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1. By whose definition is Tammy Bruce a paleoliberal? She has not to my knowledge been identified as such by any authority.

2. In what way is the term as defined functionally different from libertarianism?

Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] (W) AfD? 21:02, 8 December 2005 (UTC)


Everything after the first sentence seems to be original research. Let's find some citations and summarize those and remove the rest. -Willmcw 23:58, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." – Thomas Jefferson

Failed AFD[edit]

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Paleoliberalism. Johnleemk | Talk 10:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Where does the von Mises claim come from?[edit]

I have now gone through the first 70 Google hits for "paleoliberalism". I've skipped the blogs and personal web pages, since they are not citable. I've now solidly cited two different meanings of this term, neither of them coinciding with anything the article said when I got here.

I found only one solid citation (Lind) for the "Scoop Jackson Democrat" definition. Since Lind, who was a Scoop Jackson Democrat, is a primary source, I take that seriously, though I'd sure like to find an independent citation.

I found many, many references to the sense I attribute to Brian Doherty; besides the three additional citations given in the notes, I found references in Time, Commentary, the L.A. Weekly, Dissent, the L.A. Times Magazine, and The American Scene.

I did not find a single source for the meaning that the rest of the article claims this to have. I ran across a couple of bloggers using it that way (though far more using it in Doherty's sense). If this belongs in an encyclopedia, it needs to be on more basis than the fact that a few bloggers use the word in a way that contradicts its usage by sources ranging from the Heritage Foundation to Reason to TNR.

I haven't given up looking, and I am still presuming good faith, but a citation would certainly be in order. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:33, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Searching now for "paleoliberal" instead of "paleoliberalism", I'm finding more of the same. A few (uncitatble) blogs that use the sense that the bulk of this article claimed. Multiple citable sources with Doherty's use. Interestingly, one in Spanish, a little surprising because "liberal" in Spanish tends usually to mean "free market liberal". But here we are: in a Spanish-language economic site associated with the University of Málaga, "Es decir, los paleoliberales prefieren el capitalismo con dos brazos, frente al capitalismo manco (brazo derecho muy “cachas”, brazo izquierdo atrofiado) de los neoliberales." Translated: "That is to say, the paleoliberals prefer two-handed capitalism, as against the maimed capitalism (the right hand very strong, the left hand atrophied) of the neoliberals." -- Jmabel | Talk 21:48, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

The right-wing Christian Leadership U., probably citable, makes a use of the term that I'm not entirely sure how to parse, but again it is clearly not a von Mises reference. [1]: "The paleoliberal creed puts one in mind of Chesterton's remark about an absolutely open mind being like a constantly open mouth, never able to come down on anything solid. This affirmation, which Commonweal offers as representative of its editorial posture, calls for a tentative, timorous search for truth in the understanding that truth- truth for sure-is not to be found." -- Jmabel | Talk 21:54, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

A usage, in Spanish, using it (in passing, pejoratively) in a sense that might be compatible with the von Mises interpretation: "…Simancas calificó de 'paleoliberal' la política que lleva a cabo el Gobierno regional con respecto a los servicios públicos, que definió como 'una profecía que se cumple a sí misma'. 'Dicen que los servicios públicos son peores, no se preocupan de mejorar sus recursos, se los dedican a la iniciativa privada y se aseguran de que la profecía se cumple', dijo." Translation: "…Simancas qualified as 'paleoliberal' the politics that puts an end to regional government with respect to public services, which he defined as 'a self-fulfulling prophecy'. 'They say that the public services are poor, they don't concern themselves with improving their resources, they dedicate them to private initiative, and assure the the prophecy is fulfilled', he said." -- Jmabel | Talk 22:02, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I've now been through the first 70 Google hits on "paleoliberal" and still find no solid citation for the von Mises usage. That usage appears to be occasionally used in the blogosphere, mostly by people who use it to identify their own politics. That's probably worth a paragraph. It's not worth having the bulk of the article be an exposition of that particular politics. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:13, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I also tried searching for "Mises + paleoliberal" and "Mises + paleoliberalism". It turned up nothing citable. There is a vague, uncited claim that Mises used the term in his private correspondence. If someone has a citation for that, fine, but it still wouldn't justify taking over the article as a lengthy exposition of a particular politics. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:21, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Blogs as primary and secondary sources[edit]

Right now, the bulk of the article is about a usage that can only be found (at least so far) on blogs and personal web sites. It is found on enough blogs and personal web sites that it clearly has some currency, and should certainly be mentioned in the article (although, I don't really see why the article should largely consist of a near-manifesto for what is essentially libertarianism by another name). On the other hand, there is an uncited claim that the usage derives from Ludwig von Mises. Should be verifiable, you say? What's the citation? Well, a Google search reveals that one of those blogs claims that von Mises said this in private correspondence. Right.

Which is to say, that the blogs, taken collectively, are a perfectly good citation as a primary source for this word being used, with a more or less consistent meaning, in the libertarian blogosphere, but they are not an appropriate secondary or tertiary source for the claim that von Mises coined this usage in private correspondence. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:35, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I ran a Nexis search and came up with 32 hits for "Paleoliberalism" in things like Time Magazine, The Weekly Standard, Ventura County Star (California), Sacramento Bee, LA Weekly (California), The New Republic, New Jersey Law Journal, The New York Times, and a couple of others. I don't know the context of every hit, I could probably look into them if needed, but it does appear to have some usage. Oh well, just thought I'd say something. --LV (Dark Mark) 15:24, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
If you look above you will see that your list overlaps heavily (Time, LA Weekly, The New Republic) with the citations I gave for the use as "extreme or 'unreconstructed' liberal Democrat". I don't have Nexis access. I would genuinely like to see some decent citation for PaleoLib's usage, but strenuously object to effort to give it priority in the article while providing not one citation. (I have just reverted his latest attempt to do this.)
If there are solid citations for it, great. The New York Times in particular would weigh very heavily. Actually, come to think of it, I do have New York Times access, so I will follow that up. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:39, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I just thought I'd try to help. I haven't really been following the debate and content switches here. I looked at the history, but didn't look at it in detail. I'd say the safest course is to specifically cite sources and make sure they are verifiable. If PaleoLib doesn't provide sources, I'd say continue to revert. I'll try to check back here later to see if any progress has been made. Cheers. --LV (Dark Mark) 15:05, 14 December 2005 (UTC)


For "paleoliberal":

  1. The Nation; Aid From an Enemy Of the Welfare State JASON DePARLE. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Jan 28, 1996. pg. 4.4.
    • The reference is to Barney Frank and is in exactly the same sense I have repeatedly cited.
  2. More Than Money; [Op-Ed] David Brooks. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Mar 2, 2004. pg. A.23
    • Again, same sense: "Many liberals made a series of horrifying predictions about what welfare reform would do to the poor. These predictions, based on the paleoliberal understanding of poverty, were extravagantly wrong."
  3. America, the Evermore Beautiful; The First Universal Nation Leading Indicators and Ideas About the Surge of America in the 1990's By Ben J. Wattenberg 418 pages. The Free Press. $22.95. By CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Dec 31, 1990. p. 20 (1 page)
    • Wattenberg is quoted, almost impenetrably, saying, "…I am a paleoliberal, a supply-side infrastructuralist, a neomanifest destinarian, a numbers nut, a pro-natalist redistributionist capitalist, and still a hawk". Someone might want to get hold of Wattenberg's book and see how he expands on "paleoliberal"; given "redistributionist", though, it is unlikely to be User:PaleoLib's sense.
  4. A Cold War Paleoliberal; ENTERING NEW WORLDS The Memoirs of a Private Man in Public Life. By Max M. Kampelman. Illustrated. 402 pp. New York: Harper Collins Publishers. $25. By George H. Nash. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Nov 10, 1991. p. BR26 (1 page)
    • This is a second citation for Lind's sense of the word: worth adding to the article because we only had one citation for that.
      "It would be facile to describe “Entering New Worlds” as the autobiography of a neoconservative. It is, rather, the story of a cold war “paleoliberal”, an old-fashioned Democrat whose unchanging foreign-policy convictions eventually brought him closer to Ronald Reagan than to the post-Vietnam orthodoy of his own political party."
  5. A Champion of Civil Liberties Lays Down His Lance. Don Edwards. By ROBERT PEAR. WASHINGTON. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Apr 3, 1994. p. 102 (1 page)
    • On Don Edwards. Clearly in the sense of an unreconstructed liberal Democrat. Henry Hyde is quoted describing him as "'a paleoliberal' untouched by revisionism or self-doubt".
  6. All the President's Problems; According to Bob Woodward, they mostly stem from his unwillingness to disagree with anybody. THE AGENDA Inside the Clinton White House. By Bob Woodward. Illustrated. 352 pp. New York: Simon & Schuster, $24. All the President's Problems By Andrew Sullivan. New York Times (1857. Jul 3, 1994. p. BR2 (2 pages)
    • Liberal Democrat, again. In talking about the Clinton administration, "…pits the neoliberal economic appointees against the paleoliberal political consultants."

That's it from the Times. No hits for "paleoliberalism". Tally: 1 usage in Lind's sense, 4 usages in Doherty's sense, 1 (Wattenberg) impenetrable but apparently not in PaleoLib's sense.

Jmabel | Talk 21:26, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

von Mises?[edit]

Since no one has come forward with any citation for the claim about "may have been coined by Ludwig von Mises", nor has anyone explained at all where this came from, and a Google search suggests that it may well have come from a remark on someone's non-notable personal web page or blog, I have cut it. -- Jmabel | Talk 09:26, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

  • You're probably right. The claim entered Wikipedia from the following comment of User:TrojanMan on the AfD. His source is in the quote below. (See BK Note#1 two thirds way down the page.) AndyJones 18:27, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Keep. I've found a source. Apparently the term was coined by Ludwig von Mises. -- TrojanMan 20:06, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Characterization of American liberalism[edit]

The institutions and figures given here as emblematic of mainstream American liberalism are "the Democratic Party" (fair enough, though not entirely liberal), "the Green Party" (I don't particularly classify green politics as liberal; there is such a thing as green liberalism, but the US Greens are nothing of the sort; the only mention of "liberal" on the page green politics that positively associates green politics with liberalism is with theological liberalism, not political liberalism), and "Michael Moore, Bill Maher and Janeane Garofalo": three satirist/comedians. Moore is certainly left of anything that is normally called liberal. But what about, oh, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, and Ron Dellums as more appropriate examples? We're presumably talking politics here, not gadfly-ism.

Unless someone comes up with a case to the contrary in the next 36 hours, I intend to drop the irrelevant mention of the Greens, and replace a list of satirist/comedians with a list of politicians. This is as if our list of paleoliberals in the Scoop Jackson sense centered on Mort Sahl. -- Jmabel | Talk 09:38, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Citing sources[edit]

Per Wikipedia_talk:Citing_sources#Uncited.2C_disputed_statements, I am told I've been going much too gently here, and will simply remove all of the uncited material that I doubt. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:53, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

The relevant removal of material is this edit. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:28, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


How can the term mean both "neocon" and "libertarian" in modern usage? --Davidstrauss 09:06, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

How can "conservative" mean both Barry Goldwater and Pat Robertson? Political words may be used very differently by different people. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:59, 9 April 2006 (UTC)


This article is so dumb and meaningless it should rightfully be deleted altogether. The entire thing sounds like an uninformed and nonsensical attempt at an attack on libertarianism. I wouldn't normally even suggest deleting an article, but this one looks beyond repair. The POV is not just in it but is the entire article. Shannonduck talk 07:16, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

This article was put up for deletion once. I voted to delete, because I thought it belonged in a dictionary, not an encyclopedia. At the time, it was an uncited liberarian diatribe. Since we were going to have an article on this odd topic — a word that has meant very different, barely even related, things at different times to different people, and where none of those meanings is dominant or widespread, and where a more common word is available for each of those meanings — the only possible article is one about the word itself and the fact that it is variously used. I proceeded to track down citations and write that.
The word has ben used differently by different people. That is what the article is about. I cannot imagine how it is an attack on libertarianism, which is mentioned in the article only insofar as one citable source and a number of non-notable bloggers used the word to mean "libertarian". I cannot imagine what you find POV in an article that simply cites several sources and indicates — quite accurately, I believe — how they use the word. Unless you can explain where there is non-neutral language or an opinionated interpretation of a source in the article, I believe the tag should be removed. I already removed the tag claiming that the article is self-contradictory, because it seems clear to me that it is not. If there is a self-contradiction in the article, please point to it. If you are simply saying that different people have used the word in contradictory ways, well, yes, they have: that's basically what the article is about. - Jmabel | Talk

01:27, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

The problem is this term is never even used to begin with. Once again its another meaningless and redunant wikipedia politics article. We must delete "duplicate" politics articles! We only need *one* article for each major ideological topic, not over 50 or so.

its howdy doody time !!! (talk) 06:46, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Another use of the term[edit]

I often hear the term used to describe so-called "touchy-feely" liberals. An example of this is in refference to Germany's law which bans red blood in videogames. This ban comes mainly from the feeling that guns are bad, as opposed to coming from the religious right, as it would in the United States. Most often, I hear the term applied to Americans like Hillary Clinton and Joseph Liebermann, who often support more socialistic economic measures but are also more authoritarian socially. Does anyone not understand the term I am trying to define? SteveSims 02:49, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Sounds more like "political correctness" to me, although socialist economic measures and authoritarianism is more a trade of fascists and communists.Intangible 02:58, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
This would seem basically like the first meaning we give, described in the second paragraph of the article. If you have German citations on this, in addition to the English-language ones we have, that would be great. - Jmabel | Talk 23:25, 16 August 2006 (UTC)