The open society and its new enemies [Opinion]

Nicodeamus

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Joined
Sep 20, 2006
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  • Like after the Second World War, we face today once again a choice between freedom and totalitarianism, namely between an open society that recognizes every human being as a person unconditionally and a closed society that ties the granting of fundamental rights to certain conditions that are set by a ruling elite.
  • Challenges such as the spread of the coronavirus or climate change are not entirely new in their quality and magnitude. Such challenges have always been mastered by open societies through spontaneous adaptation of behaviour and technological innovation.
  • Leading personalities from science, politics and business, in conjunction with the mass media, make these challenges appear as existential crises for humanity in order to gain acceptance for sweeping the basic values of our society aside by means of deliberately fomented fear.
  • Externalities that come with free actions are played out in such a way that ultimately every free action comes under suspicion of harming others. People can discharge themselves from this suspicion only by means of a vaccination, a sustainability or, in general, a social pass. The exercise of freedom is thus placed under conditions set by experts who claim to have moral, normative knowledge to rule society.
  • In order to counter this fatal development, we’ve to return to a substantial view of human beings based on freedom and human dignity from which fundamental rights derive that hold unconditionally. There is no moral value that stands above the dignity of every individual human being.


 

Nicodeamus

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,703
Michael Esfeld wrote my masters course's textbook on epistemology, his quote of Karl Popper on the dangers of technocratic is applicable to today.

"According to Popper, the intellectual enemies of the open society are those who claim to possess knowledge of a common good. On the basis of this knowledge, they claim to be able to control society in a technocratic manner in order to realize this good. This knowledge is both factual-scientific and normative-moral: it is moral knowledge about the highest good together with scientific or technocratic knowledge about how to steer people’s lives in order to achieve this good. Therefore, this knowledge stands above the freedom of individual people, namely above their own judgement about how they want to shape their lives."
 
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