Free Enterprise at the Baugh Center

Noted Lecturer and Author, Os Guinness, Visits Baylor

Feb. 13, 2014

Os Guinness, an Oxford-trained scholar, lecturer and author of more than 30 books, discussed whether freedom in the U.S. is sustainable before a large audience at the Hankamer School of Business on Wednesday. Drawing from historical examples, Guinness argued that freedom can never stand alone, but is part of a "golden triangle" that requires virtue which requires a form of faith which then requires freedom.

Steve Bradley, Faculty Director of Free Enterprise at the Baugh Center and host for the Distinguished Lecture, connected the lecture theme to the Center's broader goals noting, "Economic freedom depends on a broader free marketplace of ideas where views can be debated in a vigorous yet civil manner."

Dr. Guinness aligned with the English Catholic historian, politician and writer Lord Acton, who held that "Freedom is not the permission to do what one wants, but the power to do what one ought." As part of his argument, Guinness argued for realigning with the framers of the Constitution to require not only freedom "from" but also freedom "for." Whereas the political right emphasizes freedom from government and the political left emphasizes freedom from social constraints, the increased political polarization results in a neglect of emphasis on what makes us one as a nation.

Dr. Guinness explained that civic education, which has historically been the responsibility of families, schools and faith institutions, is needed to unite a nation increasingly focused on a pluralism ideal. The proficient author expressed optimism that a focused educational effort can be established in a relatively short time, even though its effects may be revealed in the longer term.

The Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise seeks to aid in the preservation of the competitive free enterprise system, including the vital small business sector of the economy and promote entrepreneurial activity among individuals and organizations that stimulate economic development through the formation of new business ventures. For more information, visit: www.baylor.edu/business/freeenterprise.

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