Listen to the Podcast Episode

Johan  Norberg  makes  a  strong  statement:  every  single  time  when  societies and people have experienced an increase of wealth, innovations, and living standards, the reason was a broadly understood ‘openness’, of course, relative to the specific time. By openness, the Swede means openness towards trade, immigration, and the exchange and expression of different ideas. Analysing evidence from  the  300,000-year  history  of  Homo  sapiens,  he  comes  to  the  conclusion that every time those factors came together, the result was a remarkable explosion of wealth.

The lesson is this: the Western world does not have a patent on economic growth, openness, and tolerance. As Norberg shows, periods of wealth and  relative  freedom  have  appeared  in  different  times  and  different  cultures.  And  for  a  very  long  time,  Europe  has  not  been  a  very  good  example of the values that we today would describe as liberal. The  second  lesson  is  more  painful:  All  those  past  enrichments  ended.  Wars,  conflicts  and  political  decisions  in  the  past  were  able  to  destroy  the  fundaments  and  results  of  those dynamic populations. Each period of ‘openness’ and progress gave way to a time of  ‘closing  down’  and  regress,  a  return  to  traditional(-ist)  values  and  isolation  from  the  rest of the world.

whois: Andy White Freelance WordPress Developer London