What does the term “liberal” mean today? How and why has the term’s meaning changed over the last few decades? Liberals used to stand against war and for freedom of speech, yet today the loudest voices demanding censorship and “humanitarian bombings” are coming from so-called liberals.
Liberals took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to protest Bush's neocon wars and the rollout of the surveillance state, yet they were nowhere to be found when Obama intensified those wars and expanded the surveillance apparatus. Now, in an appalling reversal, liberals have joined with the political establishment, the neocons, and the military-industrial complex in cheering on the CIA and FBI - sworn enemies of liberalism - in a misguided show of "resistance."
Classical liberals have always resisted corporate and governmental intrusion into our lives, but today people claiming to be liberals applaud when corporate monoliths like Google and Facebook team up with the NSA and CIA to police language, silence dissent, and censor inappropriate ideas - all in the name of protecting us from "hate speech" and "fake news". The anti-speech Left - the so-called “social justice warriors” - have slapped a liberal face on fascism. True liberals no longer recognize the ideology promulgated in their name, an ideology which has devolved into little more than a punch line, the province of a regrettable collection of dupes and useful idiots. This panel discusses how we can set about reclaiming the vocabulary of liberalism from those who are destroying and discrediting it.
(This panel should be considered an Unsafe Space. If you are easily triggered by frank and factual discussion, this panel may not be for you.)