An era of dogmatism


Freedom and the rule of law are of paramount importance in free societies. A functioning democracy is likely the best system for preserving these values.

At present, there is perceived antagonism between democracies and authoritarian regimes. Although this may not fully capture the complexity of global politics, it is evident that the free world needs to defend itself.

Threats to freedom

However, freedom, the rule of law and genuine democracy are never guaranteed. They are often threatened from within by technocracies, ideologies, oversized administrations and intolerance. To prevail in such systemic conflicts, societies that aspire to be free must not forsake their core values or replace them with moralizing elements, often imposed by vocal minorities.

A free society fundamentally depends on freedom of opinion and, by extension, freedom of speech. Other vital aspects include the freedom of scientific inquiry and the capacity for open debate, unencumbered by moralizing censorship and “taboo” topics. Tolerance is essential, even toward viewpoints many may deem nonsensical.

A concerning trend has emerged in universities – places traditionally dedicated to the free exchange of ideas. Some have become centers of moralistic ignorance and intolerance, particularly in the social, political and economic sciences, as well as in history, where personal opinions frequently eclipse facts and knowledge.


History shows us that enforced equality only leads to tyranny and a privileged elite.


In natural sciences, there is now a widespread and harmful tendency to assume that consensus among a majority of scientists amounts to dogma. This mindset limits debate, potentially diverting us from discovering truth. Recall the era of Galileo, when the majority believed the sun revolved around the Earth, and dissent was harshly suppressed.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, those questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns or school closures were often sidelined by government and media. Although it is easier to critique these decisions in retrospect, the suppression of dissenting viewpoints was at no point justified. The call to “believe in science” became popular, but the question remains: which science?

The vital role of free speech and scientific inquiry

Economists often argue that inequality is the primary source of poverty, leading to calls to “tax the rich.” However, simply redistributing wealth does not necessarily lead to greater prosperity. In a truly free society, some level of financial inequality persists. History shows us that enforced equality, such as in Soviet regimes, only leads to tyranny and a privileged elite. The focus should instead be on eliminating poverty through economic advancement. It is unpopular but legitimate to argue that economic equality on one side and freedom and prosperity on the other are incompatible.

Diversity is also frequently misunderstood. While everyone should have equal opportunities, regardless of their background, setting job quotas often defies practical wisdom. Good governance, whether in business or administration, should aim to appoint the best individual for the role without quotas. More support for mothers – who play a critical role in nurturing future generations – is also needed, yet remains undervalued in our increasingly dogmatic societies where even the word “mother” is sometimes considered controversial.

In politics, economics and media, constructive debate is often drowned out. Non-mainstream ideas and their advocates are quickly labeled “radicals” or “conspiracy theorists” as a way to dismiss uncomfortable debates or inconvenient truths. In economics, proponents of fiscal discipline or plain common sense are sometimes dismissed as out of touch or unrealistic.

This is just a glimpse into how dogmatists in administration, academia, NGOs and media are striving to further curtail freedoms, replacing true liberty with a facade of safety and morality.

As governments expand their spheres of influence, implement excessive regulations and enforce moral taboos, our societies are being steered toward more controlled environments. This stifles creativity, personal responsibility, productivity and innovation – all the hallmarks of a “nanny state.”

Moreover, as Europe and the United States push emerging nations to adopt their principles, they often overlook the importance of respecting other cultures. They also forget that effective reforms must originate from within a society and are rarely successful when imposed externally.

Citizens in the free world are gradually losing the freedoms that once fueled their collective success, thus weakening liberal democracies in their global stance against more authoritarian regimes. Offensive attitudes toward cultural traditions in emerging nations not only alienate these populations – which make up the majority of the world’s people – but also undermine constructive international relations.

While Europeans, North Americans and others still enjoy the freedom to critique their governments and seek change through elections, it remains the responsibility of civil society to be active and defend their freedoms by speaking out and making use of their democratic rights. By allowing technocrats and vocal minorities to dictate progress, we betray the very principles of freedom and democracy.



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An era of dogmatism

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