Lectures on Liberty
This speaker series is intended to expose students, faculty, and the broader community to the history and importance of liberty from a legal, moral, and economic stance. The spirit of these presentations is encapsulated by the belief that the Federal government is most effective in maximizing the well-being of the country’s citizens when it abides by the strict constraints stated in Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution; and if residents within a specific region choose to demand more from their government, then it is up to the State or Local government to provide the additional goods or services, as is stated in the Constitution’s 10th Amendment.
Capitalism, an economic system where government intervention is limited and property rights are enforced, is the best means yet discovered to improve the lives of the masses. This premise is explained in the writings of Economists and Nobel Laureates Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek, as well as dramatized in the writings of Philosopher Ayn Rand. They not only explain the benefits of economic freedom but also identify the danger in deviating from a society that is rooted in maintaining individual freedom, no matter how well-intended the goal.
One common perception is that if the democratic process exists and individuals are free to elect a representative whose views match that of a majority of the electorate, then liberty is preserved. However, there are many examples in the U.S. and around the world where this has been disproven, for example, democratically elected Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust, and legal slavery in southern states. The Founding Fathers understood the potential danger of majority rule and consequently chose to create a republic not a democracy. Additionally, they worried about an overly intrusive government and thus chose to include significant constraints on the Federal government in the U.S. Constitution.
These important topics and others are discussed in this lecture series. The series includes both public presentations and classroom presentations.
Below are some of the speakers.
Walter E. Williams, Professor of Economics at George Mason University
Daniel Mitchell, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute
John Samples, Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Representative Government
Thomas Garrett, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Mississippi