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Liberism (derived from the Italian term liberismo) is a term for the economic doctrine of laissez-faire capitalism first used by the philosopher Benedetto Croce and popularized in English by Italian political scientist Giovanni Sartori. It is synonymous with classical liberalism.
Sartori imported the term from Italian in order to distinguish between social liberalism, which is generally considered a political ideology often advocating extensive government intervention in the economy, and those liberal theories of economics which propose to virtually eliminate such intervention. In informal usage, liberism overlaps with other concepts such as free trade, neoliberalism, right-libertarianism, the American concept of libertarianism and the laissez-faire doctrine of the French liberal Doctrinaires.
Croce claims that "Liberalism can prove only a temporary right of private propriety of land and industries."
The intention of Croce (and of Sartori) to attack the right to private property and to free enterprise separating them from the general philosophy of liberalism (that is primarily a theory of natural rights), was always criticised openly by the quoted philosophers and by some of the main representatives of liberalism, such as Luigi Einaudi and Friederick Von Hayek. and the Nobel Prize winners' Milton Friedman (1976) and Friedrich von Hayek (1974). The differences between the economical concept of liberism and the economical consequences of the liberalism become evident in the definition of market as quoted by the Austrian liberalist economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk: «A market is a law system. Without it, the only possible economy is the street robbery». The concept of liberalism is more close to Libertarism.
Ciò comporta anche il rifiuto della distinzione tra liberalismo politico e liberalismo economico /elaborata in particolare da Croce come distinzione tra liberismo e liberalismo) Per la tradizione inglese, i due concetti sono inseparabili. Infatti, il principio fondamentale per cui l'intervento coercitivo dell'autorità statale deve limitarsi ad imporre il rispetto delle norme generali di mera condotta priva il governo del potere di dirigere e controllare le attività economiche degli individui.