The magic of the Harry Potter franchise lies not in all the wand waving, but rather in the strong willingness of the protagonists to fight for liberty. Be it as small as opposing nonsensical school rules, or as grandiose as combatting the authoritarian Ministry of Magic, the main characters are there to step up for their freedoms.
Atlas Network’s Europe Liberty Forum, co-hosted by Free Market Foundation, held on September 21-22, 2017 in Hungary, was one of the largest gatherings of classical liberals and libertarians from Europe and the word. Around 140 people from more than 30 countries attended the two-day event.
We sometimes hear that the only type of liberalism we need today is “political liberalism” while classical liberal ideas in the economy can be neglected. The view that we need only political freedom, without a broad range of economic freedoms, is not isolated and requires a response.
It would seem that freedom unites people, gives them a sense of community and a common denominator. However, freedom may embrace many incompatible things. If we truly wish to be free, we must be able to differentiate between the concepts of liberating freedom and binding freedom.
The more powers, functions and mechanisms concentrated in the hands of a government, the more etatistic its policy with the people more restricted by, and subordinated to, the government. And vice versa, in a country where the government has very few functions, people live, act, study and work more freely.
Liberty. Equality. Fraternity. France and Europe and its three pillars have been shaken. Or rather have been shaking for at least a decade, but few wanted to admit this and to take action.
It has already been 25 years since Bulgaria started its unsteady transition to a market economy after a long period of Communist rule. However, our society is yet to experience the true benefits of liberal democracy, as well as arguably – capitalism itself.
The Hungarian Free Market Foundation started an exciting new project which helps exactly with this. Be Free with English is an innovative language course which improves English skills through the medium of fun, pro-liberty materials.
Continual restriction of economic and civil liberties may have fatal consequences. Even though we can freely choose to live in an unfree society, we have to be aware of the price we will eventually pay for it.
Many people, both in the West and in the former socialist countries, display an attitude which I call—somewhat pointedly—“a mentality of Soviet official”. It is a generalized belief: “whatever problem there exists, only the state can solve it.” The state is perceived as a deity, i.e. an omniscient and benevolent being with unlimited resources.