Mission Statement

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Mission Statement

“Addressing the conditions that cause the relations of domination at the origin of the wrong and offering a democratic project that endeavours to eliminate them (…).”

Chantal Mouffe (2022)

Mission Statement

Our mission is to reinforce independent journalism as a vital part of democratic societies. Therefore we reflect on what it is to make ‘true stories’ in a small world in which darkness and light battles on a tiny little blue planet.

Is it important to have democracy on this little planet to survive this battle? We do think so, but it is hard to ‘proof’ why. It is due to our limited knowledge that this royal way to ‘truth’ is most uncertain. And exactly this is the great threat for societies. When you have to fight for your daily existence and/or your society is in turmoil, you want strong answers for just a little bit of peace in your heart. And this human, all too human, tendency feeds, in a kind of natural way, intolerance, oligarchy and autocratic rule.

Why is this so bad? Because people who promote these options have dangerously simplified viewpoints on what it is to be human. On a very short term it can be effective with rigorous measures to temporarily end turmoil and fear, but due to the utmost ineptness of there rigorous views, this is the ‘royal way to disaster’ for a delicate, ever changing world.

Although the ‘virtues of democracy’ are ‘hard to proof’ and the conditions for sustainable democratic societies are hard to fulfill, we do believe there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to be found in the history of human kind to make a strong case for the long term benefits of democracy.

This evidence can be found in all kind of traditions, although for a western point of view these other traditions only came to flourish for the last couple of decades, together with the slow, but inevitable, emancipation of the western multi-cultural societies.

For the western tradition the circumstantial evidence ranges from Plato’s Gorgias to Bruno Latour’s ‘Parliament of Things’, although a lot of work has to be done to reflect on those positions.

For this, our foundation ‘Pierre Bayle Institute’ wants to create cross-cultural networks to reflect on these issues. Our dream is to span these networks across the globe to exchange the wisdom of all our local societies in order to make a strong case for democracy against intolerance, oligarchy and autocratic rule. It is more than ever a human obligation to have these stories told world wide.

To quote ‘the philosopher of Rotterdam’ Pierre Bayle:

“It is thus tolerance that is the source of peace, and intolerance that is the source of disorder and squabbling.”

"Il est donc vrai que la tolérance est à la source de la paix, et que l'intolérance est à la source du trouble et des querelles."

Pierre Bayle in “Philosophical Commentary”

To give you an idea of the cultural (political) situation of our Dutch society, here is the ‘Pierre Bayle lecture’ of Jonathan Israel, spoken in Rotterdam in the year of 2014. Although this was almost a decade ago, not much has been changed in this situation. Therefore we look forward to enforce a cross cultural network and please join us in our struggle for a justified kind of democracy across our little tiny blue planet.

Contact (at) pierrebayleinstitute.eu or use our contact forms. And of course we look forward to meet you in one of our workshops, or invite us to one of your own about a subject you think it necessary to reflect on.

Pierre Bayle
Philosopher of Rotterdam