A major international conference — AynRandCon Europe 2020, held on February 14-16 in Warsaw, dedicated to Objectivism — the Ayn Rand philosophy.

For three days, we listened to experts from the Ayn Rand Institute, discussed the challenges of today, and shared with students from around the world the experience of spreading ideas of freedom.

This year our organization has been flown by to represent 15 students, among them coordinators, functionaries, and activists of USF.

Thanks a lot to our partners at Ayn Rand Institute for the invitation! We came back with new ideas and are now, inspiringly, developing a plan for their implementation in Ukraine.

December 8th-10th, we gathered the best representatives of our organization from all over Ukraine for the first USF Golden Retreat. We have brought together people who have helped us implement large-scale events throughout the year as well as created their projects.

For three days, we summed up 2019 and planned work for next year. Listened to speakers, worked in teams, and just had fun together!

This year we introduced the most prestigious award of the USF — the Golden Goose! The person receives it for the best-realized project! Congratulations to Max Shyrochenkov and the Kharkiv center, who won the Golden Goose for the Lawmaker School!

Congratulations to Taras Pogrebnyak, who received the Silver Goose for the best speech: “How the USF can change your life.” Congratulations to Anton Bondar and the entire Liberty MovieMent team, who received the Bronze Goose and an additional 24,000 hryvnias project grant!

Thank you to everyone who worked hard this year! We are sincerely glad to have such people on the team!

A large-scale youth forum — Free Generation Forum 2019, was held in Kyiv on December 7th. We brought together more than 150 proactive people to discuss the present and future of Ukraine!

This year, we organized lectures from leading experts, panel discussions with the participation of Ukrainian editors as well as fierce debate with international speakers for the participants!

Speakers of the Free Generation Forum 2019:

Tom G. Palmer is a libertarian author and theorist, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and vice president of international programs at the Atlas Network. Tom Palmer presented his book, “Why Freedom?”, which our organization has translated into the last six months.

Olexiy Arestovich is a military expert and blogger. During the lecture, he discussed the disciplinary society and whether it could be reformed.

Yaroslav Romanchuk — Belarusian economist, head of the Mises Research Center, he told how the right economic policy is capable of radically changing Ukraine.

During the panel discussion “Sustainable Development Goals and Economic Development of Ukraine,” speakers discussed whether the business could solve environmental issues. Six Ukrainian experts involved in ecological improvement have been involved in the discussion.

Thanks a lot for participating in the Forum and interest in the future of our country! We also thank the speakers for useful lectures and discussions!

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.

Source: cato.org

Ask yourself: “What is good education at the university?” Free, with a big scholarship that will be higher than the parental salary, most Ukrainians imagine it. But are the above-mentioned terms an indicator of good education?


Today, when applying for a Ukrainian higher education, most entrants are guided by the main indicator – the availability of a place for a public order. That’s where and lets you know about our Soviet past. Even if the future student does not like a specialty at all, but there will be vacant places for a public order, he will still submit documents to her. Here we can not blame him, because between the free place, and also with the scholarship, on the one hand and the paid place without the opportunity to receive a scholarship, as if you were not well studied, on the other, obviously, the first option is more suitable.

Financing higher education through government procurement is a miracle in economically developed countries. In the absence of accurate data, the number of graduates who work outside the specialty varies from 50 to 80 percent, which is a huge figure, a large part of which are graduates who study just for state contracts – this, in essence, means throwing budget money into the wind . As for the problem of the outdated system, our former Minister of Education and Science spoke not so long ago.

“This is a complicated problem. Financing higher education through government procurement is an organizational nonsense. Nobody in the world can understand this. Our position is to stop financing higher education through government procurement. It is necessary to switch to the contacts between the state and the university. And this is not already in the new project on education ”

– Sergey Kvit

The Minister has already been changed, but there have been few real changes. Such statements have been promising, because if the draft law on education contains such items, then it forces us to hope that other positive changes will be thought out there as the society begins with education. The better the level of education, the more successful the society as a whole.


Along with the problem of government order, there is another, but equally important, system in which Ukrainian students receive scholarships.

In general, the very idea of ​​scholarship is nothing but a way of motivation, you try – good, get a scholarship as an incentive. But in Ukraine scholarships are regarded as wages. On the other hand, they can only be received by state officials, that is, no matter how you try, being a contractor, you will not be able to receive a scholarship. It is also one of the remnants of the same past with the brand “Made in the USSR”.

How does it work in the world? Although in different economically developed countries, scholarship fees vary, but there is one trend – targeting. That is, if you are smart and show it – you get a scholarship. You have a health problem or a financial situation in the family – you get a scholarship. Thus, additional funds are received only by those who really need them.


We are accustomed to talking about “free” education, but we are wrong, calling it such. After all, universities, teachers, all who are involved in the educational process, work there not for our imaginary gratitude, but for quite real money, but often we ask ourselves who pays for them? The answer is simple – we ourselves. Without sufficient competition, knowing that maintenance costs will always be allocated, universities can not operate with a maximum rate of return.

The depression, the terrible system of scholarship allocation, and a host of other problems put higher education in Ukraine offside with its European counterparts. As a result, such education is not appreciated and we have one of the largest in the world the number of people with higher education degrees, which at the same time have lost their value. The outflow of students abroad, the inattention to Ukraine among foreign entrants who “feed” western universities – all this is the result of imperfection. We can fix it, the main thing – to understand the problems and work towards their solution. And who knows, perhaps, Ukraine will be able to catch up with our more successful friends.

“Live for yourself and nobody else” – that’s why a woman whose book was the second Bible for Americans struggled for. Ayn Rand was an American writer and philosopher, the creator of objectivism, which she called “a philosophy for life on Earth.”

The most popular novels of Rand are “Source”, a story about an independent and uncompromising architect, and “Atlanta has shrugged his shoulders” – about the role of reason and selfishness in human life and about what is happening to the world when thinkers and entrepreneurs disappear. Among her most popular journalistic books, The Virtue of Self-Esteem, a series of essays on the foundation, principle and morality in the philosophy of personal gain, and Capitalism. Unknown Ideal “, a series of essays on what capitalism is and why it is the only moral social system.

Adapted to the animation part of the interview with Ayn Rand in Mike Wallace’s show of February 25, 1959 (in English):

Rand was born in Russia, where he graduated from elementary school and university and studied the history, philosophy and art of writing scripts. It was Russia that educated Rand as one of the world’s largest anti-dictatorial minds, because it was there that she witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and the birth of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1925, she left the growing communist monster: she told the authorities that she was going to visit relatives in America for a brief visit, she never returned.

In the United States, Rand worked in Hollywood, writing scripts for films, married the actor Frank O’Connor and wrote his first novel. Subsequently, she was waiting for her move to New York, where she wrote “Source”, “Atlanta has shrugged her shoulders,” a large number of articles and essays, and several journalistic books in which she identified and developed the principles of objectivism.

Philosophy of Life on Earth – video from the Ayn Rand Institute on what such objectivism is (English):

Rand defended the ideals of reason (against faith and whim), personal gain (against self-sacrifice), individualism and individual rights (against collectivism and group rights), capitalism (against all forms of statistics), which made it one of the most controversial and most important philosophers of the twentieth century.

Describing objectivism, Rand writes:

“My philosophy is, in essence, the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as a moral meaning of life, with productive achievements as the most noble activity and reason as the only absolute.”

Living with one’s own life, in which no one, taking into account the state, has the right to interfere and be responsible for his actions – that’s what Ayn Rand sought, and what is lacking in the modern world, with which the wave of popularity of statistics and intervention in the lives of others is rolling.