"Paleoliberalism" is a term that has at least a few distinct meanings, all relating to liberalism.

Extreme liberalism

'Paleoliberalism' can be a somewhat obscure term for extreme liberalism. The (slightly more common) adjectival form, "paleoliberal" is defined by "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language", Fourth Edition, as "Extremely or stubbornly liberal in political matters." Because "liberalism" itself has several different meanings, this definition carries some ambiguity.

The term is often used to refer to an extreme or "unreconstructed" exponent of modern American liberalism. For example, Brian Doherty writing in "Reason" in 1997 used the term to refer to Richard Gephardt in his opposition to Clinton's free trade policies.ref|Dohertyref|Gresserref|Sullivan


It can also be used to describe liberals who are very socialist, socially libertarian, and opposed to neoliberalism. The term "paleoconservative" has been used to describe old conservatives while the term "neoconservative" has been used to describe new conservatives. The terms "paleo-" and "neo-" can work the same way for liberals, in describing older and more recent forms of liberalism. Paleocons and neocons are opposed to each other on issues such as international policy; paleoliberals and neoliberals are opposed to each other on many economic issues.


According to Michael Lind, in the late 1960s and early 1970s many "anti-Soviet [American liberalism| [American] liberals] and social democrats in the tradition of Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey and Henry ("Scoop") Jackson… preferred to call themselves 'paleoliberals'"; according to Lind, roughly this group of people later became known as the neoconservatives.ref|Lindref|Nash

Rüstow's usage

The term was used by Alexander Rüstow, to describe ardent laissez-faire liberals like Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Rüstow himself was a German ordoliberal.ref|Henry


# Doherty, "Swap Meat".
# Gresser, "Trade Myths".
# Sullivan, "Good Choice. Bad Speech", and "Hunger Stalks N.J. Suburbs" (on the site of also use the word in this sense.
# Lind, "A Tragedy of Errors".
# Nash, "A Cold War Paleoliberal".
# A typical example of use in a blog is [ lowercase liberty: paleoliberalism] (posted September 20, 2005, retrieved December 20, 2005) by B.K. Marcus. The article [ Paleoliberalism] on the Libertarian Wiki uses this meaning of the term, but provides no references.
# cite journal
author=Oliver Jr., Henry M.
title=German Neoliberalism
journal=Quarterly Journal of Economics


*—, [ Hunger Stalks N.J. Suburbs] from, a project of the Heritage Foundation, March 24, 2004, accessed December 12, 2005.
*Doherty, Brian, [ Swap Meat: Friends and critics miss the point on NAFTA] , "Reason", October 1997, accessed December 12, 2005.
* Gresser, Edward, [ Trade Myths: Book Review] , "Blueprint Magazine" (magazine of the Democratic Leadership Council's Progressive Policy Institute), May 7, 2004. A review of "In Defense of Globalization" by Jagdish Bhagwati. Accessed December 12, 2005.
* Lind, Michael, [ A Tragedy of Errors] . "The Nation", posted February 5, 2004 (February 23, 2004 issue), accessed December 12, 2005.
* Nash, George H. "A Cold War Paleoliberal". "New York Times" Nov 10, 1991. p. BR26
* Sullivan, Andrew. [ Good Choice. Bad Speech.] , "TNR" online, July 7, 2004. Accessed December 12, 2005.

See also

*Modern liberalism

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