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Larry Diamond On Promoting Liberty And Free Societies


Published: November 21, 2019

No matter the source of illiberal ideas, the United States must act with purpose and self-confidence in promoting freedom and liberty. In modern day that means combating the notion that China’s model of authoritarian capitalism is superior to liberal open societies.

This video’s audio is excerpted from the 2019 Hoover Institution Centennial Lecture Series.

To learn more about the Hoover Institution’s Centennial Lecture Series and see upcoming events, click here.

Additional Resources

  • Read the report “Chinese Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance.” Available here.
  • Watch “Battleground of Perception: Countering Threats to Free and Open Societies” as Larry Diamond, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, H.R. McMaster, and Niall Ferguson discuss the nature of threats and the identities of freedom’s adversaries, their goals and strategies, and what can be done to defeat these threats across government, the private sector, academia, and civil society. Watch here.
  • Read “China Gets Its Message to Americans But Doesn’t Want to Reciprocate,” by Larry Diamond and Orville Schell in the Wall Street Journal, available here.
View Transcript


No state in the world has a more dedicated international and institutionalized infrastructure for propaganda and the promotion of influence around the world, than the People’s Republic of China has. 

We have an intrinsic advantage here that they don’t have. 

And that is, I feel this very very deeply, the truth is on our side, if we can mobilize it and broadcast it and penetrate it and counter the lying narratives against it around the world. 

Edward R. Murrow, John F. Kennedy’s founding director of the U.S. Information Agency, had a very good line. 

He said “The truth is the best propaganda, and lies are the worst. 

Because lies eventually can be exposed, but we need to expose them.