Humans are both ‘traders’ and ‘tribalists’ by nature. We’re traders because we have exchanged knowledge and goods throughout history. Indeed, the story of human progress has been the story of humanity combining its skills and resources to become more prosperous than would have been possible on our own. But we’re also tribalists, because we evolved to form communities that then polarized themselves against outsiders. As a result, we often see questions of connection and collaboration in zero-sum terms even when such a perspective isn’t warranted. That is the argument put forward by today’s guest, Johan Norberg. Today’s episode discusses his concern that humanity’s tribalist nature is getting the better of us, making the future of the most open and prosperous society in human history increasingly precarious.

Johan is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, where he focuses on globalization, entrepreneurship, and individual liberty. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is Open: The Story of Human Progress — published in November of last year.

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  1. Joe D. Lincoln
    Joe D.

    There it is again, arguing that the crazies are trying to completely close off trade. Certainly, there must be some way to allow our leaders to try to get better trade deals rather than just giving away the farm every time, because, hey, it’s better in the end.

    • #1