Both liberals and leftists share the goal of social and economic equality and other progressive ideals. But liberals believe those can be attained in terms of the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, human rights, and democracy. On the other hand, Leftists (think Soviet Union, Maoists, other Communists, etc.) believe that liberty, human rights, and democracy must be restricted in order to attain those goals.
That’s one takeaway from a fascinating study of “political correctness” by William Voegeli in The Claremont Review of Books, who begins by discussing an article on “How the Language Police Are Perverting Liberalism.”
Notice how those who want to punish opponents of gay marriage, restrict religious liberty, not allow certain opinions to be argued, and in other ways emulating the tactics of the Soviet Union, are leftists. Which covers quite a few people today who present themselves as liberals.
Read Voegeli’s article excerpted and linked after the jump.