Liberalism over the past two centuries has brought unprecedented prosperity, freedom, and development to humankind. The ideals of human dignity and liberty, the rule of law, civil society, constitutionalism, and democracy are only part of its vast historical and ideological heritage. The liberal approach is the recognition of the supreme value of inalienable human rights and freedoms, their priority over all other values, the assertion that everyone can freely choose his destiny, and therefore the rule of law, the separation of powers, transparency and accountability of power, in particular through democratic elections. Liberal theory is a specific worldview that has philosophical, social, ethical, economic, and political aspects, which are related to each other, mutually complementary, but at the same time have some independence.
Two seemingly diametrically opposite ideologies, such as anarchism and liberalism, are based on the same premise: the human person is primary for them. But further, the main divergences begin because the following question arises: how do these persons correlate with each other? What are the principles of this relationship? After all, man does not live by himself; he is still a social creature. And since he lives in society, he must somehow build his relations with other individuals. The liberal will say that the individual is selfish: human beings by nature are such that they will build relations according to the principle of hierarchy, domination, and inevitably the naturally strong will suppress the weaker in all human relations. So for liberalism, some sort of hierarchy is natural and will inevitably be established in human society. After all, liberals, no matter how much they criticize the state, are also essentially supporters of domination.
Example of Liberalism
In the 20th century, especially after World War II, the decline of liberal parties was evident. However, the ideas of Liberalism as the value of the market, human rights, etc., have gained universal acceptance.
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The Liberal International (founded in 1947) includes parties from 46 countries, but only one of them, the Canadian Liberal Party, periodically becomes the ruling party. The parties in Japan and Australia that call themselves liberal are, in fact, conservative. The English Liberal Party, exemplary for the 19th century, ceased to exist in 1988, having merged with the Social Democrats.
At the same time, almost all influential parties in Western countries have become liberal and are difficult to distinguish programmatically. The serious ideological and strategic differences that had persisted between social democrats and liberals even before World War II have faded away. Politics has ceased to be a “dispute about ideas” and has been transformed into administration, often resembling “crisis management”. All of this reflects a consensus in the mass consciousness about fundamental liberal values that are perceived as self-evident and have become a kind of platitudes.