How do you define Indian liberalism

Liberalism 1.0 - Welcome to a society that is held together not by violence but by conversation

More freedom, less coercion and an awareness that we are not at the mercy of the future: Liberals are convinced that the best policy is to have as little policy as possible.

Outside the US, libertarianism is still simply called “liberalism”. That's the L-word I'm going to use here.

Liberalism 1.0 is non-paternalistic in social policy, non-interventionistic in economic and foreign policy. In fact, he is primarily opposed to a "policy" which, if there is to be any policy at all, must be implemented through the government's monopoly on the use of force. (To confirm this experimentally, try not to pay your taxes and then try to escape prison.) Liberals 1.0 believe that good politics is about having little or no politics.

The Liberals 1.0 are thus not positioned on the conventional one-dimensional right-left line, which extends from an imposed right-wing conservative policy to an imposed left-wing "liberal" policy. Rather, the real liberals happily sit on a second dimension - on the non-political apex of a triangle, the base line of which forms the conventional axis of politics through the use of violence, so to speak.

We Liberals 1.0 are neither Conservatives nor Socialists, who are located at the lower two corners of the triangle. In the legal sense, both believe, as the liberal economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek put it in 1960, that order is “the result of constant maintenance by the authorities”. Both conservatives and socialists "lack the confidence in the spontaneous forces of adjustment with which the liberal accepts change without concern, although he does not know how the necessary adjustments will come about".

Humane liberals

Liberals 1.0 don't like violence. They are supporters of the voluntary market order, which stands in opposition to the burdensome politics of the feudal or bureaucratic or the military-industrial order. According to Hayek, they are “the party of the living, the party that advocates free growth and spontaneous development” - unlike the various parties of the left and right that “want to imprint a preconceived rational scheme on the world [by force]”.

So basically Liberals 1.0 believe that people shouldn't push other people around. Real humane Liberals 1.0 also believe that we humans should of course help other people and protect them if we can. This means that humane liberals are very far from opposing poor people. Nor are they stingy or ruthless. Nor are they strict pacifists ready to submit in the event of an invasion.

However, they are convinced that if values ​​such as welfare and security are to be achieved, the political system should not rashly resort to violence (whether at home or abroad) - regardless of whether it is about left or right goals or that to help the poor or watch over the world. We should depend mainly on voluntary agreements, for example through improvements aimed at exchange, or through treaties, civil talks, the gift of grace or majority decisions that are constrained by civil rights for the minority.

A gift, not a compulsion

To use a surprising term: we liberals, whether pure 1.0 or humane, rely above all on an often misunderstood «art of conversation», which was rejected by the tough men of the 17th century such as Bacon and Hobbes and Spinoza, but represents a practice that has always been tailored to a democratic society. Liberalism is deeply rhetorical in nature and consists in exploring (as Aristotle said) the available means of nonviolent persuasion. What I'm doing for you right now is an example of that. So you don't get me wrong: I'll do this for you, not with you as an object. It is a gift, not a coercion. (My pleasure.)

All right, I know: some coercive measures are necessary. Got it. But a large, modern state is too dependent on violence, on bombing strangers, putting people in jail for smoking weed, protecting privileged professions or breaking into private homes in the middle of the night. A small state that has not reached the modern age also depends on it. States with their seductive monopolies of violence tend to do so.

In contrast, the market for goods, like the market for art and ideas, is based on persuasion, on "friendly conversation". "I'll give you three dollars." “Thank you, madam. Here is your decaffeinated large caramel macchiato. " Or: "I plan to create a painting for which I let paint drip onto a large canvas and then we'll see if you like it." "Wow! A late Jackson Pollock! " Or: "Actually, libertarianism is the original theory of liberalism." "Oh I understand." No pushing around.

Do not interrupt!

The blessed Adam Smith (1723–1790) recommended in 1776 "the liberal plan of equality, freedom and justice". Professor Smith's triad begins with a hoped-for equality of social position which he preferred. In contrast to the Country Club, Smith took an egalitarian position. "A man’s a man for a’ that "(this line from a poem by Robert Burns can be rendered in the context as follows: man is man, despite everything). The second hoped-for point - same freedom - is the economic right, like everyone else, to open a shop or to enter into an employment relationship, if one so wishes.

Basically, Liberals 1.0 believe that people shouldn't push other people around.

Employment specifically: Smith was outraged by the restrictions on a free man's right to use his skills. For example, about the fine enforced regulation in Oregon, according to which someone who is not an engineer with a legal title of this state is not allowed to post comments on technical matters - for example, the switching on times of street lights. And not even if he is trained as an engineer.

Justice - the third hoped-for point - is a different kind of equality, namely the same legal position as everyone else in the face of the exercising power of the state and in the courts of the state when it is used against one by other people. What philosophers call "commutative" justice - so to speak, the justice in the procedures with which income is obtained as opposed to the justice in the "distribution" of the income thus achieved - can be summarized in today's language as the simple procedure, "without Consent not to interfere in the affairs of others ».

The land that hasn’t existed yet

In its leaps and bounds after 1776, this "liberalism", based on a liberalitas that was long understood by the ancestors who kept slaves as the "leading characteristic of a person who is not a slave", gradually gained its importance as a theory of a society that exclusively consists of free people. Absolutely no more slaves. No pushing around. Human. Friendly conversation. Conviction instead of compulsion. Rhetorical. Voluntary. Minimally violent. Tolerant. No rassism. No imperialism. No unnecessary taxes. No oppression of women by men. Not meddling in other people's affairs.

The theory recommended maximum freedom to pursue one's own endeavors, insofar as this endeavor does not require physical violence when it comes into contact with the plans of others. The management theorist of the 1920s, Mary Parker Follett, defined democracy not simply as a majority decision (which may be followed by a bit of violent discussion of minority affairs after the election), but as a program for discovering the win-win that it has shaped -Situation". This is the best way to be an American or a liberal and pluralistic person. The African-American poet Langston Hughes put it aptly: "Let America be America again / The country that has not existed yet / And it must be - the country in which everyone is free."

Explosion of improvements

Human liberalism of this kind has, by and large, worked amazingly well for two centuries. First, it has produced more and more free people, which in itself is a great good (we modern humans believe that). Slaves, women, colonial peoples, gays, the disabled, and especially the poor, from whom almost all of us are descended, have increasingly been allowed since 1776 to pursue their own ends in such a way that they do not use physical violence when they encounter the endeavors of others has been. As someone put it this way, in the 18th century kings had rights and women had none. Today it's the other way around.

And, somewhat surprisingly, the new liberalism, by inspiring a large mass of ordinary people for the first time in history, has produced a mighty explosion of improvements. Steam engines, railways, universities, steel, sewers, pane glass, futures exchanges, extensive literacy, running water, reinforced concrete, cars, planes, washing machines, antibiotics, the pill, container freight, free trade, computers, the cloud. This eventually led to a 30-fold increase in real income per capita and a staggering increase in the ability to seek transcendence in art, science, or God or baseball.

I said 30. It was an astonishingly great enrichment - both materially and culturally - and it was a considerable time after the classic industrial revolution.

Unfortunately, towards the end of the 19th century - even in the Anglo-Saxon countries - an intellectual elite made up of artists, journalists and professors began to rebel against this brilliantly productive liberalism. The big enrichment was coming, they announced, not fast enough. It was a project of our uncultivated fathers, not guided by our thoughtful rational patterns.

"The future works"

When Joseph A. Schumpeter wrote "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy" in the 1940s, a large part of the intellectual elite expected global socialism in the future. Even Schumpeter thought so. And most of the representatives of this elite had welcomed this prospect for a long time. As early as 1919, after his return from the young and turbulent Soviet Union, the American journalist Lincoln Steffens declared: "I have seen the future and it works."

By 1910 at the latest, the New Liberals in Britain and the new progressives in America had, for reasons that they themselves described as the very best, reinterpreted the L-word for its opposite, namely as a term for slow socialism. Slow socialism was supposed to forcibly raise the working man to a higher level on the spot - without, of course, the kind of violence hurriedly demanded by the socialists of the harder left.

Democracy is not just a majority vote, but a program for discovering the “win-win situation” it has shaped.

Among other observers, the liberal philosopher Jason Brennan adopted the terminology for the resulting version of slow socialism in the United States as "high liberalism." In high liberalism, the same right that I have to make voluntary agreements with you has been expanded to a new kind of right that allows me to forcibly confiscate your goods in order to give me a number of "positive" freedoms.

Zero sum game

For example, I should be free from shortages without my stock of goods taking you into account. "Every man is a king," said Huey Long in 1934, and his methods of achieving this included those of both the evil King John and those of his opponent Robin Hood, who represent the feudal and socialist order, respectively: "It is necessary to reduce the great fortunes, "said Huey," so that we scatter the wealth and it is shared by all people. " Forcibly take something from one person to give to another and everything will be fine. Zero sum game.

And for this I should have the freedom to use the state monopoly of force to intervene in your business in a way that benefits me, and the freedom to prevent you from entering my business, which is supported by police violence. Plus the freedom to wage a war to end all wars - financed by our assets, which are expropriated for this purpose. In short, the new or high or progressive “liberal” (whatever you like to call it) stood up for a system that pushes people around. The way the system was implemented in the twentieth century had little of a voluntary agreement per se, plus a fair amount of violent illiberal rhetoric, a zero-sum economy, and little of the pursuit of win-win situations.

Our friends on the left would do well to ponder the authoritarian form of American progressivism in 1910, high liberalism in 1960, and so-called liberalism in 2018. And our friends on the right should consider the authoritarian form of conservatism. Even the word "freedom" in the usage of both the left and the right fell back in the plural to its medieval and violent meaning: "freedoms", whereby a "freedom" such as the "freedom of the city of London" has a special and well-defined one The privilege of this or that person or group that was forcibly enforced against anyone who wanted to claim it with the kind permission of the state. It is about state-enforced protection for tire companies in Ohio or the relaxed drug policy in suburbs inhabited by white people. It contradicts the liberal principle formulated by Thomas Paine: "Give every other person all the rights that you claim for yourself - that is my teaching."

Slow socialism recommended and finally achieved that an astonishingly high proportion of national income was spent by the state on forcibly collected taxes; to this end, a steadily increasing share of private income was withheld through taxes - higher than in any example in history, if one disregards the most terrible arbitrary rule. He achieved medieval regulatory norms for the private affairs of all, which were imposed on a steadily growing number of people by experts, more state intervention in wage negotiations, more eugenic sterilization of undesirable individuals, more economic protection for this or that group, more politically enforced admission regulations for employment, more controls of the inhabitants, more armies and empires and aggressive alliances, increased nationalization of means of production.

It led to the UK's stagnant growth in the 1970s and the US's arrogant surveillance of the world after 1945. The slow socialist's motto is, “I'm from the government, and I'm there to help you by getting into interfere in your affairs. " Or: "Don't take the tax from him / don't take the tax from me / take it from the one behind you."

Thomas Paine formulated the liberal principle as simply as it was striking: "Give every other person all the rights that you claim for yourself."

The slow socialist, the new, highly progressive "liberals" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries such as Lloyd Georg and Woodrow Wilson and then their supposed opponents of the Burke-oriented conservatives such as Buckley and Graham claimed for themselves what they did for him maintained a high ethical standard. As it turned out, this included coercion through state violence - a paternalism that claims to only want the best for everyone. This is dangerous, even if it is meant well. As Trilling wrote: “We must be aware of the dangers inherent in our generous desires” because “once we have made our fellow human beings the objects of our enlightened interest, then we make them objects of our compassion, then of our wisdom and finally our coercive measures. " Every nurse or mother knows these dangers. And when she loves a loved one for himself, she resists them.

Poverty and tyranny

The biggest challenges humanity faces are not terrorism, inequality, crime, population growth, climate change, declining productivity, party drugs, crumbling family values, or whatever our friends on the left and on the right will come up with next for urgent editorials to write until the next "challenge" (which justifies further coercive measures by the government) appears in their field of vision.

The greatest challenges have always been poverty and tyranny, which, by means of state violence, have prevented normal people from getting started. The use of the word "liberal" is a game of words, but that changes when "purified" is added. There are consequences if you allow or forbid people to get started. If you eradicate poverty through economic growth, as China and India are doing now, and as was the case in the Netherlands during the 17th century, the conditions are in place for real equality.

If you abolish tyranny and replace it with Liberalism 1.0, you get more and more freedom. For everyone, including slaves and women, disabled people. The more people gain freedom to look for improvements and share them with others, the more prosperity grows. And not only is economic prosperity growing. Cultural wealth will also grow. And terrorism will come to an end, the remaining tyrants will overthrow.

From where I know this? Because that's how it gradually happened in north-western Europe from the 17th century onwards and is now happening at an increasing pace in large parts of the rest of the world. Soon it can happen anywhere.

Let my people go

If, on the other hand, one continues with different variations of old-fashioned royalty, with slow or fast socialism and its reforms stifling policies to protect the beneficiary classes, especially the rich, the party, the cousins ​​or King John or Robin Hood - what in the worst forms as militaristic socialism or tribe tyranny, in its best forms stifling regulation of new cancer drugs by the Food and Drug Administration - this is how the grueling routine of human tyranny and poverty is maintained. The agenda of humane liberalism, directed against tyranny and poverty, achieves human prosperity in the way in which it has always been achieved. Let my people go. Let normal people get started. Stop pushing people around.

I realize that some of the points proposed by us humane liberals are difficult to swallow. Our progressive friends have told you that we need policies and programs and regulations because otherwise the sky will fall on our heads. Or the Conservatives have told you that it is absolutely necessary to occupy and rule with cannons all kinds of poor people's communities, including the lesser, lawless races east and west of the Suez Canal - starting from 800 American military bases around the world.

The opposite proposals may seem shocking to you: to give people full freedom to thrive in a liberal economy - madness from the right, you will say, with more wealth for the rich, or madness from the left that leads to chaos. On the left, you will say that liberalism has allowed monopolies to grow. (That's not true. It was illiberal politics, if she could get away with it, when in truth the monopolies have been massively pushed back since 1800 - through freedom of movement and free trade, through railways and telephone and Internet.)

On the right, you will say that liberalism has allowed terrorism to grow. (That's not true. It was illiberal politics. Although terrorism in the West has indeed been rapid over the past few decades decreased And if you can't come up with a fact-based argument against humane liberalism, you will in any case mockingly claim that it is practically impracticable, outdated, old-fashioned, nineteenth century, mouse dead. (That is not true. It is true of the illiberal national socialism practiced by most states.)

But you, my dear misguided friends, owe it to the seriousness of your political ideas to listen and reflect a little. Lavoie noted "the impossibility of rejecting a theory without first trying to see the world through her glasses". You should also try these glasses.

We are not at the mercy

I am optimistic, and I want to remove this gloom of the sky falling upon us, which seems to serve an always-ready market and is routinely used by populists and other tyrants to justify their tyranny. It is also used by good-hearted slow socialists and moderate authoritarians to push people around. . . by initially terrorizing them extensively. Terrorism also works by other means than guns and bombs.

On the contrary - we are not at the mercy of the new challenges. If we manage not to shoot ourselves in the leg - such shots are an exciting possibility because we have succeeded before, through traditionalism, nationalism, socialism, National Socialism and now again with populism - we will for the next For 50 or 100 years we will rejoice in how humane liberalism makes today's poor rich, how the wretched of this earth continue to be liberated, and in seeing an unprecedented cultural explosion in the arts, sciences, crafts and entertainment.

I strongly advise you to think about this again. In your progressivism, your conservatism, or even your lovable always-beautiful-in-the-middle-staying, I want you to put a little bit of your complacency aside. I want you to understand how much they all depend more or less on the practice of the monopoly of force. I want you to admire the friendly conversation, the liberal art of conversation, the peaceful exchange. Above all, I want you to say goodbye to the certainty with which you currently believe that “the” problem is “capitalism” or the Enlightenment; or that freedom can be taken too far; or that government programs, protectionism, regulations and prohibitions are usually innocent actions by clever bureaucrats who want to improve the lives of Americans.

With an open mind and generous heart, dear ones, you will lean towards a humane, genuine Liberalism 1.0. So welcome to a society that is held together not by violence but by friendly conversation.

Deirdre McCloskey is an economic historian and teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2019, Yale University Press published her book “Why Liberalism works. How True Liberal Values ​​Produce a Freer, More Equal, Prosperous World for All »published. The printed text is the abridged and revised version of their "Manifesto for a New American Liberalism, or How to Be a Humane Libertarian". - Translated from the American by Helmut Reuter.