And many so-called conservatives are in fact true classical liberals!
It can be rather confusing.
Barely A Blog has some good definitions.
Classical liberals (this writer) are distinguished in that the only rights they recognize are the individual’s right to life, liberty and property, and the pursuit of happiness. The sole role of a legitimate government is to protect only those liberties. Why life, liberty, and property, and not housing, food, education, health care, child benefits, emotional well-being, enriching employment, ad infinitum? Because the former impose no obligations on other free individuals; the latter enslave some in the service of others.A commenter adds a simple test:
You can always find false rights easily — just look for the gun it will take to force someone to grant that right. Any ‘positive’ right requires that someone threaten me with a gun to force me to do something for someone else, against my own interests.Socialism is inherently coercive.
There has never been any shortage of people eager to purchase cheap virtue by controlling how others live.
the left has adopted for itself the term “liberal”, when its political correctness and socialised services agenda smacks of petty fascism. They call themselves “progressive”, when their philosophy evokes Rousseau’s “noble savage” and regressive “back to nature” idealism, and their position on just about any technological, industrial or commercial progress smacks of Luddite conservatism. And they call classical liberals “conservative”.No wonder it's confusing!