Presentation of the book “Arguments of Freedom” by Aristides Chatzis
On Wednesday 28 February, Professor and member of KEFiM’s Academic Board, Aristides Chatzis presented his book entitled “Arguments of Freedom” at the Public Cafe on Syntagma square. The presenters of the book were Professor of Political Science Stathis Kalyvas, Vice President of the Supreme Court Katerina Sakellaropoulou, KEFIM’s President Alexander Skouras and Professor of Constitutional Law, Stavros Tsakyrakis.
The event commenced with Professor Stathis Kalivas highlighting the battle of ideas between liberalism and the various forms of populism as well as to why populism seems to be winning since it’s based on the emotional reading of people’s problems.
KEFIM’s President Alexander Skouras reminded that liberalism has finally achieved a lot for the people who now enjoy freedoms which in the past were not a given. Continuing, Skouras stated that the book contains political theories and suggestions based on empirical data and went even further by presenting a broad set of the most notable liberal thinkers.
Judge Katerina Sakellaropoulou noted that the relationship between democratic principles and the rule of law, does not have the position in a temporary “common sense of justice.” Salellaropoulou also noted that the tyranny of the majority is as damaging as the tyranny of a dictator. Subsequently, professor Stavros Tsakyrakis argued that the desired concept of freedom is “the one that is connected with the right of every person to choose his own path”. Tsakirakis also pointed out that the state should not act in a restrictive manner but instead it should only intervene when the freedom of others is in danger.
Finally, the writer of the book, Aristides Chatzis, opened his speech by acknowledging the difficulty of making liberal ideas popular. Chatzis argued that the effort for more freedom should never stop, even at times that seemingly do not jeopardize its achievements. In addition, Chatzis emphasized the fact that the individual must make a difference, and stated that his own purpose is to spread liberal ideas rather than to engage in politics. Finally, he agreed with Alexander Skouras’ view of the role of intellectuals, recalling Milton Friedman’s statement: “The role of intellectuals is to keep ideas alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.”