Vice-President of the Atlas Foundation, Tom Palmer, believes that there are growing tendencies towards the lack of acceptance of libertarian ideas in the world, and the right and left populism, along with the aggressive Islamism that opposes it, are incredibly similar in their rejection of freedom. Students for Liberty Ukraine offer a translation of the program paper by Palmer, published on the website of the Cathon Institute. The text makes us wonder what threatened adherents of a free society and calls us to take intelligent opponents seriously.

Above the world, the threat of radical anti-libertarian movements looming with each other, like scorpions in the cannon, loomed for those who would sooner be able to destroy the institutes of freedom. Part of such movements has been rooted in universities and other intellectual centers, while others are drawing forces in populist anger. Moreover, the left and right sides of anti-libertarianism are interconnected and constantly complement each other. Both the first and the second openly reject individual liberty, rule of law, restrictions on power and freedom of exchange, but instead support radical methods of policy dealing with opposition forces such as the politics of identity and authoritarianism. They are dangerous and should not be underestimated.

In various forms, such movements challenge Libertarian values ​​and principles around the world, especially in Europe, America and partly in Asia. But their influence is felt everywhere. All of them have a radical rejection of the ideas of prudence, freedom and the rule of law, which made it possible for America to be created and, in fact, is the foundation of the modern world order. Therefore, those who favor constitutionalism, not dictatorship, free markets, rather than coercion or socialist statistics, free trade, and not autarky, tolerance, and not oppression, and who supports social harmony, rather than irreconcilable hostility, must be recovered, because in our case, libertarianism, as well as the prosperity and peace that it generates, are in great danger.

Three threats

We can distinguish at least three interconnected threats to freedom: a) a policy of identity and its political economy, similar to a zero-sum game; b) populism and the inevitable inherent desire for a strong leader and, finally, c) radical political Islamism. All of them have a specific general ideological source, form an interconnected network and mutually complement each other at the expense of the classical liberal consensus.

And although such movements are completely deceptive, especially in the field of economics, they are characterized not only by the lack of understanding of economic principles, such as, for example, the set of statist interventions. While a large part supporting minimum wages, trade restrictions and drug barriers is guided by the wrong understanding of the consequences, the ideological leaders of such anti-liberal movements can not, in general, be called crazy. Often, they quite well understand the libertarian ideas, but they are thoroughly rejecting them. They are convinced that the idea of ​​equality before the law, the idea of ​​a legal and political system based on the law, tolerance, as well as freedom of thought and speech, free trade – especially among strangers – for the sake of mutual benefit, as well as the inalienable and equal individual rights are all only a lure that hides the selfish aspirations of the elites to exploit. Those who support such ideas, they consider hopelessly naive.

Advocates of freedom have time to realize that some people deny its existence for others (and even for themselves) not only because they are not understood in the economy or are counting on corrupt benefits, but because they are against the very principles of freedom. After all, they are not seeking equality before the law; on the contrary, reject it and support a political course based on the inequality of identities. They do not believe in the right to disagree with them, and they certainly will not defend it. They consider the trade to be one of the forms of conspiracy. And in politics they favor the unchanging will of the leadership, not the flexibility of the changing processes. And they will attack anyone in the image of their sacred identities.

They just another’s principle of “live and let others live”

Identity policy

It took decades to ensure that stable anti-libertarian and anti-tolerant movements of the left-hand side of the political spectrum were filled with a large part of the scientists’ minds in Europe, North America and other countries. Their goal is to use administrative responsibility, intimidation and various types of punishment to suppress any views that seem to them to be incompatible with their vision. This movement originates in the works of a German Marxist, a student of Martin Heidegger. His name was Herbert Marcuse, and after arriving in the United States he gained great popularity among the extreme left. In an essay by Marcus entitled “Repression Tolerance” (1965), it is claimed that in order to achieve dismissal, at least in the understanding of the author, it is necessary:

“… to move away from tolerance to the expressions and assemblies of groups and movements that promote aggressive political courses, arms processes, chauvinism, racial and religious discrimination, or oppose the spread of public services and security, medical care, etc. Moreover, restoration of freedom of thought may require the establishment of new hard restrictions on teaching and other activities in educational institutions, which, by their methods and concepts, are aimed at limiting the human mind in the system of discourse and behavioral settings, thus hindering the initial rational assessment of possible alternatives to it “.

For Marcus, as well as for his contemporary followers (many of whom have never even heard of him), “liberating tolerance in this case would imply intolerance to the movements of the right side and tolerance to the movements of the left side of the political spectrum.” Following this scenario, all those who do not support a new system of views, are subjected to harsh criticism, deprive of the possibility of expression, force sent to rehearsal courses, humiliated, displaced from the usual environment; They are even threatened with violence to keep them silent. Again, the following statement by Melissa Click, a professor at the Missouri University: “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? It needs muscles here! “It was just Marcus’s message in action.

Politically correct left-wing caused the similar anti-libertarian reaction of the right. The movements of the far right, which are now spreading in Europe, and the ultra-right combination of populism and white nationalism in the United States have gained followers who are convinced that capitalism, free trade and ethnic pluralism are threatening their very existence or lifestyle. However, their anger led to an anti-liberal domination of the left in public discourse, in addition to persecuting dissenters. Therefore to some extent the aforementioned anti-liberal rights have become a reflection of the image of their own opponents. Thus, in the European parties, they restored the pernicious ideology and language of the 30s of the twentieth century, and in the United States they found support and themselves in motion in support of Trump, with his abusive attitude towards Mexicans and Muslims, as well as incitement to hostility among the national elite.

Politicians’ desire to establish “safe spaces” for minorities is reflected in the views of white nationalists who call for the consolidation of “white identity” and “white nation”. The leader of white nationalists in the United States, also known as “Identities,” Jared Taylor recently spoke in the waves of the National Public Radio, a stinging point of view: “A man by nature is eager to live in a tribe. When the Blacks, Asians, or Spaniards express a desire to live among the same as they, they prefer their own culture and heritage, and there is nothing wrong with that. Only when white people say that they consider the European culture to be better and want to be among white people – for some reason (and exclusively for whites) it is considered the greatest manifestation of immorality. ”

So, as we understand, one form of collectivism generates another

The philosopher Slava Zizek is an influential voice of the extreme left, which is, however, more famous in Europe than in America, but the number of his followers continues to grow all over the world. Zizek insists that freedom in liberal societies is an illusion that unites the anti-liberal left and right sides with a single thread. The same image of the thread is found in the work of Karl Schmitt, an expert on socialist law and colleague Martin Heidegger, who is known to have “a specific political difference to the difference between a friend and an enemy.” Zizek argues that “the unconditional primacy of antagonism inherent in the parties is the basis of the political”. Therefore, the concept of social harmony and philosophy in the style of “live and let others live” – ​​just a manifestation of self-deception for such philosophers, the real for them is the struggle for dominance. In fact, in a very deep sense, for such thinkers, a separate person from flesh and blood does not even exist, because in reality there are only social forces or identities. Indeed, in this case, “individual” is nothing but a reflection of the forces or collective identities originally hostile to each other.

Populist authoritarianism

Populism often copies various forms of identity politics, but adds an angry indignation to the elites, an inadequate approach to political economy, and a desire to follow a strong leader who can consolidate the true will of the people. Populist movements arose in numerous countries from Poland and Spain to the Philippines and the United States. In his book The Populist Persuasion, Michael Casin offers the following definition of the phenomenon of populism. In his opinion, this is “… a language whose carriers consider ordinary people to be a noble community that is not bound by class relations, while viewing their opponents from among the elite as selfish, selfish and undemocratic, and therefore seek to mobilize the former against the latter.” Normal for such movements is the passage of a charismatic leader, who in his person embodies the people and his will.

The common goal among populists is to empower a leader who can break through all the barriers to procedures, rules, system of checks and balances, as well as the rights, privileges and immunities protected by law and will be able to “simply resolve all issues”. In his book The Road to Slavery, Friedrich von Hayek describes such intolerance to the rules as a prelude to totalitarianism: “The general need for quick and decisive action by the central government, along with dissatisfaction with the slow and difficult implementation of democratization, is prevailing in such a situation, especially when its ultimate goal puts action for action. It is then that a certain person or party, who seems strong enough and determined to “solve all the problems”, are the most attractive. ”

Populist and authoritarian parties have conquered their power and strengthened it in a number of countries. So, in Russia, Vladimir Putin has created a new authoritarian government that dominates all other institutions of society and depends only on his personal decisions. Putin and his followers systematically and completely established power over the media and used them in order to create a deep sense in the national public consciousness that the country is in siege, while its unique and great culture is constantly threatened by its neighbors, while it protects the state only a strong hand. her chapter.

In the Hungarian government, the ruling Fidel Loyalist Party, after reaching its parliamentary majority in 2010, also began to exercise control over all state bodies. She portrayed her leader, Victor Orban, as a national savior, and initiated an extremely anti-libertarian policy of nationalization, arrogance and freedom of speech. Orban declared: “[We] destroy the dogmas and ideologies adopted in the West and behave independently of them … to create a new state based on unilateral national foundations within the framework of the European Union.” (“Within the framework of the European Union” should be understood as “subsidized by taxpayers of other countries”).

Following the victory of Fides in the 2010 elections, the leader of the Polish nationalist and anti-market party “Justice and Justice,” Yaroslav Kaczynski, said that Orban’s nationalist, populist, and Kumov strategy is “an example of how we can win.” Kaczynski was able to combine a policy of identity with populism in order to oust the center-right government at the expense of economic growth, and then began to apply the same populist and protectionist methods that probably could not be called a recipe for state prosperity. According to the classical liberals from the Swedish institute of Timbre, set forth in the “Index of authoritarian populism of Timbro in 2016”, both on the left and on the right side of the political spectrum of modern Europe, “populism is not a temporary challenge, but a constant threat.”

Putin, as a pioneer of authoritarian trends, invested hundreds of millions of dollars in advancing anti-libertarian populism throughout Europe, as well as in the complex network of its global media empire, including both RT and Sputnik News, and a set of Internet trolls along with fake sites. The Russian mediator Peter Pomerantsev, in his famous book Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, says: “The Kremlin intentionally changes its messages when it is profitable … European right-wing nationalists are tempted by the message against the existence of the EU, the extreme left bought on the story of the confrontation of the hegemony of the US, American religious conservatives, but admired the idea of ​​combating homosexuality. Waves of lies, convictions, objections, etc., are set up to undermine the confidence of the defenders of the institutes of classical liberalism.

What does authoritarianism begin with?

These movements are not just evidence of an inadequate level of education. They are deeply ideological in nature, because they support collectivism and authoritarianism, rejecting individualism and constitutional norms. But what promotes large-scale and rapid dissemination of them in society?

In this article, I argue that authoritarianism is caused by seeming threats to physical security, group identity and social status.

When all these threats exist together, ideal conditions are created for the development of authoritarianism with explosive pace. Radical manifestations of Islamist violence are broadcast around the clock in news in order to appear even more widespread than it actually is for certain groups to be an obvious external threat. Therefore, group identity and status in this case are also under the gun. In a study conducted by political scientist Karen Stenner, the idea of ​​the existence of some propensity for authoritarianism, which is reinforced by “regulatory threats”, that is, the perception that traditional views are endangered or no longer shared in society, is supported. These regulatory threats are welcomed by those who have been inclined to authoritarianism and turn them into “defenders of the borders, champions of the rules, and make a support for the authorities.” Threats to social status further further exacerbate such authoritarian impulses. The key link among proponents of authoritarian populist movements in Europe, as well as the radical extremes of Trump in America, is the poorly educated white men who experienced a decline in their social status compared to the latter’s growth in others (women and foreigners). Today, in the United States, the participation of white men between the ages of 30 and 49 with full or incomplete secondary education (or without it) is rapidly diminishing. As a result, more than one in five of them does not just stop looking for work, but also completely out of the category of economically active population. Without paid and satisfactory work, such people, of course, experienced a significant loss of social status. Universal standards of quality of life can grow for everybody (and they really, like wages, have improved significantly in recent decades), but not all people can grow their relative social status. And if some groups climb, others should go down. And just those of those who are initially inclined toward authoritarianism, and will stretch out to authoritarian leaders who promise to settle everything and restore lost majesty.

Radical Islamism

Radical Islamism also reflects the foundation of some other anti-libertarian movements, including the politics of identity (for example, the conviction that a certain community of believers is waging war with the wrong), the fear of authoritarian populists against the threats of their group identity and social statuses, as well as the enthusiasm of the latter regarding charismatic leaders, who “will again make Islam great”. Radical Islam even has general ideological roots with extreme left and extreme right in the European ideology of fascism and collectivist concepts of “authenticity”. The Islamic ideology of fascism, notably Martin Heidegger, has had a noticeable effect on the Islamist movement in Iran, which gave rise to the first Islamic republic.

Ahmad Fardid has developed Heidegger’s pernicious ideas in Iran, and his follower Jalal-Ali Ahmad exposed the alleged threats of a true Iranian identity from the West in his book Poisoning by the West. As Heidegger proclaimed, after the Nazi victory in the German elections, the age of liberalism was the “I” century. “Now, the century has come” We “.” Ecstatically, collectivism promised to transfer the Germans from their “unreal historical existence” to the “true”, and today they were picked up by fighters for social justice, all ultra-right and other radical Islamists. And all these trends mutually complement each other: each demonizes another, and as one develops, it increases and existential threat to others. The intensification of radical Islam contributes to the increase in the number of supporters of populist parties in Europe (and America), while hostility towards Muslims and the alienation of the latter in their societies increases the opportunities for the Islamic State (IG) and similar groups to recruit new members. At the same time, politically correct fighters for social justice can not afford to condemn radical Islamism – is it all the same, is it just the answer to the colonial oppression of non-Christians by the dominant hegemony of Christians / white / Europeans? And sometimes they even notice that they can not only condemn the crimes of the Islamists, but themselves support anti-Semitism. At the same time, politically correct fighters for social justice can not afford to condemn radical Islamism – is it all the same, is it just the answer to the colonial oppression of non-Christians by the dominant hegemony of Christians / white / Europeans? And sometimes they even notice that they can not only condemn the crimes of the Islamists, but themselves support anti-Semitism. At the same time, politically correct fighters for social justice can not afford to condemn radical Islamism – is it all the same, is it just the answer to the colonial oppression of non-Christians by the dominant hegemony of Christians / white / Europeans? And sometimes they even notice that they can not only condemn the crimes of the Islamists, but themselves support anti-Semitism.

Indeed, hostility to the Jews and capitalism is an outrageous common feature for all three of the aforementioned anti-libertarian movements.

The need to protect freedom

Different anti-libertarian movements are developing not at the expense of each other, but from the center, which, as it was said earlier, is made up of tolerant, productive, and those who carry out the exchange of goods among themselves by members of a civil society who live, knowing this or not, following the principles of classical liberalism We watched a similar dynamics earlier in the 30s of the twentieth century, when collectivist movements competed in order to undermine the foundations of freedom as soon as possible. Yes, the Nazis claimed that they could protect only the Bolsheviks. Bolsheviks mobilized public resources to defeat fascism. They fought each other, but they, in essence, were much more in common than they were prepared to admit. Unfortunately, the strongest argument of the defenders of civil society in response to the above-mentioned challenges is that the complex, consisting of individual freedom, the rule of law and free markets, involves a greater degree of prosperity and comfort than its alternatives. And this is true, but this is not enough to reflect the heavy blows of the anti-liberal triumvirate on identity politics, authoritarian populism, and radical Islamism. The moral virtue of freedom must be supported not only by direct collisions with opponents, but also by strengthening the positions of the resistance of the liberals themselves, so that their opponents retreat. Since freedom is not an illusion, but a great and noble goal. Free life in all respects is better than living in subjection to anyone else. Violence and antagonism are not the fundamentals of culture, but its negation. Now is the time to come to the defense of freedom, which enables the existence of world civilization, which gives the “green light” of friendship, family, cooperation.