Saturday 18 October, 17.30 until 18.45, Level 1 Balcony, Barbican Contemporary Controversies
The Battle of Ideas is 10 years old, and since its inception concerns about assaults on freedom have been a core concern. Over those years, sadly, our everyday liberties have been insidiously eroded. Whether for the sake of children, in the name of public health, to protect us from the evils of terrorism or paedophilia, or more mundanely to those who cry offence to silence opponents or officials who aim to sanitise the messy aspects of urban living, freedom and free speech has been chipped away and JS Mill consigned to the outdated, not relevant in our digital age pile of books.
So, how can we fight back? What are the best arguments to use against the ‘I believe in free speech, but…’ or ‘but what about protecting children…’ excuses for illiberalism?
This session will also take a step back and look at the strange new forms taken by the hyperregulatory state, which have developed over the past 10 years. What are the opportunities and limitations of our times when it comes to fighting for freedom? What insights can be gained into the current forms of the state and the condition of civil society?
The Manifesto Club will discuss its experiences and share its plans, and invites festival attendees to come along and join in the discussion.
director, civil liberties group, Manifesto Club; author, Officious: Rise of the Busybody State
head, artists' advisory services; producer, Artsadmin; vice chair, a-n The Artists Information Company