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Losing freedom is a constant threat in the world. Therefore, it is necessary for its defenders to promote the ideas that allow societies to remain free. This is clear to Jörg Dehnert, director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for the Andean countries.
Dehnert spoke to El American about the challenges of people who promote the ideas of freedom and the importance of defending a solid rule of law in society. The political scientist explained that the foundation he heads does not speak of freedom of groups, but of individual freedom. This is because, he assures, it is not a question of collectivism, but of respect for the rights of each citizen.
In addition, he insisted that it is a question of the rule of law that guarantees the functioning of society. Always understanding that freedom also entails responsibility and that it has limits.
“Losing freedom is a constant threat in the world. As we can see, totalitarian regimes place many restrictions on citizens. That is why freedom is one of the highest values in a society, but freedom always has responsibility as well,” Dehnert said.
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Similarly, he explained that many socialists use words like freedom and democracy to sell their ideas, but in reality they do so for a different purpose than to achieve a truly free society that places the citizen at the center.
“Leftists use words like freedom or democracy, but for a different purpose. That is why for us individual freedom is necessary. That each person has the right to create his or her destiny and future,” he said.
Jörg Dehnert on the state and private enterprise
In the same vein, he questioned the State’s contribution to private enterprise. He was emphatic in assuring that it is necessary to set limits, and said that the purpose of those who promote a larger State is to have greater influence.
“For example, in my country — Germany — with the pandemic, many freedoms were lost and also many companies were helped with a lot of money, but the socialists believe that if they contribute with more money, they should have more influence on how to renationalize the market economy, which is done in an indirect way.”
He maintained that the defense of freedom is a permanent struggle. He gave as an example the restrictive measures taken during the pandemic and indicated that many of them put freedom at risk.
“It is necessary to take measures, but for a time. Those restrictions have to end because we are also fighting against government control of societies and that is a clear problem.”
He added that in the Andean countries, freedom is at risk, either by the ruling state, but also sometimes by the mentality of the people. “At this moment, we need more freedom in Latin America and that also has to do with building a stronger rule of law.”
On the other hand, he commented that the state cannot solve the problems of all citizens and that the ideas that promise that the Government is the savior contribute to generating other problems to society.
“The challenge is to find a balance between a functioning economy and protecting people’s health. If the economy does not work, poverty is going to grow and with it people will not have money to buy food or protect their health.”
Finally, he emphasized that the more education there is, the greater the desire for freedom becomes. That is why he believes in educated citizens who are capable of making the right decisions about their lives, without the need for the government to influence them. “When there is education, people have more opportunity to have the decisions of their lives in their hands.”