As a Canadian, there are a few things I don’t understand about American culture. One of them is the way words like "liberal" and "libertarian" seem to be used.
Often these terms are used together, and/or in the company of "left-wing." My confusion is that libertarians and left-wingers really don’t seem to belong in the same camp, and yet they are often grouped together. For example, someone who is liberal or left-wing seems to have a more socialist political leaning. A neo-liberal or a libertarian, however, is staunchly capitalist (although I have no idea which way one might vote) and supports free market economics, which seem to be more in keeping with a right-wing/conservative view.
It’s like there are three camps, with libertarians hovering oddly between left-wing and right-wing. So, I wonder if anyone can shed any more light on this, or if it’s just as confusing for Americans in trying to sort out their politics. The whole thing reminds me a lot of the Political Compass — but where do all these groups fit in?
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