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To live in Europe?

Жить как в Европе?

Not so long ago Vladimir Putin declared that “the liberal idea has finally outlived its usefulness.” As if in answer to the President of Russia, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, the expert group “European dialogue” and the Foundation “Liberal mission” released a study “Liberalism in the twenty-first century. Contemporary challenges to freedom and a new liberal answers”.

What prevents to create free social liberal democracy in Western Europe? Obstacle to historical progress “rut” or so-called “oil curse”? Discuss the politician and historian Vladimir Ryzhkov and economist Yevgeniy Gontmakher. Is the transfer Mikhail Sokolov.


Mikhail Sokolov:

To talk about liberalism very successful date is September 17, the anniversary of the 1939 90 years ago two totalitarian regimes of Hitler and Stalin after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in fact become partners in the attack on Western liberal democracy. This Stalinist tradition now has a sequel: not a day passes as if the TV is not denounced liberalism. Vladimir Putin not so long ago also declared that “the liberal idea has finally outlived its usefulness”. Vladimir, your study came out, I have the book “Liberalism in the twenty-first century. Contemporary challenges to freedom and a new liberal answers”. This is the answer including Vladimir Putin and the myths that feed viewers.

Vladimir Ryzhkov: It is absolutely true. I am proud that this book came out, glad she left, because liberals are now swept under the plinth, not only in Russia but also in Poland and in Hungary, the tramp remembers the liberals the last word. Generally it’s the fashion now to bury liberalism around the world. Brickset in the UK is actually the destruction of the liberal order in a United Europe. Trump is an attempt to destroy the liberal order in the United States. We have liberalism is accused of all sins.

If you notice someone promotion defy the past 20 years. Communists? Yes-God. Nationalists? In any case. The main enemy of the official propaganda for the last 20 years, when Putin came to power, is liberalism.

Therefore, we organized a big project with the German liberals with the “European dialogue”. A year and a half we did discuss the scientific challenges to liberalism. The result of this huge project, which was attended by 70 experts from Russia and Europe, this book, where we do give on the nose, the face, the brain, the hat and all opponents of liberalism and explain why it is the rejection of liberal principles harms the economy, harms the social sphere, harm to international relations.

If you look all the phenomena of recent years: the Crimea is anti-liberal decision, Donbass – anti-liberal decision. Nationalization, seizure of property – anti-liberal decision. The destruction of an international order which backfired on us with sanctions, it is anti-liberal decision. The lack of judicial system in Russia , protection of human rights and property rights – anti-liberal decision.

The Supreme court again recommended that Lebedev on post of the head of the Supreme court. He was still in the Soviet time, almost under Brezhnev imprisoned dissidents, in 2019, this completely non-liberal judge will again lead the Russian judicial system.

The conclusion of our book is very simple: where liberal principles are violated, whether in the legal sphere, in justice, in international relations, in relation to the protection of ownership, in relation to human rights and so forth, everywhere a departure from liberal principles to the detriment of the common man, society, public good, economic development, prosperity and human capital development. So I think that this book will be very popular. If anything, it’s our response to Trump, Putin, Orban, Kaczynski, Boris Johnson and others today do not want to use the word enemies of liberalism, but opponents.

Mikhail Sokolov: What are the main threats to the economic freedoms in Russia now?

Evgeni Gontmacher: These threats are very many. The first threat is, of course, the lack of rule of law. I want to remind you that liberalism in the form of humanitarian is based on three principles – freedom, human rights and the rule of law. If we take our economic development, we have no legal state, about courts, we are here to say we will not. But the same applies to business. We’ll see what happens with the case Calvey. Even Mr. Titov, the Ombudsman for business, in his presentation he cries about what is happening from the point of view of the judicial system. The law enforcement system plays a role. Now in the financial forum and Gref and Chubais, Kudrin, everyone was talking about that let’s something to do with the law enforcement function, because it stifles the economy.

Mikhail Sokolov: 1% of economic growth is all you could hope for, all that they promised.

Vladimir Ryzhkov: Liberalism just says hands off policy, hands off private property, hands off limits, hands off of private property. Accordingly, liberalism guarantees fast economic growth

Evgeny Gontmakher: the Second – the role of government in our economy. Now many people, even those who are in power, they say that it is excessive. Now almost 60% of our economy controlled by the state. We see a derogation from the freedom of entrepreneurship, from the competition. Competition is the most important Institute, which also supports liberalism.

Social sphere. There are some myths that the liberals are the people who are against social programs. The social state is a state that enables people from any group, from any strata to develop and succeed in life. It’s not distributing everything equally as some people think it was creating opportunities for a successful life.

We now have social elevators do not work, inequality increases. The polls are conducted people say that all highly unfair, they want equality before the law. That is actually a significant part of people is the liberals, they don’t just call themselves. Of course, this propaganda, which was, it is largely discredited and democracy and freedom and liberalism. But in fact liberalism is the only, I think, the opportunity for a happy life, for social development.

The full text will be published on 18 September. Listen to the audio, watch the video.


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