Por Alejandro A. Chafuén. Publicado el 9/11/14 en: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alejandrochafuen/2014/11/09/vision-and-values-kasparov-on-u-s-leadership-for-a-free-world/
Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the “Fall of the Berlin Wall.” Thanks to the recommendations of the late Arnold Beichman of the Hoover Institution and President George W. Bush’s acquiescence, in the U.S. it is also officially “World Freedom Day.” Friends of freedom have been celebrating around the globe as well. One freedom champion, however, is spending more time cautioning than celebrating. It is Garry Kasparov—the renowned chess player—but this time, in his capacity as Atlas Templeton Freedom Fellow.
In a speech delivered earlier this year, Kasparov called for a new era of American leadership. He believes that the enemy we confront today might not be as bad and dangerous as communism, but it can still have devastating effects on the U.S. and world economy.
As a typical “classical liberal” Kasparov claims that “freedom is worth defending everywhere.” The American vision implied that “individual liberty was for all, not just those lucky enough to be born into it.”
Forgetting this puts America and the world on a dangerous path. “If it matters at home, it matters everywhere,” said Kasparov. There are several “democratic dictatorships” today, but as an “enemy from without,” he focuses, understandably, on Vladimir Putin’s Russia. But he is equally concerned on the enemy from within, a lack of leadership coupled by a shift towards “Un-American Values.”
“What is lacking today” he said are “leaders willing to stand up to dictators who only respect strength. Ronald Reagan had two things that more recent free world leaders lack: principles and the credibility only principles can provide.”
Kasparov sees most of today’s leaders as “a one or two-move” chess players who have the inability to strategize further. He criticized Bill Clinton, who “decided to celebrate instead of analyze” and Francis Fukuyama’s analysis that liberal democracy had won for good. “Look around the world today. Is history over? In Iraq, in Syria, in Russia, in Ukraine?”
From without “the opponent is less and less old fashion communism.” It is the dictatorship of parties, clans, and in Russia, according to Kasparov, “the dictatorship” of one man. Kasparov warns that Putin’s current rhetoric is an aggressive foreign policy that may grow “like a cancer,” which “will be much harder to stop the further along it gets. And it will not be stopped unless the West, especially America, the leader of the free world, wakes up. You cannot retreat forever and expect your country, your economy, not to suffer.”
Kasparov, in a Reaganesque manner, sees that traditional values such as “excellence, sacrifice, faith, and unity” are also “values of individual liberty, of the free market, of the American dream of providing a better future for your children. They have slowly been replaced by a dream of security without risk, of dependence on the government, of partisan battles over a shrinking pie instead of growth that allowed for win-win negotiations.”
Just as the old communists of the past, “the bad guys” of today, “hate American values and fight against them because a Pax Americana is the end of them.” Kasparov concludes that “retreating will not end the threat. America, as the symbol of global freedom, will always be their target.”
Americans are weary of wars, and rightly so. To avoid new totalitarian empires and walls that constrain freedom, Kasparov promotes an economy refreshed by American values and a foreign policy that avoids the rashness of Bush and the aimlessness of Obama. He wants “leadership guided by principles, knowledge, and common sense.”
It is impossible to know if the totalitarians of today will be as successful as 20th century socialists and national-socialists who for decades enslaved and killed millions. It might very well depend on enough people heeding Kasparov’s call: “A strong America is good for the world and a strong America needs a strong economy. That means a return to risk, to real investment in big and difficult things, and a return to the values of innovation. Aiming high, believing in yourself and the power of your desires to change the world are essential parts of citizenship in a democracy, especially the greatest one of all.”
Alejandro A. Chafuén es Dr. En Economía por el International College de California. Licenciado en Economía, (UCA), es miembro del comité de consejeros para The Center for Vision & Values, fideicomisario del Grove City College, y presidente de la Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Se ha desempeñado como fideicomisario del Fraser Institute desde 1991. Fue profesor de ESEADE.