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Article

Liberalism? Forget it

Axiomathes. 2017. Vol. 27. No. 4. P. 375-391.

Abstract. There is widespread opinion that, notwithstanding deviations, the political life of humanity on a large scale is on the path of progress, and humans are becoming freer and more enlightened with time. I am going to contend with this opinion, namely, with a part of it telling that the prevailing mass of the people strives to achieve more freedom and enlightenment. On the opposite, freedom, individual independence, and political rights (not to be confused with social rights, such as state care and protection) are of minor importance to the mass. The ideology of liberalism in its classical form, as created by John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill and others, yields to the pressure of the ideology of state paternalism. The pressure comes not only from above (that is, from authorities); the people also welcome more paternalism. They appear not to value their individual freedom and independence, and they are inclined to give them up voluntarily to some mighty organization such as the state in exchange for care, protection and leadership. Liberalism has played an important role in the development of human civilization and the formation of the Western world, but new ideologies and political practices are pushing it out of people’s minds. For the author, as adherent of classical liberalism, this is unfortunate. However, I wish to treat this issue realistically, even if the facts conflict with my own convictions and desires.