The Seminar is designed as an introductory course on the principles and applications of liberty, natural rights, and free markets. Each day consists of presentations by a faculty of key university professors and Independent Institute fellows. In addition, breakout sessions built around concepts learned in presentations activate attendees in lively discussions. Throughout the week, students explore not only the minds of Silicon Valley, but the places as well. More details on these social events and outings will be provided as the program draws near.
- On Monday students learn about the core philosophical foundations of a free society, the rise of liberty in the West, and moral and economic principles. They work together to discover ways to increase personal liberty and responsibility in a world that has drifted away from these principles of freedom. On Tuesday the faculty covers such key topics as public choice, “Austrian” economics, and the history of economics. Following the lead of great economists like Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, students are introduced to these fundamentals and then move on to the ramifications of government interventionism—taxation, regulation, and central planning.
- By Thursday, the speakers have unveiled the myths surrounding market failure and have moved on to illustrating the real-world effects of government failure in education, health care, the environment, and welfare. Students are shown market-based voluntary approaches to these issues and pushed to come up with their own solutions.
- On Friday, we round out the week by discussing issues of pressing universal importance, including the future of liberty. Students explore ways to get involved in issue areas that interest them to ensure a bright future for liberty.
Topics covered at the Challenge of Liberty Seminar:
Free to Pursue the Good:
Individual Liberty and Responsibility
Progress of Prosperity: The Road from Serfdom
Moral Foundations of Society (Utilitarianism vs. Natural Law)
Poverty and the Welfare State
Free to Act:
Prices, Competition, and the Market Process
Interventionism and Regulations
Economics, Politics, and Public Choice
Causes of the Great Recession
Taxation and the Knowledge Problem
Free to Associate:
Labor and Business Restrictions: Innovation Halted
The Voluntary City (Urban Issues)
Environmental Issues and Innovation
Free to Choose:
The Future of Liberty
Crime and Punishment
Policing, Safety, Rights, and Criminal Justice