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A warm welcome to openDemocracy!

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
7 November 2002

All political and social progress is built on a foundation of clarifying dialogue. A world polarised by vast inequalities of wealth and power, crises of governance, ideologies of intolerance and extremism, and the sneer of cold command, needs this foundation more than ever.

We aim to provide it. Not all of it, but enough to make a difference.

We believe that the Web can become an instrument of social advance as well as personal liberation. openDemocracy, has been in development on-line for eighteen months. Now we have dropped the Pilot and launched. There will be many improvements to come.

We are dedicated to being an independent high-quality space of ideas and argument on the scale the world now demands: global.

We will succeed – and this is part of the paradox and excitement of the new media – in partnership with the best of comparable undertakings on and off line, in a world of ‘multiple media’ where traditional forms of politics urgently need to be reinvigorated.

To achieve this we will need your support.

We have a grand vision that goes beyond our current reach. Down the road there will be a multi-lingual, truly international community of open discussion and debate: a channel for knowledge, learning, participation and understanding that is not owned by a media corporation, does not serve a special interest and does not adhere to a single ideological position. That is truly an instrument of change.

But it will never exist without the independence and freedoms which payments from individual supporters can grant it. openDemocracy is the beginning of one answer to the ‘crisis of democracy’ – Can anyone put a price on that?

Anthony Barnett

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