Joshua Cohen — philosopher, thinker on global justice, occasional blogging head, and co-editor of the super-smart Boston Review — writes about the difference between liberals: the “classical liberals” that are now (more or less) called libertarians and the “egalitarian liberals” that are now (more or less) called progressives.
Mostly I link to it for his (almost snarky?) conclusion:
With respect, classical liberals were in the rearguard in every one of [the great achievements of democracy in the 20th century]. And for a simple reason: in each case, the struggle depended on a willingness to fight against inequality, subordination, exclusion through political means, through the dread state. And if you mix your classical liberal values with the classically conservative predisposition to think that politics is at best futile, at bad perverse, at worst risks what is most fundamental, then you will always celebrate these gains when the fight is over: always at the after party, inconspicuous at the main event, and never on the planning committee.