|A Gala for Liberty
The Independent Institutes Gala Reception and Dinner
Presentation of the Alexis de Tocqueville Award
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Reception at 6:30
With music by The John Santos Sextet
Dinner and Awards Ceremony at 7:30 p.m.
The St. Regis Hotel
125 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
On September 16, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actor and director Andy Garcia, and entrepreneur William K. Bowes, Jr. were honored at the Independent Institutes A Gala for Liberty. Each honoree received the Alexis de Tocqueville Award in recognition of their contributions to advancing the ideas and ideals of liberty, entrepreneurship, innovation, and peace.
Jehan Al Sadat, Ph.D.
Former First Lady of Egypt
The Dalai Lama
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach
Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
Václav Klaus, Ph.D.
President, Czech Republic
Muhammad Yunus, Ph.D.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Robert W. Alspaugh
Former Chief Executive Officer, KPMG International
Timothy C. Draper
Founder and Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Associates
Robert W. Galvin
Chairman Emeritus, Motorola, Inc.
Michael T. Moe
Co-founder and Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ThinkPanmure, LLC
William J. Rutter, Ph.D.
Chairman, Synergenics, LLC
Lisa J. Stevens
Regional President, Wells Fargo Bank
Distinguished Economist in Residence, American University; President, Free Africa Foundation
Michael J. Boskin
Former Chairman, Presidents Council of Economic Advisors; Tully M. Friedman Professor of Economics, Stanford University
Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Senior Fellow and Director, Center on Global Prosperity, The Independent Institute; syndicated columnist, Washington Post Writers Group
Wines courtesy of Kendall-Jackson Vineyard Estates and Freemark Abbey Winery.
Chocolate truffle confections courtesy of Sees Candies.
Special Thanks to John M. Bryan, Hoogasian Flowers, and the John Santos Sextet.
Born to aristocratic parents in 1805 shortly after the French Revolution, Alexis-Charles-Henri de Tocqueville was to become the greatest classical liberal thinker of the 19th century. At an early age, he distanced himself from the prejudices of his social standing, and joined the struggle to establish a free society in France. His alarm at the dangers of political centralization, and his perception that tyranny could be rooted in the despotism of either an elite or a majority, led him to travel through America to observe a society that was both equalitarian and decentralized. In 1831, at the age of 29, Tocqueville spent nine months traveling the breadth of Jacksonian America to inquire into the future of French society, as revolutionary upheaval gave way to a radically decentralized civil society in America. The result was set forth in his masterful book, Democracy in America.
Long recognized as a brilliant observer, Tocqueville was also a profoundly original thinker. Out of his American experience emerged a book that has had a profound impact on the thinking of the world. So uncanny, in fact, are Tocqueville's insights into economic, social and political affairs, so accurate are his predictions, that he was not merely describing the American identity, but actually helping to create it. In his further books, travels, and cultural and political affairs, he continued his devotion to advancing a society of individual liberty, where all human endeavors and institutions were voluntary and indigenous, and hence directly accountable to those affected. In short, to Tocqueville, the health of a civil society rested upon on its being based on a natural law order of individual freedom to choose and act in all economic and social matters.
To honor the tradition of Tocquevilles pioneering work, the Independent Institute awards The Alexis de Tocqueville Award to outstanding individuals in recognition of their dedication and contributions which advance our knowledge and practice of the principles of individual liberty as the foundation of free, prosperous and humane societies.