The word “liberalism” means “freedom”

Written by The Frontier Post

Dmitry Kosyrev

There is no such commentary or article, the main idea of which could not fit into one phrase. For example, this: according to two American experts, liberalism (aka democracy) has driven itself into a desperate situation. Why? Resisting illiberals and authoritarians (and this is Russia, China, many other countries plus their own republicans and Europeans like them), this liberalism of theirs, it turns out, is forced to become so authoritarian that what kind of democracy is there.
And the rest – details, but in them, as always, the main charm. We will not give all the details (we are talking about an exceptionally long, pitiful and even tearful article in Foreign Affairs), but a little bit is possible. If only because the authors talk about a real crisis of the entire world order, and we, who live on this planet, are also, in fact, interested in it.
One good detail is how the disaster began. It was, of course, in the 90s, when someone decided that they had defeated the USSR and the entire socialist bloc in the Cold War. And then these victors, as it were, began to joyfully create a single open global world.
However, in the old world it was easier: each side of the confrontation sat in its own well-fenced area with two different economies and value systems. No one from the United States placed a global scale of production in the Soviet Union – and after the 90s, a system began to take shape in which the economies of, for example, the United States and China more and more merged together, and this also applied to Russia and the whole world. And this situation has become a source of growth and prosperity for the United States and the countries of the European Union, although not only for them.
So, there were not two or three worlds, but one – and with unified and initially n-ot very controlled information flows. And here “some states, such as China, were able to effectively access the benefits of the liberal world order without accepting the demands of political liberalism,” our authors s-ay. And it is not only China that “does not accept the requirements” – there are many such countries and people. And they all began to freely express themsel-ves, share their ideas with the world, as if it should be so.
This is where the trap with which we began our conversation arose: the West was very surprised and offended that its demands and norms were not 100% accepted, and the administration of the bad Republican George W. Bush chose a “militarized version of promoting democracy.” This is how our authors designate the Bush wars. By the way, their names are Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon – they do not belong to the major stars of political science, but they think clearly.
Let’s see what’s going on. The word “liberalism” means “freedom”, authoritarianism is exactly the opposite. Democrats (aka liberals) are the beacons of freedom. Freedom is the answer to all questions, what people themselves want most, no matter where they were born, right? And then the wrong regimes maliciously prevent their subjects from gaining freedom, and countries like the United States begin to crush the whole world with their “militarized version” of such. Bombs and sanctions for freedom are like bees against honey, it turns out. So the bees (Bush) got the wrong ones?
Everything, in fact, is even worse, the authors of the article explain to us. Worse because today it is clear: “the liberal world order works better for authoritarian regimes than for liberal democracies.” Because bad regimes and people, we repeat, openly and freely express their ideas around the world through any channels, primarily information channels. And for some reason, many people in the world like these ideas very much.
So, Russia and China, and also Viktor Orban ( Hungary ) and – it’s scary to say – Donald Trump in the United States, and many, very many, what they want, they think and even say. So now the threat to the liberals comes not so much from the outside as from within.
Do you know what it looks like? Finally, a free (liberal) market of ideas and practices that emerged in the 90s. To the market, where next to freedom there is something called authoritarianism on the counter. And for some reason people prefer the second product. Here we need to figure it out: either we, earthlings, actually hate freedom fiercely – and the advocates of such need to be more modest: endure and explain to us that doing what we want is better than what we don’t want. Or – here someone confused the labels. And where it says “freedom”, it was necessary to write something else.
How did it happen that the liberal world order, in its irrepressible desire to force everyone to be free, gave birth – primarily on its home territory – to a real concentration camp, and even tries to impose these practices on everyone? Just offhand, from the flow of information – about what American science is with its supposedly academic freedoms: today, “even Ein-stein would be shouted and written down as heretics if he rebelled against the murky, politically correct, non-debatable” ultimate science ” part of climate change or the effectiveness of countermeasures. “
And we will not repeat once again what the Wes-terners themselves (but not the liberals) only write ab-out: about the violent brea-kdown of families, about h-atred of religion, racist pog-roms, the “culture of abolition” of those who disagree… ?
And the last thing about the world order. With a heavy sigh, our two authors tell us: the threat of our own – the Western – plus our “illiberalism” is such that “any attempt to cope with this crisis will require political decisions that will be clearly illiberal or require a new edition of the liberal world order.”
That is, the trap slammed shut. Fiendish freedom-lovers, trying to restrain their opponents, have reached such degrees of the introduction of unfreedom that they now only have to double the repression. And we should hope that the liberal concentration camp will destroy itself without infecting our normal world.

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