Monday, December 31, 2018

The self-defence of liberalism

The title is a semi-ironic reference to Urho Kekkonen and to the not so ironic tale at all of the successful counter-attack of Finnish liberal democractic forces in the 1930's. Even though I'm likely not a famous clairvoyant at all but nevertheless I do think I did recognice a meaningful theme a decade ago in this modern feebleness of liberal sentiment. Just something technocratic we happened to have at hand to maximize consumption - and not so far the pretty much only historically effective barrier against the dark human thirst for unending unreason and bloodshed, no, just some accidental opium for the masses and, no, not freedom and reason so dearly bought.

So, what we now so much need is liberal passion, liberal ruthlessness. Yes, the freedom we have is meagre and impossibly full of imperfection, but really, is it really worse than Orban, Putin, Trump, Xi? That radical nationalism would have better tools, really, better thinking, more profound values, really, honestly? Liberalism is not about production, not about the market, not about consumerism, no, it's about freedom from unreason, it's about universal human rights, about universal human worth, about love and understanding, about tolerance and gentleness. Somehow, I think the battle has not been joined in earnest at all.

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