In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal covering several topics, Charles Koch writes about how the free exchange of ideas, crucial to human advancement, is threatened in modernity.
“The U.S. is already far down the path to becoming a less open and free society, and the current cultural and political atmosphere threatens to make the situation worse,” he writes.
Koch also observes that American higher education “has become increasingly hostile to the free exchange of ideas.” As he continues:
On many campuses, a climate of intellectual conformity has replaced open debate and inquiry, stifling discussion on a host of topics ranging from history to science to economics. Dissenters are demonized, ostracized or otherwise treated with scorn and derision. This disrupts the process of discovery and challenge that is at the root of human progress.
This free exchange is vital because it creates a marketplace where ideas compete with one another and the best ideas emerge victorious. A diversity of ideas also allows for innovation, which Koch asserts “is the essential component of truly helping people improve their lives.”