Danijal Hadzovic

Danijal Hadzovic

The Liberal Forum

Lives in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

How did you become a classical liberal?

I actually became a classic liberal at the end of high school. I read a variety of literature from political philosophy and soon realized that leftist ideals and policies are utopias that in practice lead mostly to a completely opposite result compared to the proclaimed ideals. 

On the other hand, with conservatism, I have always been repulsed by his closedness to experimentation and too rigid treatment of life. So, I realized that classical liberalism is a philosophy that is not only adapted to human nature but at the same time allows the greatest possible freedom to the individual with the greatest degree of prosperity and standard of living. 

Thinkers like Friedrich Hayek and Herbert Spencer have shaped my view of the world. All other ideologies that seek to desecrate the principles of classical liberalism to ensure greater security or equality generally end up in even greater insecurity, autocracy, and inequality. 

There are many examples of this, from Venezuela through Cuba to the former Yugoslavia.

What is your vision for the “Liberal Forum”?

My vision for the Liberal Forum is for it to be a large, pivotal organization of principled advocacy for liberal policies, reforms, and values in Bosnian society.

What is your plan to attain that vision?

We have been realizing this plan for years through our education projects, public engagement, policy proposing, activism, but I believe in unlimited progress and every day requires new activities, ideas, and engagement in the promotion of liberal ideas and values. 

My general plan is to gradually increase the scope and quality of activities and to a greater extent propose concrete policies in society, with the aim of achieving the strongest possible change.

What challenges do you face?

There are many challenges we face. We in Bosnia and Herzegovina have the traditional domination of conservatives and socialists in political and intellectual life and we do not have an established tradition of liberalism. 

Therefore, we are almost at the very beginning of branding and building a liberal position in Bosnia, which is perhaps a longer and more difficult path, but it also gives you more motivation because you are becoming a pioneer in creating something truly epochal. 

Another problem is that Bosnia, as a multiethnic society, is today burdened by ethnic nationalisms and the conflict of national policies, in relation to which some liberal policies and ideas receive less attention. We are just looking for a way to establish liberal ideas as a true alternative to all nationalist policies.

There are also purely technical issues, such as the fact that Bosnia as a former communist state does not have a tradition of private donations to organizations. Here NGOs become prey for domestic and foreign governments to promote their political interests, and we certainly want to avoid this and stay independent. 

The problem is also that many people here are still afraid to openly advocate liberal ideas and values, because of the possible “negative reactions” of society, which is why the number of people who publicly present these ideas and are ready to be activists is much smaller than the actual number of followers. 

But we are generally satisfied with the path we have taken.

How can we help?

Any support in terms of promotion and support for our work and especially connecting with individuals and organizations from around the world who fight for the same goal and the same values is very important for us because as part of a broader global movement that can use the knowledge and experience from our friends from other parts of the world, we can also do much more in little Bosnia.

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