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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A Heroic Statement on Open Debate From 'The Economist' ...

in light of the New Yorker magazine cancellation of an interview with Steve Bannon at their event:


A statement from our Editor-in-ChiefThe Open Future Festival and Steve Bannon

Why our invitation to Steve Bannon will stand
IN LIGHT of the criticism of my decision to interview Steve Bannon on stage as part of The Economist’s Open Future festival on September 15th, I would like to explain why we invited him.
The Open Future festival is the culmination of an initiative to mark this newspaper’s 175th anniversary. Our goal is to remake the case for liberal values in the 21st century by engaging in a global conversation about our world view with our supporters and, crucially, our critics.
Our premise has been that progress is best achieved when ideas are tested in open debate. For the past five months the Open Future initiative has spawned a vibrant discussion online on the prospects for free markets and open societies. We have included contributors with whose views we agree and disagree; we have hosted debates on controversial subjects. 

The event on September 15th will be a live continuation of these conversations. A variety of prominent people will appear on panels and in other forums. It will be a day of robust argument, where ideas and individuals are challenged.
Mr Bannon stands for a world view that is antithetical to the liberal values The Economist has always espoused. We asked him to take part because his populist nationalism is of grave consequence in today’s politics. He helped propel Donald Trump to the White House and he is advising the populist far-right in several European countries where they are close to power or in government. Worryingly large numbers of people are drawn to nativist nationalism. And Mr Bannon is one of its chief proponents.

The future of open societies will not be secured by like-minded people speaking to each other in an echo chamber, but by subjecting ideas and individuals from all sides to rigorous questioning and debate. This will expose bigotry and prejudice, just as it will reaffirm and refresh liberalism. That is the premise The Economist was founded on. When James Wilson launched this newspaper in 1843, he said its mission was to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.” Those words have guided us for 175 years. They will guide our debates at the Open Future festival on September 15th. That is why our invitation to Mr Bannon will stand. 

Zanny Minton Beddoes 
Editor-in-Chief, The Economist

September 4th 2018

-RW  

1 comment:

  1. Great, so when will they be interviewing Rockwell, Hoppe, Block, or Woods?

    ReplyDelete