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Nov 8, 2017 in Informative

South Park and the Open Society


South Park and an Open Society is an article written by David Valleau and Gerald J. Erion Curtis which talks about the need of a society to be open in order for it thrive and experience growth. South Park is discussed in this article and its efforts to promote a society that is open since this allows the creators to express their needs either in speech or in actions. It also talks about a philosopher, Karl Popper. Popper argues for an open rather than a closed society. This paper will summarize the article South Park and an Open Society by David Valleau and Gerald.

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The Open Society by David Valleau and Gerald J. Erion

The article South Park and the Open Society was written by two authors: David Valleau and Gerald J. Erion. The article is about an “open society” and how our society ought to be open in order not only to grow but also thrive as well as its people. The article generally talks about what goes on the popular television show South Park including use of vulgar language, religious, political and racial comments to what he calls “potty humor.”

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The article opens by narrating how South Park is an open society and how it promotes the same. At South Park, creators are allowed to carry out almost whatever they want to. The authors present extremist views to the audience in an extreme way as well. Although it seems that South Park does take it over the line and offends some people, the authors say that people need to look beyond the crude humor and see what exactly the show is trying to tell us. Therefore, South Park awakens our inner sense on what is going on in such a society by use of humor that targets haters the air limit.

The authors then concentrate on Karl Popper. Karl Popper was an Australian philosopher born in 1902 and who is credited to making most important contributions on open societies and totalitarian governments. Popper compares two systems, open and closed systems, and makes a conclusion that closed societies are not open to critics. He therefore concludes that closed societies are not open to change and hence cannot adapt to a changing society. He says that in closed societies, shows like South Park could not be in existence. Unlike in a closed society, an open society allows challenges on such topics as religion, government, and political criticism. According to Popper, an open society is able to not only change, but thrive in a changing society. Popper believes that people will only grow in a positive way if they challenge the daily norms they are used to.


The article talks mainly about a closed versus an open society as experienced in South Park. In South Park, an open society is preferred to a closed one since it would definitely be banned in the later. An open society is believed to be that which gives its citizens freedom whilst the closed one is characterized by a totalitarian regime which however has only one main purpose in that it provides security hence protecting its citizens from corruption. I would, as others also, prefer an open society instead of a closed one which is likely to deny me individuality and my rights.

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