Column: Now there are three significant strains of American political-economic philosophy




I persistently characterize my political philosophy as that of a classical liberal. This sows some confusion.

Those who share my deep skepticism about the redistributionist tendency of a modern welfare state are usually characterized as conservatives. So why muddy the water? A short political history is in order.

For those who follow the PBS series “Downton Abbey,” one cannot help but note that the Crowley family’s wealth flows from their ownership of land. The British landed gentry lived off agricultural rents. They were the bastions of the established order of King and Country, Blood and Soil, Church and State and were conservatives because they desired to maintain the existing social order.

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