
It represented a movement toward a theory of society in which human
cooperation emerged spontaneously and without coercion, by means of the
natural processes of the market economy. It recognized that society
seemed to manage itself without the involvement of extraneous forces
like kings, aristocracies, or parliaments, and that the intervention of
those forces was more likely aimed at the enrichment of a favored group
or of the state itself than of at the well-being of society at large.
---- Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.