Liberalism, the implacable enemy of totalitarianism

The exercise of individual freedom is an irreplaceable condition to achieve the highest levels of progress. (Gettyimages)

The history of this current of thought that ended slavery in every way and for the first time in thousands of years the dignity of the human being was finally recognized, spans most of the last centuries since the Glorious Revolution, English Constitutionalism and the American Revolution, among other important sources, in response to the brutal religious wars in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries and the lack of recognition of the inalienable rights of people, emphasizing the development of contrary arguments to the absolute monarchy and its claim to monopoly on the truth from the political, economic, philosophical and religious point of view. The intellectual foundations were laid by John Locke which pointed to a decisive impulse of the Illustration whose ideas constitute the governing scaffolding of Liberalism, that is, of Institutional System of Freedom who unequivocally questioned the old traditions of corrupt medieval societies and their despotic and totalitarian governments. These new ideas eventually coalesced into powerful revolutionary movements that overthrew feudal, authoritarian regimes, especially in Europe and Latin America.

Let us remember that the Liberalism It is a way of understanding human nature and a proposal for people to access the highest level of potential prosperity that they have in accordance with the values, abilities, attitudes and suitability that they possess, together with the greatest possible degree of freedom within the community. a society that minimizes the inevitable conflicts. At the same time, it rests on two vital attitudes that make up its genesis: tolerance and the reasonConsequently, contrary to all kinds of dogmas that only bring intellectual and economic poverty. The government, that is, the political authority, must result from the consent of free people in order to regulate public life. without interfering in the private sphereincluding the political or religious ideas of its inhabitants.

For him Liberalism the state has been conceived by and for the individual and not vice versa. It is valued exercise of individual freedom as an irreplaceable condition to achieve the highest levels of progress, emphasizing that the right to private property is fundamental since without it the individual is perpetually at the mercy of the State.

We must also remember that these guiding ideas are based on individual responsibility since there can be no freedom without it. Men and women are responsible for their actions, assuming risks always taking into account the consequences of their decisions, without ever interfering with the rights of others. Precisely and to regulate the rights and duties of the individual in relation to their peers, the Rule of Law was born, that is, a society governed by positive laws that do not grant any advantage to any person, party or group, thus strictly avoiding any kind of privileges.

For him Liberalism, the forces of supply and demand are the ones that will naturally lead to an equilibrium where prices reflect the relative scarcity of the goods available. From the 1920s the Austrian economist and thinker Ludwig von Mises He demonstrated why it was not possible in societies to plan development centrally. He pointed out with crystal clarity, against the socialist and far-right currents represented by the National Socialism that was already emerging in Germany, how any attempt to artificially fix the quantity of goods and services that should be produced, as well as the prices that should have, would lead to shortages and widespread poverty. He was not mistaken and universal experience reveals that these measures have inexorably foundered throughout the world.

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In this 21st century, there will be a need for Multilateral Organizations accepted by the international community as a whole, which dictate the rules of action, supervise and control interventions and settle differences. In summary, that they give international legitimacy to these actions, since it is a question of obtaining more effective results represented by a consolidated Multilateralism, with a new distribution of power that reflects the real capabilities of its members (strictly speaking, an update of the concept of “balance of power” of the Treaty of Vienna – 1815).

Added to a more general focus on the interests, values ​​and perspectives of all of them moving away from the univocal vision and simultaneously a system of making, applying decisions and resolutions adopted more in line with the speed, immediacy and speed that characterize today’s world. .

In short, this current New International Order that came to light in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall, is over thirty years old. unmatched progress in those nations that embraced the ideas of freedom, being the reaffirmation of the highest republican principles of government whose results in the medium term will be to continue on the successful path of globalization, interdependence, economic freedoms, openness to the world and consequently confirm a No resounding isolationism.

Friedrich Hayekhighly influential author and disciple of Ludgwig von Mises in the Austrian School he was a harsh critic of socialism and the planned economy. In his book “Camino de Servidumbre”, this Nobel Prize in Economics (1974) said with keen vision: “The more the State plans, the more complicated his own planning becomes for the individual”.

In essence, for Liberalism the fundamental role of the State must be to maintain order, ensure competition and guarantee that the laws are complied with. It is important to mention that equality is not a utopia based on everyone obtaining the same results, but rather everyone has an equal chance to fight for the best results and in that sense, The educationprimary and exclusive objective, must be the starting point to be able to access a better life, in equal conditions and opportunities for all.

In short, the opposite represented by the totalitarian systems, that is, the populisms represented by the vernacular left and the nationalisms of the extreme right, both ideological cousins ​​who have a common enemy: the Liberalism. That is why we must put all our initiative, energy and effort to prevent ideas contrary to freedom from triumphing and to resume the extraordinary legacy of the Illustration promoted by the great universal thinkers of Freedom, represented in our country by the legendary “Generation of 37” and “Generation of 80”, among them the architect of the National Constitution of 1853. I refer to the great Tucumano, John Baptist Alberdi.

John Baptist Alberdi
John Baptist Alberdi

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