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BOOK REVIEW

A.I., biotechnology, the loss of meaning, and the future of the world

Humanity has made tremendous strides in reining in plague, famine and war in recent decades.

Take just one example: poverty. Since 1990, on average, with each passing day, there are 130,000 fewer people living in poverty. Two centuries ago, 90% of the population lived in extreme poverty. In 1950…


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When both sides of the political spectrum become convinced of the righteousness of their viewpoints and the malevolent ignorance of their opponents, violence and suppression of alternative perspectives are justified as necessary to actualize one’s vision of “manifest truth.”

The Founding Fathers of the United States devised a republican system of government in order to insulate statesmen from the impulses of factions and allow reason, rather than passion, to prevail. In a republic, as opposed to a democracy, it becomes possible to “refine and enlarge the public views, by…


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Understanding why tyranny is more common in centralized states

In big and diverse countries, it is important that smaller units adapt their laws to the local peculiarities and specifics of the economic and public health situation. However, the problem stemming from the centralization of decision-making power is not limited to the inability of bureaucrats in a distant capital to…


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In the wake of the 2020 US election, there have been renewed calls to eliminate the electoral college and replace it with a national popular vote. The most common argument is that the uneven distribution of electoral votes among the states — based on the size of their delegations in…


Totalitarian roots of woke ideology

Pablo Pacheco (Unsplash)

While open societies strive to make the best use of the possibilities of man, totalitarian regimes aim to change human nature itself, so that it is possible to manipulate humans into accepting absurdities, logical contradictions, and double standards. By disabling human creativity and criticism, totalitarian movements can more easily gain…


Fabio (Unsplash)

The enemies of the open society often cite examples of the successes of authoritarian regimes as a proof of their superiority and an argument against liberal democracy. It is true that centralized regimes often succeed. Examples include the resurgence of the Soviet Union following the end of the Second World…


Progress is provisional, incomplete, and continuously shifting

C D-X (Unsplash)

At the heart of the idea of an open society lies the principle of fallibility. Fallibility implies that individual knowledge of reality is provisional and incomplete. Humans are incapable of measuring and analyzing the entirety of the world. …


Finding strength in a liability

Katie Moum, Unsplash

Reflexivity refers to our ability to change reality as our knowledge of the world increases. A typical example of this phenomenon is Karl Marx’s prediction of communist revolution. …


How open societies thrive on uncertainty

photo by Simon Zhu @smnzhu

We are in the midst of a democratic recession. According to Freedom House’s latest report, for the 15th consecutive year, the number of democracies is declining. …


How Twitter’s censorship backfired

Photo by Basil James (Unsplash)

One argument in favor of the imposition of constraints on the ability of some individuals to disseminate their speech is that our discourse would benefit from having fewer conspiracy theories, false information, and irrational beliefs in general. …

Sukhayl Niyazov

Independent writer. Bylines in The National Interest, The American Conservative, City Journal, Foundation for Economic Education, Law & Liberty, etc.

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