American conservatives hate liberalism, they hate it because the liberals fight for personal freedoms. These freedoms are opposed by the conservatives. In the USA many liberals are called socialists, communists, marxists and enemies of freedom. But this is far from true, the conservative media around Fox News, uses the paranoia that many Americans feel with words like socialism and communism!
But liberalism is not anti-capitalist. Progressive or social liberals want to regulate the market and force the rich to pay more taxes. But those progressive liberals are in a minority, most liberals only support personal freedoms and don't want to limit the power of capitalism. In Europe most liberal parties are conservative liberal. Let us look at the Dutch; People's Party for Freedom and Democracy ( VVD ). The VVD is a conservative liberal party. They support many personal freedoms from abortion to gay marriage. Yet the same VVD opposes regulation of the markets. That is why most individualists and supporters of capitalism support the VVD.
Democrats 66 is the official social liberal party in the Netherlands. D66 was founded in 1966 as a progressive liberal group. Unlike the VVD, Democrats 66 do not look at the state in a negative way. For them the state must regulation some markets and provide some social security. But that was in the 60's, today the supposed progressive liberals of D66 have degenerated into neoliberalism like many liberal parties. The Liberal Democratic Party in the Netherlands and the Social Liberal Party are the only true progressive liberal parties. They are unfortunate very small and few know of their existence!
Neoliberalism was created by conservative liberals who wanted to end government control and regulation of the economy. One of the first neoliberal leaders was Margaret Thatcher. She was a conservative and leader of the Conservative Party in the UK. As a conservative she mixed her traditional opposition to regulations with the liberal concept of a free market economy. Thatcher lived in a time when the government of the UK was very bureaucratic and regulated many sectors of the economy. The British ruling class once supported this idea of state regulation. They did this because they knew that the social democrats ( moderate socialists ) had the support from the working class. If the workers would remain loyal to the pro-capitalist social democrats, then capitalism would be save. But by 1983 the era of the social market economy was ending. Capitalists found new cheap labour markets to exploit. The People's Republic of China allowed foreign capitalists to use their workers, also India became more capitalistic. Faced with a massive capital flight to cheap labour markets, world politicians started to move to the right-wing!
In the 80's most political groups shifted to the right-wing. Liberals, conservatives and social democrats all embraced the idea of less government and more market. With the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the ruling class started a major political offensive against the traditional left-wing. Socialists were told that capitalism was the victor, many capitulated to this. The communist parties went into desperation after the collapse of the Soviet-Union. Some communist parties changed their name and became social democratic, like the Communist Party of Great Britain, the Italian Communist Party and the Communist Party of the Netherlands.
New liberalism was also the ruling ideology of Tony Blair. This rightist social democrat led the Labour Party in the UK. He won the 1997 elections and would remain leader of Great Britain for almost 11 years. Tony Blair did not ended the right-wing reforms that Margaret Thatcher started. Privatisations went on and the market ruled supreme causing poverty and income inequality. In 2001, the social democrats supported the American conservatives in their War on Terrorism Also the Labour Party supported the imperialist invasion of Iraq in March 2003!
In 2013 most liberal parties are neoliberal. Progressive liberals are rare to find, some have mixed with social democrats who are now much closer to liberalism then to socialism. Social liberals and social democrats have much in common today, they only differ on how much regulation is needed. This is unfortunate only as difference in ideological therms. Because when it come to govern, most social liberals and social democrats support neoliberal positions like privatisations and deregulations. That is why many people see no difference between the political parties. They may differ in propaganda during elections, but when the time comes for govern, most political parties support the demands of the markets and not their political ideology!
Why is liberalism the enemy of workers and poor people? Because liberals will support the capitalists during class struggle. They will not take side with the workers and the poor. Some progressive liberals may do, but most will remain loyal to those who own the means of production. We see this in Russia of 1917. The liberals wanted a democratic capitalist Russia and opposed the rule of workers councils ( soviets ). After the czar was forced out, the liberals and moderate socialists ( social democrats ) founded the provisional government. Yet workers and poor people founded the soviets!
The first Congress of Soviets was held in July 1917, yet the liberals and capitalist parties wanted a centralized parliamentary democracy. Only two political group were in favour of the soviets, the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party ( Bolsheviks ) and the left-wing of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. By November of 1917, the Bolsheviks won a majority in the soviets and called for the rule of workers. The liberals and others opposed this idea!
After the soviets took power the capitalist opposition took up arms. The liberals could have supported the workers and the soviets, but they choose to fight them. They were not alone in this. Anti-Soviet Russians founded the White Armies and with help from 200.000 foreign soldiers, they started the Russian Civil War.
Liberal betrayal we also see almost 89 years later in the USA. Barack Obama promised change after 8 years of conservative rule. Many Americans wanted change because the previous conservative president; George W. Bush was not loved. But after Obama got elected, he went along with the markets and the capitalists. There never came any genuine change. Barack Obama was able to get himself re-elected in 2012, but only because there was no genuine alternative to him. Even today there is still not major change in the USA!
Western liberals and even some leftists were very happy with the election of Obama in 2008. Revolutionary socialists tried to warn them about the right-wing nature of Obama, but nobody want to believe. Many workers and young people are blinded by the propaganda of the Democratic Party. ''Change'' was the main slogan used by the Obama supporters. But as the markets wanted it, Obama did not brought any changes to the capitalist system!
For many young people in the USA, liberalism seems an idealistic ideology. Personal freedoms and limited regulations of the markets. But when it comes to politicians even the liberals can be bought. There is little idealism in liberal politicians. In Europe most liberals only support those who pay them. It is not strange that the electorate of the liberal parties are those who have a wealthy background. But because of the shift to the right-wing in the last 23 years, people lost faith in politics. Some only vote on populists, others only because they like the politician. Very few people vote on a political party because they support the ideology of that party!
Liberals are also anti-socialist because they say that socialism is about government rule only. They point at the social democrats and stalinists, who used a bureaucratic state and massive regulation ( red tape ). Liberals hate red tape bureaucracy, they believe in individualism and personal responsibility. This is shared by some elements in the working class, who are angered when the government is slow and inefficiently. Revolutionary socialists oppose red tape bureaucracy, but also individualism. Society is made up of individuals but we cannot live by the Darwinian code ''everyone for him/her self''. That is the problem of most western societies. Liberal individualism has turned people into arrogant beings, who only care about their career and personal wealth. Liberals say that it is human nature, but we oppose that!
Revolutionary socialists don't oppose liberals because of individual freedoms. We also support many liberal freedoms. But the only freedom we oppose is the freedom to exploit workers and take the wealth they create. Yet liberals who believe only in the individual think that it should own others. Classic liberals loved private property so much that they opposed anti-slavery. A slave was your property and classic liberals defended that. This is why we oppose liberalism. We want workers to control not only their own life, but we want them to control their society and economy. Liberalism only grants them freedom to vote and speech, but when it comes to the economy they support those who own the economy and not the millions who work in it!