Open: The Story of Human Progress

In this long-form discussion hosted by the Chelsea Follet of the Cato Institute, Johan Norberg and Tom Palmer talk about how “openness” has been a primary driver of the rise of mankind and even various civilizations. Throughout the discussion, they provide much evidence from history, biology, economics, philosophy, and psychology. All of this information plus much more can be found in Norberg’s new book Open: The Story of Human Progress.

The ideal of an open world faces many challenges, including infectious diseases like COVID-19 and a rise in economic protectionism and illiberal politics. But, as Johan Norberg argues, openness is critical to human success. The freedom to explore and exchange has led to stunning achievements in science and culture as well as unprecedented wealth and opportunity. Yet humanity has always struggled with a constant tension between its yearning for cooperation and its profound need for belonging to a particular tribe. In this discussion, Norberg will explain why we’re often uncomfortable with openness and why it is nonetheless essential for human progress. He will explain why an open world and an open economy are worth fighting for, now more than ever. Tom Palmer will comment on the book’s sweeping history and relevance. Featuring the author Johan Norberg (@johanknorberg), Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; with comments by Tom Palmer (@tomgpalmer), Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network; moderated by Chelsea Follett (@Chellivia), Policy Analyst, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute, and Managing Editor, www​.human​progress​.org.

Chris Spangle is the publisher and editor of We Are Libertarians, a news site and podcast that covers national and Indiana politics from the libertarian perspective. Spangle previously worked in marketing for the Englehart Group on behalf of the Advocates for Self-Government. He also served as the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana and producer of the Abdul in the Morning Show. He now works as the web director of a nationally syndicated morning show.

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