Boris Lvin (bbb) wrote,
Boris Lvin

Венгрия, либерализм, демократия

Давеча поговорили про Орбана и Венгрию -

А сегодня почитал статью О'Салливана "Orbán’s Hungary: Image and Reality - Whose Democracy? Which Liberalism?" -

Почитал и другим советую.

Цитата, которая, в общем, не про Орбана:

Liberalism is, of course, a protean set of ideas. Depending on the context, its three most common meanings are (1) the broad tradition of constitutional liberty summarised in the above paragraph; (2) classical liberalism (aka neo-liberalism) or a broad reliance on free markets in economic policy; and (3) "progressive" state intervention, initially in economic policy, more recently in education and social mores, sometimes enforced by coercive measures indulgently called "political correctness". We are all liberals in the sense of (1), including Orbán; most conservatives and some in other parties are liberals (2); and the Left parties on both sides of the Atlantic are liberals (3), though many Christian Democrats are drifting idly in that direction. Unfortunately for clarity, Orbán was criticising a fourth kind of liberalism that requires still further explanation.


A clash arises, however, in one of two circumstances. First, when the elected government rejects constitutional limits on its authority - which Orbán never needed to do since he had the two-thirds majority that would allow him to re-write the constitution legally. Or, second, when a constitutional court overrides its own limits and begins to exercise power independently by making laws rather than merely interpreting laws passed by parliaments. And that happens increasingly across the world as power shifts from elected parliaments to remote bureaucracies, domestic and international courts, and supra-national institutions which have only a very misty accountability to voters anywhere.

Such clashes are driven, moreover, by a third factor: the increasing tension between liberalism (1) and liberalism (3). Traditional liberalism assumed that people would differ on all sorts of issues - rich vs. poor, religious vs. secular, enlightened vs. custom-bound - and drew up laws intended to minimise and arbitrate the conflicts between them. Liberalism (3), however, thinks that whole classes of people - the religious, the custom-bound, the unreasonably patriotic, the sexually conservative, members of traditional families - are the prisoners of their own prejudices and the unwitting oppressors of those with opposing convictions. Both should therefore be liberated from the prejudices of the former. And because all the prejudiced would probably amount to an electoral majority if they were added up, liberals (3) cannot trust democracy to pass the right laws to achieve universal liberation. So they seek to "constitutionalise" the rights of oppressed minorities and to limit the power of democratic majorities to object. As rights multiply, democracy exercises less and less control over government and law; liberalism is transformed from procedural rules into substantive policies enforced by courts, treaties and international agencies; and the voters lose all influence over how they are governed - or indeed oppressed.

That is what Orbán attacked when he attacked "liberal democracy". And, oddly enough, it is what modern liberal elites in Europe and America mean when they talk of liberal democracy too. But it is liberal only by a recent and very questionable definition of liberalism that rests uneasily on Rousseau's notion that democratic citizens can be "forced to be free". And it is democratic only insofar as it holds elections from which, however, its managers seek to drain all significance.


I see no good reason to surrender liberal democracy, either as a term or as a system, to the Sixty-Eighters, nomenklaturas and apparatchiks who have stolen and degraded it. Crime must not pay.

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