A critical reflexion from the point of view of conservative liberalism

Let us not look to antiliberals for the cause of the failure of liberalism in Spain

Two decades ago, liberalism had a notable rise in Spain, coinciding with the government of José María Aznar and also with his fall.

Milei's great speech in Davos against the socialism and the 'bloody abortion agenda'
A sensible reflection on the right-wing written by Francisco José Contreras

A notable liberal author, Juan Carlos Girauta, referred to that phenomenon as "the liberal emergence". First of all, I must clarify -because the term usually gives rise to confusion- that by liberalism I am referring to classical liberalism, which seeks to put limits on power, and I say this because in the United States it is very common to call liberalism what is known in Europe as progressivism, which tends just the opposite: to increasingly expand the control of society by the State.

The conservative liberalism

As regular readers of Contando Estrelas already know, I am a supporter of conservative liberalism. And what does that consist of? I believe that the person who expressed it best was a great German intellectual: "liberalism, without ceasing to be liberalism, rather, to be true to itself, can refer to a doctrine of the good, particularly to the Christian, who is familiar to him." These are words of Pope Benedict XVI, written in 2008.

Thus, being a liberal-conservative consists of defending the limits to political power and individual rights but without disregarding moral values, which are what strengthen and give meaning to a democracy, although some understand it as just otherwise. Without solid moral foundations, democracy begins to break down, which is precisely what is happening now in the West.

There have been liberal-conservative authors as famous as Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville and Milton Friedman, and currently there are leading thinkers in this field as notable as the Spanish Francisco José Contreras and the Italian Renato Cristin.

Majority liberalism today in Spain

However, it must be recognized that today conservative-liberalism is a minority branch of liberalism. Today, many of those who call themselves liberals are liberal-progressives, a current whose positions are increasingly closer to social democracy. In fact, that current is not only the majority in liberalism, but an important current in the political class.

In Spain, for example, political formations such as the Popular Party (PP) and Ciudadanos (Cs) usually declare themselves liberal, without adding any nuance, but it is enough to review their approaches to observe that, In reality, these are parties very close to the theses of the social democratic left. They have assumed pro-abortion approaches on issues such as abortion, family, education, gender ideology and environmentalism. Both parties have often shown their harmony with the left by voting alongside them, for example, on gender laws, which harm rights such as freedom of education, the presumption of innocence, religious freedom and ideological freedom.

An inconsistency that provokes disdain for liberalism

As a result, what we have in practice is parties that call themselves liberal defending an increasingly greater assault by the State on society, as occurs even in regions like Galicia, where a clearly liberal issue as it is the free choice of language is only defended by a party that does not call itself liberal (Vox) and is discarded by parties that do claim to be liberal (the PP and Cs) in favor of a "trilingualism "in which politicians decide for families.

We are witnessing, then, a paradox: people who do defend fundamental rights end up feeling an understandable disdain for liberalism, identifying with this term those who use it to develop a political agenda that is actually more socialist than liberal. This disdain is often taken advantage of by those who defend clearly antiliberal positions. In the end, many who call themselves liberals have given them that advantage.

Taking this panorama into account, the easiest thing from the liberal ranks would be to attribute the failure of liberalism to a success of antliberalism, to the idea that antiliberal movements have been more skillful and have known how to present their ideas with more success.

Without taking away that merit from the anti-liberals, I think it would be honest to recognize that the cause of the failure of liberalism in Spain is largely attributable to the liberals themselves, to whom they call themselves that but then dedicate themselves to to justify all kinds of abuses against individual rights and a greater expansion of political power. This incoherence is destroying Spanish liberalism.

The case of the liberal media and journalists

I say the above from a political level, but the same could be said from a media level. That there are media and journalists who call themselves liberal defending parties like the PP, which at this point already ideologically seem like a clone of the Socialist Party, is something that leaves liberalism on the ground strong>, and even more so when this defense of a social democratic political party is done with the incentive of subsidies and institutional advertising, which have become the reins to hand over control of journalism in Spain to the different governments: the national, the regional and the municipal.

An ideological scam

Taking into account everything I have just explained, that liberalism without principles has ended up becoming a fiction and an ideological scam, an ideology that only serves to wear it as a disguise and deceive the voters, in the case of politicians, and the audience, in the case of the media.

The question I often ask myself, as a liberal-conservative, is if it is worth spending time explaining what I have just explained, or if it would not be better to defend the same principles as up to now but avoiding dirtying them with confusing labels, which sometimes only serve to confuse what I defend with that ideological scam that I just pointed out. If I write this entry it is, at least, to make it clear that what I have been defending all these years, and what I intend to continue defending, has nothing to do with that ideological scam that some commit by calling "liberalism" things that, in reality, are typical of socialists.


Photo: Miltiadis Fragkidis.

Don't miss the news and content that interest you. Receive the free daily newsletter in your email:

Opina sobre esta entrada:

Debes iniciar sesión para comentar. Pulsa aquí para iniciar sesión. Si aún no te has registrado, pulsa aquí para registrarte.