The Open Society as seen in 1970

In 1969 the BHA committed itself to the idea of the Open Society and ran a two-day conference on the subject at the Royal Festival Hall at which speakers included Tony Benn, Jo Grimond, A J Ayer and Bernard Crick. The proceedings were later published as a book by the Rationalist Press Association.

In 1970 the BHA further elaborated its idea of the Open Society in a two-part article of mine published in the August/September and the October issues of Humanist News. This article is available here as a pdf.

I include it on this website not for its intrinsic value today but to illustrate the intellectual atmosphere at the end of the reforming Labour Parliament as the Conservatives under Edward Heath took over. Much of the optimism exhibited in the article now seems naïve but the idea of the open society and what could be achieved within its framework shows the idealism of the time.