On the crisis of liberalism
Liberals, who call themselves as such now, grew accustomed to love the big state. But, as an insightful liberal accurately prognosticated, power indeed corrupts. Power would eat good will for breakfast - something that well-meaning Bolsheviks found out so spectacularly - and the state power must be kept in check. That was where the Jeffersonian genius trumped the Leninist ambition: It was not a triumph of capitalism that broke the Soviet Union, but the inherent self-correcting mechanism of curbing the state overreach! In fact, the contemporary variation of capitalism, one that hands out unaccountable power to Central Banks and justifies limiting institutional constraints for the sake of 'development', makes exactly the same mistake that various well-meaning paternalistic regimes did everywhere: Controlling the inevitable centralising tendencies is the whole point of a Liberal politics.
It is an easy lesson to forget. Our desire for material prosperity may tempt us away from the required vigilantism for independence. The decline of communities and our atomised existence may make us love low prices and lower interest rates, and stop asking questions about the big corporations and central banks that centralise power in unprecedented ways. Liberalism was not just a revolt against absolute monarchs and its shelf life did not expire with the advent of democracy. If we miss it now, we should see clearly what it stood for: That one must actively build fields of constraints for institutions to work as intended.