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Conservative-liberalism (Laissez-faire liberalism), another utopia for Poland?

Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
10 Jun 2011 #1
Over a quarter of century ago, I used to attend lectures of Janusz Korwin-Mikke (JKM), the person defining the conservative-liberalism (in the sense of economical laissez-faire) in Poland, the founder of Unia Polityki Realnej (UPR). Young Korwin was talking sense, and he was so convincing that I implement his ideas in my personal life till this day. (To make the picture complete, I was also attending lectures of young Adam Michnik and Jacek Kuroń; while I liked what Adam was saying, Jacek's co-operative movement ideas seemed a little going banana to me already at that time).

Now, almost three decades after I listened to Korwin's lectures, Poland was able to build market economy and learned something on own mistakes. Still, number of people are dissatisfied and are trying to find their golden formula for an ideal country. People appearing the most frustrated are the followers of UPR. Let us think whether the conservative-liberal concept (always defined as laissez-faire liberalism) is any way to solve the problems of today's Poland. Yes, some countries had their phase of really liberal economy, mentioning the US in the first place, many years ago. (The concept opposite to laissez-faire liberalism would be etatism or stateism, called 'socialism' by followers of JKM).

The rules of conservative-liberalisms as laid out by JKM in early 1980's were:
1. The role of State should be reduced to absolute minimum;
2. Taxes should be spent only on the Army and be absolutely minimal;
3. No social insurance. No social benefits. No public system of pensions. You have to work, save, invest, you also may invest in private insurance/pension.

4. You better establish a large family, so your children and grandchildren shall take care of you when you're old and unlucky
5. Health system, educational system, all of this is on your own expense, since you know the best how you want to distribute your own money, not the State, right?

6. The economy should be based on laissez-faire or catch-as-catch-can.
7. The police should be private force to which citizen pay to get protection. Locally, people shall carry firearms and organize own security or militia
8. No labour protection: you can be fired at any time if your employer does not like you.
9. (Unsure how the road system should be maintained and developed)
10. Personal responsibility of an individual for own success or failure. No-one gonna help you unless you take care of it yourself. Democracy equals socialism equals EVIL INCARNATED.

To me, the theory looks very nicely as long as it remains on paper.

Let us start with the old-age pensioners or people close to the pension-age. Either these are still supported -- and that means that taxes need to be still collected making the whole idea very ineffective and self-contradictory for many years -- or let the significant group of the people die of hunger.

Next, given all social benefits, the public health, education, police, road etc. systems, there is no evolutionary way to reach such ideal. Because people such as PO or let us just mention one Leszek Balcerowicz, are ridiculed at by UPR followers. Therefore, the only way to start making the conservative-liberal ideals here is to make a coup d'etat. As the effect, all the freedom, laissez-faire and like ideals go to dustbin, right?

Conservative liberals of UPR seem to feel something must be wrong in their thinking, so over last 25 years the doctrine has drastically changed. Now, the UPR followers say: "To make our ideals real, let us enforce -- politically a dictatorship -- and we will let it be economically laissez-faire; that way we will be able to make our points 1-10 real". However, maintaining dictatorship requires the strongest State possible, so the point (1) goes to Hell on the day one. Maintaining the dictatorship also requires money, and these can only be gathered by taxes. Now, the point (2) goes to Hell. The strong regime must also be based on privileges to its officers, so it might be expected so nepotism and corruption will start soon, because people are just people.

Yes, there was a country where conservative liberalism had been introduced. It was Chile and the leader was Gen. Pinochet. As you know, the actions of the Gen. Pinochet regime did not lead to significant growth in Chilean economy (HDI2010 gives 45th world position to Chile in Human Development, while Poland is 41st without conservative liberalism), but Gen. Pinochet before his death in 2006 was charged with 300 criminal offences, including violation of human rights (i.a., political murders by his henchmen), embezzlement, tax evasion, and corruption. Still, gen. Pinochet is the Saint for UPR followers.

Said so much: Is the conservative liberalism in the sense described as above any answer to Polish problems, or is it next utopia, since Communism looked good when it was only on paper?

Softsong 5 | 494
10 Jun 2011 #2
This should be a very spirited discussion. I am currently emailing a young man who is very enthusiastic about letting the Free Market work it's magic. He is for classical liberalism which is not the liberalism that most people know of today.

He makes a lot of sense, but over and over again the same thing keeps coming up that it sounds good on paper. I am attempting to figure out myself where I stand on these matters in regard to the USA. My knowledge of Polish politics and economics is very poor so I have nothing much to contribute for how this would effect Poland.
milky 13 | 1,657
10 Jun 2011 #3
Well. Neoliberalism is more of a reaction against communisn, that was spawned during the Cold War. It's a flexed muscle with a paranod John Birch society brain. Some of Its theories are bases on paranoid schitzophrenics like John Nash. The reason it changes over the years is becaused its not philososphically grounded. In modern times, it has been justified by cowboys, such as the Chicago Boys and taken on board by pieces of sh1t like Regan and Thatcher.Its objective is the establishment of Dictatorships and the overthrowing of democratically elected governmennts under the guise of love and freedom. Its a theory that constantly evolves and tries to convince people that the more money one has, the better their outlook on life, and the world is.

However, in psychology, the area of personal responsibility, which has been covered in the books of Tomas Szasz and Co, are good reading and they throws sh1t on all those American self-help books; but as far as chronic individualism is concernd(and world economics) from Smith to Milton Friedman and Jeffrey Sachs,we would be still living in trees if humanity evolved their way.

From an historical Irish perspective, it is a system that 'logically' has to be despised, if one was to look back at the "so called famine" and a certain "scumbag Brit" called Charles Edward Trevelyan .
Ziemowit 14 | 4,278
10 Jun 2011 #4
6. The economy should be based on laissez-faire or catch-as-catch-can.

Yes, this is a formidable suggestion for all our disabled, the mentally-handicapped or the like.

Still, gen. Pinochet is the Saint for UPR followers.

Yes, he is just what he should be for UPR followers. On top of that, Gen. Pinochet ordered throwing out his political opponents of airplanes flying over the ocen. Janusz Korwin-Mikke, the clown who has been running for presidency in Poland every time such an election was held, or another clown of the same party, Stanislaw Michalkiewicz, if I remember his name well, a dedicated anti-semite who has recently been a regular invité to Radio Maryja where he was merciless towards Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually agressing a black lady room-attendent in a New York hotel, but never said a word on Catholic priest molestiing children everywhere in the Western world; the two of them should certainly be chosen as heros for our modern and crazy times.

Welcome to the Club of the Insane Saints, Antoś. Wouldn't it better for you to go back to playing your guitar altogether?
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
10 Jun 2011 #5
You absolutely did not get my message, Ziemek. Read my OP very slowly, very detailed way... Please ;-)

(I have said same what you've said but hasty reading does not help). ;-)
FlaglessPole 4 | 662
10 Jun 2011 #6
1. The role of State should be reduced to absolute minimum

heh I can't help laughing when I read these 10 commandments on how to get back to Stone Age a.s.a.p. Weekend's upon us I'm busy but I might elaborate on it in a few days. For now I'll just say to you try living in any Scandinavian country (and I mean live, work, etc..) and then reflect on what you wrote lol
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
10 Jun 2011 #7
Anybody can read further than the 10 points?
Sheesh... The picture culture and inability to understand the written word...

Flagless Pole, could you read in whole and try to get the message? ;)

Guess: Is my text promoting UPR utopia or...? ;-))))))))
Ziemowit 14 | 4,278
10 Jun 2011 #8
You absolutely did not get my message, Ziemek. Read my OP very slowly, very detailed way... Please ;-)

Yes, you are right. Sorry about my mistake. The only thing I can perhaps say in my defence is that short posts are better than long ones ;-).
old troll
10 Jun 2011 #9
For now I'll just say to you try living in any Scandinavian country (and I mean live, work, etc..) and then reflect on what you wrote lol

There is some user who has been brought up in Sweden and supports this idea. Let's wait for him, I'm intrested what he has to say.
FlaglessPole 4 | 662
10 Jun 2011 #10
Flagless Pole, could you read in whole and try to get the message? ;)

fair enough... but I was distracted by this (funny) :)
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
10 Jun 2011 #11
Taken into account the concentration of lunatics on these Forums, I can perfectly understand Ziemek what you might have thought just by glancing at my original post ;-)

Scandinavia: Are we talking about Sweden and Norway, as only those two countries are located at the Scandinavian Peninsula? Both countries are slightly too socialist to my taste, still I admire the hard working Norwegian and the highly educated Swedish.

Hash cocoa! Hahahahah! I always wondered if hash-browns were made with cannabis :D
Avalon 4 | 1,068
10 Jun 2011 #12
"and taken on board by pieces of sh1t like Regan and Thatcher"

Strange how you denegrate the two world leaders (both Conservatives) who are acknowledged as bringing long periods of growth and prosperity to their respective countries.

Its a theory that constantly evolves and tries to convince people that the more money one has, the better their outlook on life, and the world is.

It convinced me, I don't want to be poor.
Palivec - | 379
10 Jun 2011 #13
A country that suffered under two ideologies shouldn't become the playground for yet another ideology.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,437
10 Jun 2011 #14
Anybody can read further than the 10 points?

that is the problem, most people don't as it is reflected here and there on PF;).

I always wondered if hash-browns were made with cannabis :D

they are, I had them once.

I have not read the OP yet, but judging by the popularity of Korwin - Mikke in Poland, he fell into the category of forgotten political mistakes of the new democracy in Poland.

I might join you guys latter, but with the market economy and running my own business I need to see my accountant today- later!!!!!!!!
Avalon 4 | 1,068
10 Jun 2011 #15
they are, I had them once.

I think you are getting things mixed up. Hash-brownies are cakes with cannabis baked into them.
Hash-browns are shredded potatoe, fried and usually had at breakfast.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
10 Jun 2011 #16
This I knew, and tried to make a little joke, not aware of existence of hash-brownies ;) Thank you!

judging by the popularity of Korwin - Mikke in Poland, he fell into the category of forgotten political mistakes of the new democracy in Poland.

Frustrated people who:
1. Are not followers of PiS
2. Are not followers of Radio Maryja
3. Are not followers of nationalist/racist movements
4. Are not commies
5. Are not followers of ultra-left/anarchist movements
are with high probability the followers of UPR.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,437
10 Jun 2011 #17
Hash-browns are shredded potatoe, fried and usually had at breakfast.

sorry Avalon for not being precise. I had hash brownies once and hash browns many times:). Figlless always manages to steal the thread and somehow make it about drugs or *****@;), while there is really more to life eg:

Now, I really have to go to see my accountant!!!!!!!!!!

and not followers of PO - you forgot about them:)
milky 13 | 1,657
10 Jun 2011 #19
Here is a reformed Neo-Lib
10 Jun 2011 #21
Speaking from a Classical Liberal or as I shall rather posit a classical economist position as how it is referred to here in the United States (since of course our word was stolen). Liberalism, not to be mistaken with the American contemporary liberal, is a theory of freedom and liberty. It is one where the individual is free and responsible to pursue his own actions. However, liberalism depends on government and one could say it plays the most essential role in the entire free enterprise system. That is, that government must protect life and private property. For if one does not feel safe, they can not pursue their interests. Let me clarify because the political left seems to get quite confused when it comes to the word life, all that means is the right to live safely, without fear of bodily harm. Not a guarantee for a certain satisfaction of life, that is for man to decide for himself, but rather just to remove the basic fear of being threatened. The second of the two, the protection of private property is a must that can never be jeopardized. I need to feel safe to ensure that my land for cultivation will be safe too. This is where basic laws and enforcers of the laws come in (police and military). They are there to uphold the protection of life and property.

In allowing man to be free to pursue his interests, he can actually reach his full potential in society. It makes everyone in society reliant upon each other and brings the closest reality of peace to man possible. Everyone becomes intertwined in their economic interests. So we have person A who is the town farmer, person B who is a carpenter. They must work together based on the division of labor instituted through the system. The division of labor is a very important aspect because none of us can secure all our needs on our own, thus depending upon others.

The market itself is governed by nature's laws through a price mechanism. It is a very simple concept. As the demand for a good goes up, prices rise. As prices rise, more people see that industry to be prosperous, thus raising supply. Which brings the price back down to the market equilibrium. Each individual industry is working towards the equilibrium with basic fluctuations of supply and demand based on human behavior. This makes it so it becomes very hard for any one company to make economic profits in the long run because of the increased competition. With increased competition, prices decrease and consumers win. The free market works for consumers and the amount of goods, the type of goods, and the price of the goods are decided based on what the people demand. Thus the people control the market through their behavior.

Concerning the Labor Market:
The labor market is based upon the same principles of the marketplace. Higher wages and benefits brings in the most competent and best employees. Here in the labor market, the supply is not the business, but the laborers themselves. So as employers increase working conditions and wages, they can create a surplus of labor; however, if they choose to be cruel and underpay labor, they will have a hard time finding new employees. This can be seen here in America with the Silicon Valley and the abundance of benefits employees receive from employers. (Please excuse my ignorance on European firms and localities).

On Roads and such:
Transportation is necessary for enterprise to strive. Infrastructure would be well maintained because without means of transportation businesses would be restricted in their trade and labor restricted in their mobility. Thus, I do not see this as a concern. A business does not want a restricted labor force (a strike would halt production) and a labor force does not want to work for a monopolist (lower wages and benefits). The desire for both parties to be better off fixes this problem.

On Retirement and Such:
People need to plan for themselves and build strong friendships and relationships with their communities if they get "unlucky". Man should not be to risky during the time prior to retirement and be well financed and saved money. However friends help each other and families do too. A large family does not necessitate itself as much because you have more of your income than you would have had previously. Maybe an example will show this better: so let us say from the age of 20 to 30 you earn about 50,000 US Dollars (probably not worth to much anymore) per year, from 30 to 40 you earn 75000$/yr, from 40 to 50 you earn 80,000$, and from 50 to 60 you earn $100,000/yr. Let me use a base figure, not based on anything but rather merely to prove this point. So if there was a tax rate on income, capital gains, etc of let us say 30% every year.

from 20-30: Income: $350,000 Tax: $150,000
from 30-40: Income: $525,000 Tax: $225,000
from 40-50: Income: $560,000 Tax: $240,000
from 50-60: Income: $700,000 Tax: $300,000
Life Earnings: $2.135 million Life Tax: $915,000!
With liberalism, the taxation would have been miniscule compared to that. Regardless, you should see how much more money you would have for retirement. This does not even include putting money into a Roth IRA or a savings account or investing in the markets. As it should be noted, retirement would not be a problem if people take responsibility for themselves.

Would a country be better off to move closer to liberalism? Absolutely. Can it be idealistic, yes but definitely not in the same sense as Marxism. Marxism basis itself on mixing causation, in which they believe the removal of private property can change human nature, whereas private property is the result of human nature. The free market basis itself on human nature. Marxism also depends on prudence and proper leadership but humans are incapable of both in the long run. I will one day live in a Marxist world in which we do not need private property and that will be once I am gone from Earth and in a better place.

I would advise any country to move to a more market orientated economy. As one can see watching America, interventionist policies and Keynesian models are crippling our economy. Furthermore, it would be very beneficial for Poland with most of the other prominent economies pursing nanny states, it could provide them the opportunity to capitalize on the market. A pro business, free enterprise system would lead to prosperity that Europe has yet to see in years. I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to write this, sorry for it being long, and I hope for some insightful discussion concerning the information put forth in my defense of liberalism.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
10 Jun 2011 #22
(von) Mises, the theory sounds good, however let me ask you two questions now:

1. The transportation infrastructure: I haven't understood who shall pay for maintaining and construction of roads. Please explain.
2. The retirement description would be practical if we could start with an idealized situation the whole society is in their 20s, well educated, skilled, healthy. How do you see existing situation where so many people is on retirement or close enough to retirement and they depend on the existing public system of pension? If you want to make your ideas real, how would you do it?

(I may have more questions but I leave these two for now).
Polonius3 994 | 12,367
10 Jun 2011 #23
Whatever form of governance/economy is chosen, an absolute must is a sense fo responsiblity on the part of the citizenry.
Today's nanny state coupled with the 'anything goes' message being peddled by the entertainment industry does not foster a sense of personal responsiiblity. In fact, an irresponsible, devil-may-care approach to life is constantly being glamourised and impressed on impressionable young minds as cool and trendy. All this is hardly counteracted by an increasingly impotent family, school and church. Inept law enforcement and in-it-only-for-the-prestige & profits politicians only reinforce such negative atttidues.
10 Jun 2011 #24
Very appropriate questions:

Society would pay for the roads themselves. It would necessarily depend upon the people and the company to institute the roads where they see value in them. You may be like why would a business spend profits on roads? Well they have before and they would do it again. Roads=continued profits. If they decide to allow the roads to deteriorate, profits would be short term. The common response to this is that the firms would charge employees and civilians the right to usage, which they rightfully should because they are adding wear and tear to the road as well. Costs should be assumed to whomever adds to them. Therefore, everyone would pay either directly or indirectly. The only difference is that the people choose where the roads go and where they do not. It could also work where firms allow employees to use the roads free as a benefit. Nevertheless, the most basic of all infrastructure roads, highways, and such would be maintained by the state. That is because of the necessity for police and the military to have access to every location and this would be paid for by the state through the limited taxation. So regardless, roads exist. For example, to help prove my point, and I know another US example. Ford Motor Company has its own hospital, fire department and hospital in Detroit for its plants, which it pays for. So the necessities can be provided by enterprise as well.

To discuss how to fix the retirement problem, which here in America is going to be a huge discussion in years to come. For the alleviation of the system, I support it gradually being diminished. The people retired now depend upon it. The people in their 50s have planned on it. Those in their 40s have little time to plan to retire in the market. This is a two step process. First, educational institutions, like High School, needs to start providing an economics/Finance course, which they should have anyways. This could teach people basic lessons and how to invest and the different types of accounts. The second is to make a cut off year. I think 45 or 40 at the latest is fair in America, where Social Security can begin at 60 and becomes full if waited until 67. This would allow people time to save up and invest properly. Once this is done, the system moves to market based and is based on individual responsibility and friendship.

What people often do not realize is that in a liberal economy, it does not mean the poor and the "unlucky" are left to fend for themselves. People are kind and giving regardless. All it means is that the "unlucky" and the "poor" will have to be virtuous people and gain respect within their community to have people help them. I know my Church has a soup kitchen every day here, and I assume in a free market, that would not change. People are people and we look out for each other.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
10 Jun 2011 #25
Friedrich, it really looks good on paper but... I cannot help reading your explanation as "pouring a lot of water" (I don't know the English idiom for writing a lot with minimum or no essence in it).

Tell me precisely please:
I. Who in what form should:
A. Pay for local (town, city, village) roads. My town of Brwinów for example.
B. Pay for borough roads. My borough of Brwinów for example.
C. Pay for county roads. My county of Pruszków for example
D. Pay for regional (voivodship) roads. My voivodship of Mazovia for example.
E. Pay for country-wide roads. Road Białystok - Wrocław for example.
F. Pay for new highway construction and maintenance.
Please, do not pour water. Explain precisely who and which way.

Once you have answered that, we'll move on to retirement, also in great detail.
10 Jun 2011 #26
The basic concept that can not be forgotten is liberty. To give up economic liberty for a so called safety net, is to sacrifice all liberties. The history of mankind will show a scary future for those who support and push government interventionism and protectionism, if coupled with jingoism or nationalism it can get extremely frightening. Liberalism and freedom protect that because man can not start war with man, nor would he have any interest in doing so, due to the interdependence created.
OP Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
10 Jun 2011 #27
Can we keep nationalism and jingoism apart from interventionism and protectionism, Ludwig?
How would you explain the dictatorship in Chile of Pinochet era, the country being at least technically classic liberal in the economy terms but the dictatorship denying the word 'liberty'?
milky 13 | 1,657
10 Jun 2011 #28
the protection of private property is a must that can never be jeopardized.

From who,the Native Americans.

because none of us can secure all our needs on our own,

I thought it was all about the individual and that there is no such thing as society anymore.

The market itself is governed by nature's laws through a price mechanism.

LOl , this invisible hand nonsense,,Tell that to the people who died in the Irish(genocide) famine.

This makes it so it becomes very hard for any one company to make economic profits in the long run because of the increased competition.


I hope for some insightful discussion concerning the information put forth in my defense of liberalism.

text book waffle, how was the teaparty with Sarah Palin. Get more insight in an episiod of Barney.
where you forced to watch cartoons like this as a kid??
10 Jun 2011 #29
More than likely, the roads would be maintained by a business. It could be a business that creates the roads and charges people a toll for usage depending on how much they used of the road. This may at first frighten you, but it seems quite reasonable. If they are the ones paying to construct and maintain the roads, a toll seems acceptable. Pay as you use the roads. This eliminates free riders as well (those who use public roads and pay no taxes). Obviously the next question would be, how could you trust a business to run the roads? The market for roads would be the same as the market for anything else. If the tolls were excessive and profitable, someone else would start making roads and charging less, until there exists no true economic profit. It would still be controlled by the price mechanism. What would they charge the police and military? There would be no charge for the state to use the roads, otherwise how could the road owner feel safe and his property be protected? Therefore, workers of the state would have free and public access to all roads since the business owner wants to feel safe.

It is this precise thought that scares people, they fear corporations because entertainment, society, and current corporate behavior lends us to believe that they are all the Mr. Potters (It's a Wonderful Life, 1946, Frank Capra) and evil monopolies. However in a free market, everyone is dependent upon each other. Government is no better with their tolls either, just the business would be constrained by competitors and governments are not. In my home state, we pay tolls for highway usage and some are extremely excessive and not appropriate for usage.

Now this leads to the question, how to track the exact usage? Have a ticket booth at any on-turn for a new road showing where you got the ticket from. Then when exiting, you could have a scan item on your car so there would be no stopping (EZ-Pass is the name of it here in America) or it could be paid upon exiting. I have been on many highways that utilize this system and it is rather effective.

Another aspect that has yet to be touched upon in this response is, what about houses? Or businesses that can not move to the other roads that are built by new businesses? This is where the consumer does one of two things when deciding to live in an area. Either they build their own road to protect themselves against hostilities or they sign a long term contract to restrict the pricing on road usage. Otherwise, the consumer would be in a horrible position. These types of long term contracts are very common in car manufacturing when the company requires the supplier to be located within a certain mile perimeter. So they are common. The business would do the same thing to protect themselves, too. Nevertheless, everyone is looking out for themselves and protecting themselves against potential hostilities from the other parties.

Again the entire system will be held in line based upon the profit margin. If a current road owner got greedy, someone else would build roads.
Barney 15 | 1,591
10 Jun 2011 #30
This system is straight out of Hollywood.

Everything seems fine preserved in aspic, everyone knowing their place and no one pushing you around. When the baddies arrive somehow the community can muster enough strength to overcome the threat and re-establish the clockwork precision of the community.

The reality is very different, there is no driving force/stimulus for innovation leading to monopolies, corruption and stagnation. The free labour market cant exist when you want to shag the fit woman or give stupid cousin Bill the 4th a job to please Uncle Bill the 3rd.

This system has never operated ever and never will. Its a pipe dream encouraged by people disaffected with modern life and snake oil salesmen

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