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Mario Vargas Llosa on freedom, liberalism, dictatorship and ideas

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Peace Love and Understanding

So far these Open Future posts have consisted mostly of repeating the same old tropes the Economist has put forward for years without actually listening to or addressing the criticisms. I can understand that this is a neoliberal newspaper and that is to be expected to a degree, but it seems to me the whole point of this experiment was to address feedback you have received on the failings of the classical liberal model. On that there has been almost no really new content or proposed changes to the philosophical model, just more of the same.

How deeply disappointing. Almost makes you think talking about it is pointless.


Nice. Very very nice. It's great TE is doing things like this. Mario Vargas Llosa is a great thinker, a disciplined thinker.

Peace Love and Understanding

One gets a sense in reading the Economist in recent years that as the criticism of decisions made by the neoliberal governing elite over the past 40 years has been increasing, the attempt is now to expand liberalism into such broad terms as eliminate any real meaning to it as a label.

This is typically the behavior of people trying to disown responsibility for their actions "No no we were never so narrowly defined as our previous behavior might suggest in fact you can never nail us down at all whatever you say we are we are not!"

Peace Love and Understanding

Without equality of outcomes how do you have equality of opportunity?

Disparate outcomes are what create inequality of opportunity over time. The disparately privileged reinvest their comparative gains into giving their children all the advantages in the world which over time destroy equality of opportunity and recreate aristocracy and oligarchy.

Periodically, something must level the playing field. This leveling is usually war caused by disparate inequality in opportunity. And the cycle continues.


My opinion as a Catalan is that Mr Vargas Llosa speaks about Catalonia on a very weak and biased ground.

There was in 1970's Barcelona a group of intellectuals strictly monolingual in Spanish that now, almost as a block, usually deny Catalan nation, history, idiosincracy. This point of view is what most favours their self image.

They give no credit to the fact that Barcelona and Catalonia atmosphere on that years was simply the result of catalan self personality as a nation. They prefer to see that as an exclusive result of their intellectual influx on Barcelona that years. Their activity as Spanish intellectuals. When democracy arrived and the idea of catalan nation and culture regained force and visibility in the streets on 1980's they spreaded the idea that Barcelona was a cultural Titanic ready to dissapear . Now some of them are clearly exasperated. They simply cannot stand that Barcelona never associated modernity vs old, Spanish vs catalan culture. I'm afraid that this is at least in part the background for Mr. Llosa sour point of view. Otherwise, an excellent writer. But nobody's perfect.

Angus Cunningham

"What is unfair, what is unacceptable, is that there isn’t equality of opportunity. That there are those born with privilege that guarantees them success, or that others are guaranteed failure from the beginning. That is unacceptable."
Why then are elected leaders not using the term 'fairism' to describe the socio-econo-political state to which a more or less perpetual majority of countries enjoying a tradition of public education would -- in MVL's, TE's (and my) opinions -- might be expected to aspire? No populist would easily be able to use the term 'fair' in as grotesquely misleading and simplistic a way as many T.Rex politicians (and economists and writers on both subjects) use the word 'liberal' these days. Moreover, no one who has learned enough of his/her mother tongue to earn a living in it is unfamiliar with the essence of the meaning of the word 'fair'.
What then can TE and MVL do in a practical way to help us in driving the words 'fair' and 'fairism' into important political discourse? Por favor!

Ismael Beltrán

The Economist made my day with this interview. Loved this part: "The Economist: Reading the book, I felt as though France made you democratic and England made you a liberal? MVLL: Exactly. Without any doubt. (...)". I enjoyed the Spanish version. Some ideas need to be spread in other languages as well. Many thanks.