David Brin on Openness

Michael Mandel

I like David Brin's view of the world, especially his emphasis on openness. In a new post, he writes:

it is important to recognize the big picture. That our CIVILIZATION prospers - and its opponents tend to shrivel - the more open the world and its varied competitive battlefields become. The more open is the competition, the more it becomes a matter for the accountability arenas - markets, science, democracy... that create beneficial synergies out of competition, instead of reciprocal destruction. Further, the more open the playing field, the more standing individuals have, contributing their billions of eyes to a network that can detect errors and criminality, helping the professionals to do their jobs.


...it is just this secular trend that has (I believe) driven most of the anti-modernist forces crazy. They are frantic, right now, across all standard borders of ideology. It is why the Iranian president recently sent a letter to President Bush, pleading that Bush take in the “big picture” and see a wider perspective. Asking him to realize that they are both allies, inherently the same. Co-belligerents against a secular-scientific and “liberal democratic” (his very words) civilization.

In my book Rational Exuberance, I wrote about the "enemies of growth," across the political spectrum. This is the same sort of idea. Some people are in favor of openness, change, and prosperity, and others are opposed.

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