All the human beings aspire to freedom: liberalism and future

Giuseppe Ursino

Giuseppe Ursino

Which country is the liberal ideology linked to?
The liberal ideal is not related to a geographical area, it’s a universal idea because all human beings aspire to freedom. Historically, two large Anglo-Saxon countries, UK and USA, were the initial cradle of liberalism.

What does it happen in liberal regimes?
In countries that support liberal ideas, central power is limited and to people is given the possibility to live freely spontaneously (and in fact liberalism is a self-fulfilling prophecy, that is, if people believe in it, then it works).

What are the necessary preconditions so that the ideals of liberalism can be exported even to those territories that are not historically liberal?
History and common sense teach us that a liberal regime needs a certain level of civilization to succeed. First of all, in order to spread liberalism, people must have the ability to improve themselves through free discussion. So, it is necessary a good level of literacy and mutual trust, in order that people are willing to confront different opinions in a civilised way, without resorting to violence. In other words, a good social capital is necessary, that entails education on respect for others, trust in institutions (thanks to an authoritative government presents on the territory) and another important necessary factor is a sufficient level of well-being (so that people are not frustrated by the hunger and don’t lose lucidity).

And if a country is still far from the pre-conditions for the affirmation of liberalism?
In cases where a country does not reach the minimum level of civilization necessary, the best thing that can happen to that people is an enlightened despot (and with common sense the people must accept it).

How can the liberal recipe be introduced in a culturally backward country?
It is possible through a gradual approach towards the granting of new forms of freedom. The State with a top-down approach can build the preconditions by educating the people to freedom. This approach inevitably involves a certain degree of authoritarianism (the impossible command “I order you to become free”), as when it forces families to send their children to school.

Why are there so many authoritarian States?
If people are not ready for liberal ideas and, as a consequence, for subsidiarity, administrative decentralisation and local autonomy (as those territories would be out of control due to the inability to manage themselves), then centralisation of powers is inevitable. Although there is an educational power inside freedom, it remains a very slow process. To achieve significant progress, it is essential that the State invests heavily in education, starting from youths and schools, to create better citizens of tomorrow, thus they can appreciate and manage their freedoms. Otherwise there is the risk that the demagogues, always present in history, could convince people that peace and progress (i.e. the traditional anxieties of the future) are best preserved by a lonely man in command.

A last sentence on liberal society?
In the final analysis, if history walked in a unidirectional way, I could say that the liberal regime there enables a gradual transition from oligarchy to authentic democracy.

If you want to get in touch with Giuseppe Ursino this is his LinkedIn profile

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