Liberalism: Explained (and Why We Should Combat It)

This essay was written by Celine Qin on the 13th of October, 2021.

Liberalism in politics is a philosophy and system based on liberty, or the state of “being free.” A primary component stressed in liberalism is individual rights and free market economy, which is the economic system based on free trade, supply-and-demand, and little if any government regulation. Though this individual liberty may sound like a fair game, liberalism is, in actuality, a rigged system where only a few people out of the gigantic majority can enjoy these privileges.

The right to a free market economy is, at the same time, a right to infinitely exploit people and resources and accumulate vast amounts of wealth, sometimes even buying out politicians or using your private capital to influence government policy in order to maintain the current economic hierarchy. It also means that those who have power in the economic battleground can commodify essential needs if it means attaining more profit (such as privatizing food, housing, healthcare instead of socializing it), invade and colonize foreign nations in effort to exploit their resources and cheap labor, and ultimately allow society to be dictated by the colonizers, oppressors, capitalists and imperialists and those who serve to defend the power of the rich.

Laissez-faire, a French term translating to “leave alone”, means that the less the government is involved in economy, the better business will be, and the better society will be as a result. This concept is the core principle of free market capitalism. While capitalism at the very start of its occupation in society has done its beneficial contributions, particularly for technological advancements, the system and the ruling class that it serves have ultimately transformed our world into an unjust and torturous place. Laissez-faire is one of the many justifications used to uphold liberalism.

Despite its claims, the wealth in the hands of a few does not mean prosperity for everyone else. In capitalist societies, wealth is always a product of exploitation or impoverishing an oppressed class, and liberalism allows this inhumane routine to keep living.

For one thing, liberalism is a fundamentally capitalist (or bourgeois) ideology that only protects the interest of the capitalist class. It emerged to expand the privileges of the wealthy and defends the freedom to exploit others, hoarding capital while diminishing social welfare and economic and political equity.

The system allows the capitalist class to have the say and ownership over nearly all aspects of human civilization, from the media we consume, to the education we receive, to the very relationships we have with one another (such as as prejudices, biases, selfishness, etc. that help divide the working class from accomplishing a unified struggle).

Therefore, liberalism will never serve the interests of the working class, colonized subjects who have suffered under the colonial and imperial conquests by capitalist powers, and all oppressed peoples.

“Freedom in capitalist society remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slaveowners.” -Vladimir Lenin

In many ways, liberalism creates the facade of fairness for the 99%. Liberalism acts as an efficient tool for oppressors because it is the most “progressive” spot on the political spectrum that does not threaten the power of the political and economical ruling classes. It does not threaten the dictatorship of capitalists; It does not threaten the social, economical, and political order that has created the current status quo.

Amerikan liberals today preach progressive policies and ideas, but have yet to condemn the exact systems and constructs built to prevent the same goals they claim to support. They are tools used by the capitalist class in order to provide the masses with empty promises, furthering the illusion of equality, and scam of bourgeois democracy, or the delusional notion that oppressors even care for the well-being of those who do not serve their interests.

Liberalism compromises with capitalism, and therefore with all systems of imperialist exploitation, white supremacy, and all other forms of repression and marginalization against those who are not the wealthy ruling class.

We are in an age where capitalist rule and the imperialist system have reached their highest, most brutal point. Depending on liberalism to reach our liberation is dangerous, ineffective, and keeps the violent system in place. In order to overthrow our oppression, we have to overthrow all aspects in which the oppressive system manifests itself.

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