Martin Wolf: why Vladimir Putin is wrong to claim liberalism is dead

In a recent interview
with the Financial Times, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s
leader, argued, indeed insisted, that liberalism is dead. That the western ideas
of multiculturalism which he associates
with liberalism have proved absolutely
unsuccessful. Migration has been
a catastrophe. And we have to
reject liberalism. Is he right? No. Liberalism is not over. The fundamental
idea of liberalism is individual agency –
that people have rights, above all rights, to
manage their own lives, to pursue their own goals. And at the same time
to share in public life through the rights of
democracy, to have a free media, to have freedom of opinion,
and to vote and organise political parties. These are fundamental
liberal ideas. These ideas are of course
to some degree in tension. Individual economic freedom
and the collective voice in politics can be, and
often are, in opposition. But societies that have been
built around those ideas have been and are today the most
successful in world history. Nearly all, and certainly
all the large countries that are prosperous are also liberal. Economically, they have
relatively free markets. And they are
politically democratic. So when Mr Putin says
these ideas are dead, that’s completely absurd. They’re obviously incredibly
powerful because they have succeeded so well. And that’s been true in
other parts of the world. China has succeeded, certainly
not a liberal society politically, but it’s
liberalised economically. Mr Putin’s regime,
on the other hand, has clearly been a failure. Politically it succeeded,
but economically, Russia hasn’t caught up. It’s more or less stagnant now. Its politics are those
of corruption and fraud. And it really hasn’t
done very well. And he’s pointed to the
west because of the failures at home. Nonetheless, democratic
and liberal regimes are showing serious weaknesses. We can see that in the
politics of protest, the nationalism, Brexit, the
protectionism of Mr Trump. So we have to recreate
the social compact that underpins liberal societies. We have to balance individuals
against the collective. We have to balance the economic
against the political to create a new form of liberal,
democratic society. It’s through recreating itself
that liberalism has always succeeded. And it is the way, in my view,
that it will succeed again. Mr Putin is wrong. He must be wrong. But we have to prove he’s
wrong by changing ourselves.

100 thoughts on “Martin Wolf: why Vladimir Putin is wrong to claim liberalism is dead

  • In my humble opinion latest liberalism success stories is Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan(2001), Iraq (2003), Georgia (2008), Libya (2011), Ukraine (2014). So who's next?

  • Для тех кто не владеет английским языком – У чудака подгорает.

  • только будь там, на западе, при власти правая партия – он, путин кричал бы про нацизм фашизм расизм и, говорит то что хочет оппозиция слышать и все, язык без костей.

  • хахахахахаха))))))) СМИ свободные))))) Не смешите))))

  • Ha ha! Liberals are pinned to the wall! It's funny to see how this gentleman comes out of spite when he tries to disagree with the obvious things! You lost!

  • Либерализм это когда можно парады п*даров проводить, а к "успехам" это не имеет ни какого отношения. Духовно либерализм мёртв. А без духовности умрёт и всё остальное. Это дело времени. Панамерикана падёт так же как и римская империя.

  • Putin is KGB to expect from that Mediocracy anything Smart..same as Trump is the bigest imbecile in History of US.
    AND larger..

  • Мы гордимся своим президентом! Мы наелись вашего либерализма! И не учите нас жить! И не навязывайте нам ваши ценности!

  • "Скоро всей вашей Америке кирдык" (с) художественный фильм "Брат" 1997 г.

  • It's ironic wolf does this. Considering the fact that many of the policies he openly praises ( ie, open immigration, unfettered free trade, etc) have decimated large parts of the electorate what exactly did he think would result? If things continue on the current path we would be lucky if more extreme people than Putin are not voted in.

  • This is a complete wrong definition of liberalism. What the speaker is talking about is classical liberalism and free Market, and leftist cultural Marxists use this as a Trojan horse to what Putin is ACTUALLY saying is the TRUE Enemy. Leftist cultural Marxist social justice warrior fucktardry caused by decadence and weakening society

  • Liberalism and democracy, IN THE FORM shown to us by the West, led by the United States, is dying. Because for several decades we have been seeing their aggressive behavior, rigid imposition of their will on other countries, war, intimidation, lies, manipulation, and propaganda. Iraq, Libya, Georgia, Ukraine, Venezuela … who among them now lives well? It repels, it is disgusting.

  • Vladimir Vladimirovic Putin, is the best president in the world! So stop your anti-Russian propaganda, your machine is broken!

  • В США всё связано только с бабками,они без денег думать не умеют,по больше пожрать и поговорить о великой Америке,хотя ни одного слова о демократии у них в конституции нету)

  • В Китае либерализм?! Ахахах) И это профессиОНАЛ по политике?))

  • Even in this video, the liberal imposes his opinion, and does not offer to compare and choose. Where is the freedom of opinion? What a video a decade ago, where demonstrators attacked the police, which does not allow them to get out of the area allocated for the demonstration. For comparison, there are more recent videos from the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlotte. We have such a deception, and such a democracy is not needed, thank you. Well, about election systems in the United States and Russia in general is not worth talking about. Who does not allow foreign observers to polling stations who do not have a direct vote, but electors? In which country in each polling station there is an online broadcast even counting votes. In Russia, I freely show BBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, EuroNews, while the United States prohibits RT. How would you not want the opposite, but the US has long been not a democracy, but the most insistent orligarhia.

  • We have to distinguish between meaningful, classical liberalism (Locke, Mill, Adam Smith) and nutcases labelling themselves Liberals (AOC, Bernie Sanders etc.) when they are simply emotional leftists

  • OH SHUT UP YOU FAGGY ENGLISH FATTY…Liberal Fascism has ruined Europe & almost ruined America. Fortunately Trump saved us from neo-liberalism. Now your just Angry Trump & Putin can piss all over you GLOBALIST POS. FAR LEFTIST LIBERALISM IS CLOSE TO SOCIALISM, & ITS DEAD!

  • This guy is manipulating: Putin said the problem in liberalism is that the liberals think they can DICTATE everyone how to live.
    But the ending is such a double-thinking, just wonderful: "Putin is wrong but we must change ourselves to prove him wrong".
    Mr. Wolf is an old fat narrow-minded man but to prove me wrong he must lose weight, get plastic surgery and say something smart without a teleprompter 😂

  • He didn’t even understand liberalism they are living in delusional world that’s hurting this world and many people

  • Martin Wolf is rounding up the troops to prove something to President Putin. Will you join the Wolf army?

  • Look at this cis gendered WHITE MAN telling us words………. what a Racist!!! he is old so he is a Sexist as well ….. You should step down and let a POC take your place…….. He wont because he is a white supremacist!!!!

  • To me Putin was not referring to "classical liberalism" on that interview, but to the "progressive" form of nowadays "liberalism". You, the media, want to push ideas such as that it's good to have uncontrolled immigration and that gender theory should be taught to children. Sorry but most people woke up and are not buying your "Frankfurt School" ideals anymore. Putin is right.

  • Unfortunately the definition of "liberalism" has been co-opted by people who are not seeking only personal agency…but rather seeking to force their values on those of the rest of us. A minority population is seeking to make radical policy changes that the vast majority of Americans do not agree with. In fact, many of their policies are deemed as morally repugnant by a significant amount of people. This is what Putin referred to in the interview. They actually have laws there that protect their children from being subjects of political propaganda. They are a highly religious and conservative nation and they don't want to change it. I say good for them.

  • Putin is right. A complete man in assessing the world's politics and in voicing out hyprocrisies of the world's leaders.

  • I thought to myself when i first seen this video that this guy must be a jew then a went to his wikipedia page and found out that his parents were austrian jews coincidence I dont think so. Why is it that jews are always behind every propaganda. Can someone explain it to me, why is it always jews doin this kind of shady stuff.

  • Este señor inglés habla sobre el error de Putin y el estancamiento económico de Rusia. Le recuerdo señor que Rusia no se ha robado la mitad del planeta como el imperio inglés y el estadounidense, saqueando recursos, decidiendo por naciones menos poderosas, obligándonos a ser sus mercados y comprar sus productos y seguir su cultura. Es una vergüenza que un especialista económico dentro de un medio tan masivo esté carcomido por la ideología liberal ¿de qué liberalismo habla? La letra muerta del siglo XVIII? El respaldo ideológico de europeos para repartirse el mundo? Siguen pensando que latinoamericanos, africanos, orientales y rusos les creemos sus buenas intenciones? Están jodidos, el resto del mundo no tolerará más a los matones del mundo. Pueden decir lo que quieran, su sistema ha beneficiado a un montón de personas, ni siquiera a sus naciones transversalmente, solo a unos pocos y eso es un fracaso para la comunidad mundial, les duele que sea un ruso, tanto que han tratado de dejarlos fuera, el que tenga una visión mas certera, más honesta y más lúcida de cómo reconstruir la mierda que ustedes han dejado.

  • "We have to proove he's wrong by changing ourselves" – doesn't it actually mean – he's right as long as we "we" have not changed ourselves ?

  • I think it's funny that the top comments are from users that don't reside in the United States or Europe.

  • Strange Vlad is proclaiming the death of liberalism ? Vlad with all ur super weapons you still haven't defeated the piss-ant insurgency in Syria ! We should believe you ? BTW Dumb Q ? UR are still China's XI's jnr partner, no ?

  • Смешно наблюдать,как набежали кремлеботы и пишут на инглиш.
    Не бойтесь,никто не заберёт ваши будки и цепи.Вы останетесь крепостными.Расходитесь.

  • In battle, a crowd of liberals always lose to a group of soldiers. Because soldiers are a team, and liberals are greedy, narcissistic individualists.

  • Все эти комментарии только подчёркивают насколько опасна российская пропаганда.И с этим нужно что-то делать.Более серьезные меры.Более серьёзная ответственность.Это вызов демократии.И игнорировать эти атаки опасно.

  • PUTIN and TRUMP are greatest leaders of this time. NATIONALISM is all we need. Anyone that wants to lay with muslims, you will get fleas.

  • This video is inconsistent and has no clear definition of liberalism. Is China and Singapore liberal?

  • Ебало как у Ганибала…с такой будкой только за капиталистов и топить…пидоры…

  • Martin Wolff is right as usual. The GDP of the US is nearly 13X as big as Russia's. Russia's population growth has been flat or negative for thirty years. The recent increase was from taking over Crimea. Average life expectancy in the Russian Federation is 67 years (World Bank). "Russia is one of the few countries with a negative (population) growth rate." World Population Review

  • Thank you 🙏🏼, I think how much to get the better to share good things and live together from the basically . It’s not what the system of the political policies. How’s hardly to predict what’s the import and export go down and the technical support for example, or it’s can recreate but it took time.I hope so much for the government to protect us with trusting. Thank you 😊.

  • 0:23 – No Martin, Putin didn't claim we have to 'reject' Liberalism. Putin claimed that the true values of Liberalism have been replaced with 'false' Liberalism, which in essence is now expressed with things such as 'freedom fighting' for stupendous multi-gender recognition, drug legalisation and Social Justice Warriorship. If anything, Putin is one of the most Libertarian politicians out there right now, possibly comparable with Merkel and Obama.

  • This old man is refusing to see reality as it is. Nothing can stay forever, neoliberal ideology doesn’t solve existing problems , because it doesn’t permit to do so. This is what Putin pointed out . Just dump the ideology which prevents you from solving problems. And stop weaponizing words and notions to label people who just says the truth. This ideology is in power and clearly is over abusing it in order to stay in power and maintain the status quo.

  • -Putin never stated that idea or liberalism itself is dead, he said that some ideas like PC (Political Correctness), immigration because countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Mali…) were destroyed and western style democracy will never blossom in those states and having a totalitarian leader was better for all of those countries at this time, maybe in the future things will change but not now! Egypt needs a strong leader, Saudis need a strong leader, UAE, Qatar, China need strong leaders because that is intertwined with their culture!

    "Exporting liberal democracy" failed big time since 1990's, western capitalism failed in 2008., and countries used bailout system (typical for communist countries) for "too big to fail" banks and companies, instead of following basic principles of capitalism and letting them go bankrupt, and build new ones instead of reviving dead ones with taxpayers money, and today we have the walking dead banks and corporations, artificially inflated economy…

    Russia is under sanctions and their economic policy and policy of Russian central bank (Alexei Kudrin and Elvira Nabiullina) are circling their wagons and implementing "war economy"! Russia has the lowest public debt (18.79%/BDP) and highest monetary reserves (half a trillion $$$) of all big countries! They will finance their "New Deal" (490 billion $$$ investment into infrastructure, education, healthcare…) and they are seeking investors in China and other Asian countries!

    US debt/GDP ratio is 108%, 22-23 TRILLION$$$ debt, they don't have universal healthcare, free college, and they are spending more money on military than all other countries combined!

    So who is behaving lika a spoiled brat and a bully??? Printing money based only on their military power, and trying to impose their will to other big countries!

    Russia would never act out if the US didn't meddle for the 3rd time in Ukraine (they don't care about the EU, but bringing NATO to their doorsteps pisses them off)!

    The US had a chance to lead this world into prosperity after 1989-1991. but instead building their own One belt one road they started to invade and bomb countries, impose their rules, and start behaving like their are Ubermensch and implementing premise that they are always right, they are the good guys and whoever challenges them is automatically wrong (sounds familiar???)!

    The US (and their minions like UK) hegemony, supremacy, interventionism and imperialism must be stopped no matter the cost!

  • Putin hates liberalism because he does not want us, Russians, to have any civil and individual rights. Look how they stooped opposition candidates from registration in Moscow elections, how brutally police is dealing with protests. of course he will be against liberalism, he does not want to give people choice it might see him loosing power.

  • Putin is absolutely right! Liberalism is pus that kills the entire planet !!! The USA is the country that creates this pus all over the planet! Destroys governments disagreeable to him! Rome ruined sodomy and debauchery! Liberalism will ruin America !!!

  • Liberal mantras 🙂 World is more complicated, mr. Wolf. USA have more successful economy because of monopoly on printing press and the global financial system. And for you information, dear FT's chief economics commentator, Russian ecnonmy ruled by liberals since 1991-1992, just after Gaidar's reforms. And all of today's leaders of the economic bloc of Russian government – Nabiullina, Siluanov, etc – are liberals.

  • Mr. Wolf you are a "Red Grandmother". In 1989 when the Berlin Wall was foling down, not only in USSR, but all over Eastern Europe there was a "clan" of midage wemen who were refusing to let go of the comunist idea, just because they lost their verginity on a comunist field camp, mean time the comunism was dead as an idea. Loock at the mirror and shame on you!

  • According to this guy: The people have rights to my money, to kill their offspring, to take my tools of self defense and give them to the state all because they have no sense of individualism and are fear driven mobs. Lol

  • America and Britain are failures. Why would anyone copy them? Long live Vladimir Putin. The best leader in the world.

  • Liberalism died long ago, what they push is the Jewish agenda as laid out in the Elders of Zion. The destruction of nations.

  • Oh come on ..
    That is also not what he said
    But Neo-liberalism is dated
    And that is a fact
    So fantasize all you want
    People desire values and decency for a change

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