On April 19, 2018, the Free Market Road Show visited Warsaw. This year the event took place at SWPS University. The conference began with introductory remarks by Piotr Voelkel (SWPS University), Agata Stremecka (FOR), and Barbara Kolm (Austrian Economics Center).
Those who want to stop populists need to learn how to plan strategically, set aside fantasies, and see the cold reality. They need to be proactive rather than reactive, preventively tackling the propaganda of the populists. Only when the strategic goals are achieved, should they feel good about themselves.
Angela Merkel’s party, CDU, came in first in the German national election. However, this is not a great victory because what’s important here is that for the first time in post-World War 2 history, an extreme right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), came in third in the national election, getting around 13% of the votes.
Few ideologies have changed the contemporary world to such an extent like liberalism did. Liberal demands for the rule of law, democracy, and market economy have been introduced to some extent in all highly developed countries. This, however, does not mean that liberalism, as political philosophy, became redundant in public life.
The Swedish think tank Timbro has presented its “Authoritarian Populism Index”. The index “aims to shed light on whether populism poses a long-term threat to European liberal democracies” (it includes the EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, and Montenegro)
Recently, the eyes of Europe were on the presidential election in France. Macron managed to convince 8.6 mln voters to support him within a year. Although no politician dares to say it out loud, by looking at the outcome, all politicians think about their own careers. And draw conclusions.
What sets liberals apart from representatives of other ideological options is a strong trust in the capabilities of an individual and the key role of protecting the rights of an individual. Building a liberal community is currently of utmost importance, both in Poland and Europe in general.
The rising popularity of nationalist thought all over the world is evident. It has already won several battles in the political competition. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight an interesting occurrence here: nationalists operate with at least two incompatible opinions on the functioning of economy.
In the face of Europe’s biggest so called ‘refugee crisis’ since WWII, many right wing and centrist politicians are using Islamophobia as a way to leverage policy-making in the West, to the detriment of human rights. The so called ‘refugee crisis’ reflects a crisis within Europe.