The Free Market Road Show, the traveling event which visits 40 cities across Europe and the Caucasus, gathers thousands of attendees, and sustains the biggest European network of freedom lovers, came back to Barcelona (Spain).
In the Catalonian capital, the Austrian Economics Center teamed up with Students for Liberty Spain to orchestrate a magnificent come back to the city of Gaudí… and Messi!
Chaired by Irune Arino, who is the Chair of SFL Spain, the first panel hosted Víctor Santana, Ferrán Caballero, and Vanesa Vallejo. Mr. Santana is a member of the staff of the MEP Daniel Hannan, Ms. Vallejo is a Colombian economist and journalist, while Mr. Caballero is a Philosophy professor.
Víctor Satana claimed that “we can and should be tolerant to the intolerant,” and explained that “we should tolerate those who offend us.” Nonetheless he draw the line on violence: “We must never tolerate those who harm us.”
Ms. Vallejo referred to the French enlighted philosopher Voltaire when she said that “tolerance is to forgive each other the silly things we say,” and she continued, “the intolerant are those who want to silence others.”
The Colombian journalist warned that nowadays we are committing a dangerous error: “People conflate criticism or dissent with intolerance. This is a huge mistake that creates the the social panic of being labelled as ‘intolerant’ for invalid reasons.”
Reagarding the limits of tolerance, she quoted Karl Popper’s ‘man-eating tigers paradox.’ This tells the tale of a fictional tribe who was so respectful and tolerant that they tolerate man-eating tigers, too. The tigers, however, did not share the same values…
On the topic of limits to tolerance, Ferrán Caballero expressed that “political parties which are so anti-system that if they were elected, there would not be elections again, should not be accepted.” “The democratic game,” continued the young university professor, “is a game that must always be played under democratic rules. If you are against those rules, you cannot play the game.”
Mr. Caballero used the Weimar Republic as example: “The Weimar Republic was a liberal democracy without any democrats. By the same token, we cannot have a tolerant society if the citizens themselves do not cherish tolerance as a value.”
In his last remarks, Mr. Santana said that “unlike central planners, we have to be very humble when we defend individual liberties. Bad ideas are best fought with good ideas. Thus, we have to be careful when we think of forbidding something.”
Finally, Ms. Vallejo concluded that one issue we have to emphasize is that “a majority should not have any decision power regarding the most fundamental aspects of my life.”