The U.S.S.R. Fell—and the World Fell Asleep, by Garry Kasparov, previously a world chess champion from the Soviet Union. Freedom is less of an issue today in the West — is that because unfree societies no longer threaten us with annihilation, or is it because the West is more socialist and PC?
It is difficult to describe what life in the U.S.S.R. was like to people in the free world today. This is not because repressive dictatorships are an anachronism people can’t imagine, like trying to tell your incredulous children that there was once a world without cellphones and the internet. The U.S.S.R. ceased to exist in 1991, but there are plenty of repressive, authoritarian regimes thriving in 2016. The difference, and I am sad to say it, is that the citizens of the free world don’t much care about dictatorships anymore, or about the 2.7 billion people who still live in them.
The words of John F. Kennedy in 1963 Berlin sound naive to most Americans today: “Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free,” he said. That for decades the U.S. government based effective foreign policy on such lofty ideals seems as distant as a world without iPhones.
The rise of elitist bureaucratic states at the expense of democracy, enforced by PC, is a threat to freedom:
Ronald Reagan’s warning that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction” was never meant to be put to the test, but it is being tested now. If anything, Reagan’s time frame of a generation was far too generous. The dramatic expansion of freedom that occurred 25 years ago may be coming undone in 25 months. …
It seems only socialist countries have trouble becoming free:
Even today, members of the Western democratic establishment praise Mr. Putin as a “strong leader” — as he enters his 17th year of total power in an imploding Russia that millions have fled. The bedrock belief of the Cold War, that the U.S. and the rest of the free world would be safer and stronger by promoting human rights and democracy, has been abandoned in the West in favor of engagement and moral equivalence. …
Right-wing dictatorships like those of Taiwan, South Africa, Portugal and Chile made smooth transitions to vibrant democracy and the free market. Left-wing regimes have had a far harder time, as if socialism were an autoimmune virus that destroys a society’s ability to defend itself from tyrants and demagogues.
The story of human progress is striving, dreaming and sacrificing for a better future. Instead of believing that happy, successful individuals make for a successful society, socialism insists that a perfectly functioning system will produce happy individuals. When the system comes first, the individual becomes an afterthought. When the system fails, individuals are blamed for not surrendering to it enough. Recovering from a regime that restricts individual freedom is far easier than recovering from one that teaches that individual freedom is worthless.
An interesting read.