I guess it depends on what you mean by classical liberalism. If you talk to a Libertarian or anyone who isn’t what I would describe as a real Liberal, someone whose not a Social Democrat or a Libertarian, but a real Liberal in the American tradition, classical liberalism is today’s libertarianism and Classical-Liberals are today’s Libertarians. As a Liberal myself classical liberalism is not only today’s liberalism but yesterday’s liberalism and the liberalism of the future, in that it is about the individual without being anti-government, but pro-individual.
And that the number one job of government is to protect individual freedom for those who have it and expand it for those who need it. And that everything that government does from education, to national security and foreign policy, to the safety net and regulation, everything that government does being based on protecting and expanding freedom, not running people’s lives. And making and keeping people dependent on government for our daily economic survivals. The first version I gave you is what liberalism really is and what it has always been. The second version is something else.
Liberalism is not about a superstate or a welfare state that is there to make most of the decisions for everyone in the country. Including local and state government’s and basically trying to run the lives for the people even to the point that it tries to protect people from themselves. So no one has too much or too little, meaning no one completely independent of government economically and personally. And no one having to go without the things that people need to live well. That is what is called ‘modern liberalism’, a term I hate. Because it is not liberalism at all. But a form of leftist statism whether it is socialism or something even further to the Left.
Libertarianism.Org: Leonard Liggio- Classical Liberalism vs. Socialism vs. Conservatism