Karl Popper on tolerance


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One response to “Karl Popper on tolerance

  1. Reblogged this on wallacerunnymede and commented:
    One of my favourite writers of all time. Karl Popper’s ‘Open Society and its Enemies’ is an epic odyssey through the wreckage of Nazi and Soviet totalitarian barbarism. The gentleness and the pathos of Popper’s firm, courageous and vulnerable prose (at times almost tearful) ever draws the reader of conscience back to one question: what kind of society do you want? A society where absolute freedom and liberty are won at the price of losing them utterly… perhaps for ever? Or a society where the pursuit of greater freedom and equality is itself checked by constitutional restraints, so that the heart can remain open to love, and to true courage. I am for Popper’s Open Society… let’s all pray, or if you prefer, let’s all hope, and let’s aspire, every one of us, to a society of love and of true freedom and equality, and let’s never ever once surrender to the fearmongers of ALL stripes, who offer what no one can ever bring us. Let’s be wise. Let’s not surrender to any of the 10 000 times 10 000 schools of absolute wisdom and absolute power. If the Open Society remains for us, and for our descendants and even (in a sense) for our ancestors, it will be because it has been preserved. But if, instead, the Closed Society casts its darkening wings over our common life, this will also be because of the choices of every one of us. ‘We’ and ‘us’ are, of course, very loaded terms… but in a sense, that is precisely why the Open Society is worthy striving for. No one wants to look back and say ‘I should have known.’ Let’s not close our hearts to what is truly possible for human beings: to live in a society and in a world where hearts are open, and fear and hatred will never have the mastery over us.

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