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at the water's edge
“”Classical liberal, conservatives who are too cowardly to call themselves conservatives.
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Classical liberalism is a loosely related collection of political positions that tend to be somewhat libertarian and liberal, though less extreme than socialism and communism. Classical liberalism emerged with the works of Adam Smith, John Locke, David Ricardo, and some other philosophers . To some of the Left, classical liberalism is basically a slightly less irritating strand of conservatism. On the other hand, classical liberals are not exactly all that popular among conservatives.
Classical liberalism was initially one of the more left-leaning movements when it emerged on the scene in the 1700s. However, communism then became a real political force, though it is widely considered to have existed since early on. As a result, classical liberals are somewhere near the centre of the Political Compass.
Classical Liberal misused
Many people call themselves classical liberals but are not actually. These people tend to be affiliated with other, more disliked, movements, such as the Alt-Right and the Realist left. They use the term to hide their true political views, distance themselves from the rest of the movement, or to look respectable on first glance. Some good examples are: