Why must liberalism and wisdomism co-exist?


Liberalism is a political ideology rooted in the 18th century freedom revolutions, the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution. In general, supporters of liberalism tend to advocate openness, tolerance and democracy, value freedom and justice, and be critical of power. Liberals emphasize that the individual should be protected from concentrations of power in society, such as the state, and that society must be organized in a fair way that recognizes the equal value of every individual.

When reading this you may find it strange that liberalism that originally was created to avoid power elites and promote openness, tolerance and democracy, have in fact enabled even stronger power elites than in the 18th century, though not kings and priests, but private oligarchs, and a decreasing democracy with less tolerance and openness during recent decades.

Is liberalism wrong? No, I do not think so. But, there is certainly a perspective that needs to be discussed. If liberalism is exercised in a country where the general wisdom level is low, liberalism will be abused by the unwise and turned into exploitism. How? A liberal society gives intelligent and creative people more opportunities to earn money and accumulate wealth. According to a report in 2020 by Oxfam, the world's 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people. The biggest companies in the world, including the media sector, are controlled by very few people. And with advanced artificial intelligence wealth will be concentrated on a new magnitude. Thus, even if it sounds great that everyone could become a billionaire, it has serious drawbacks. The most evident one is that our civilization is approaching a total collapse, including areas such as climate, nature, environment, economy, resources, social cohesion, health, geopolitics, technology, etcetera. All these challenges derive from a liberal economic system, which has created a lot of wealth and technology applications but also very serious side effects that threaten the survival of our civilization and the planet.

Alas, the general wisdom level is low in every country, and therefore liberalism that is used in most countries does have a very pervasive effect on the planet. So, what can we learn from this historical experience? Well, that more freedom to the people must be balanced with a higher general wisdom level. What is wisdom and why is it so important? In short, wisdom is how we use knowledge and experience in decision making. It requires many inner capabilities to be able to make wise decisions, and these can be developed by foremost dialogue, experience, reflection, training and education. If a country decides to embark on a general wisdom development strategy where everyone is included, you can claim that wisdomism is the chosen ideology. Thus, liberalism and wisdomism must coexist to develop a truly sustainable and happy global society.


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