THE MORALITY OF CAPITALISM
Report: Young India Fellowship
Tom G Palmer, General Director of the Atlas Global Initiative for Free Trade, Peace, and Prosperity and Editor of The Morality of Capitalism, delivered a talk on the subject to the students at the Young India Fellowship on 29 January 2012. The lecture was attended by 60 students and faculty members, and they were treated to an hour long discourse on the benefits of liberal ideas and free-market capitalism. The audience was then divided into focus groups, where they had a chance to interact with each other and come up with questions for the speaker. The Q&A session which followed lasted for over an hour and featured several interesting arguments from both the students and Tom and was a great overall learning educational experience.The talk was preceded by the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, which gave the students an inkling of their own political leanings and an idea of their peers’ position on various personal and economic issues.
Report: JMC & JNU
The opening day of Freedom Caravan: The Morality of Capitalism at Jesus & Mary College on 30 January 2012 was a roaring success. With over 300 students and several faculty members in attendance over the course of the day, this was an excellent opportunity for CCS academy to engage with young minds and present liberal ideas in an interactive and fun-filled way. The Indian edition of The Morality of Capitalism, a collection of essays edited by Tom G Palmer, was also launched. The book carries a foreword from Gurcharan Das and contributions from noted Indian free thinkers like Swaminathan A Aiyar, Jagdish Bhagwati, and Parth J Shah.
The day started with two lectures; 'The Morality of Capitalism’ by Tom G Palmer, and ‘Challenges of Inclusive Growth’ by Bibek Debroy. Each lecture was followed by a Q&A session with the students. There was a significant degree of audience participation in both sessions, with each speaker answering several student queries. The lectures were followed by a performance of ‘A letter from Jonathan Gullible’ by Mostly Harmless Ink, a play based on The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible, authored by Ken Schoolland. The program concluded with a scintillating musical performance from Delhi based fusion band Ekam Satyam, which included covers of ‘Imagine’ from The Beatles and the evergreen Sufi number ‘Lal Meri Pat’.
The Freedom Caravan rolls on to other campuses this week in Delhi including Jawaharlal Nehru University on 30 January, 9:30pm at Kaveri Hostel mess, Gargi College on 1 February, 10am at seminar hall, and St. Stephen’s College on 2 February, 1pm at the auditorium, before moving to Pune for the second leg of the fest.
Freedom Caravan also visited Jawaharlal Nehru University in the evening for a post dinner talk by Tom G Palmer on ‘The Morality of Capitalism’. The lecture was organised at the Kaveri Hostel mess and was attended by over 40 students. A stimulating Q&A session post the lecture lasted well into the night. The Indian edition of ‘The Morality of Capitalism’ were also distributed to the students in attendance.
Report: Gargi College
Freedom Caravan: The Morality of Capitalism visited Gargi College on 1 February 2012. The fest was centred on a lecture by Tom G Palmer, General Director of the Atlas Global Initiative for Free Trade, Peace, and Prosperity and Editor of The Morality of Capitalism, copies of which were distributed to the 150 students and faculty members in attendance from the History, Political Science and Economics departments.
The lecture was initiated with a childhood story from the speaker, speaking of his fascination while watching the handheld devices used in Star Trek, using which Captain Kirk and his team communicated with the mother ship, and comparing it to the omnipresence of mobile technology in today’s world. Tom’s talk was engaging, informative, and relatable to the audience. He stressed that capitalism was not merely an economic and legal system, but also a cultural and moral system, which respects people’s rights to their personal possessions, and embraces the notion of innovations that disrupts established ways of doing things; a process called creative destruction. He used the example of typewriters, which have been replaced by the personal computer as an example of personal initiative creating better outcomes for the advancement of society. There were some staggering statistics presented based on research carried out by the Fraser Institute in Canada, which showed extremely strong correlations between free economies and prosperity.
The day concluded with an interactive session, with several interesting questions, including one on the current European crisis, which the speaker underlined as an example of crony capitalism, with the Greek government knowingly creating a situation where the taxpayers of Europe would have to finance their profligate deficit financings.
Report: St. Stephen's College
The finale of the Delhi leg of Freedom Caravan: The Morality of Capitalism was organised 2 February, 2012 at St. Stephen’s College. The event consisted of two talks, a display of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, and distribution of liberal literature produced by CCS and its partners. The Indian edition of The Morality of Capitalism, a collection of essays edited by Tom G Palmer was also presented to the 100 attendees.
The first talk on the Challenges of Inclusive Growth was delivered by the Founder President of CCS, Parth J Shah. He cited examples of government programs like the state of schools and the plight of unlicensed hawkers to illustrate how government policies could be refined to propel growth by implementing efficient alternatives such as school vouchers and deregulation of the informal industry.
The second talk on the Morality of Capitalism was delivered by Andrew Humphries. Building on the presentations of Tom Palmer during the previous events, the audience were exposed to a discourse on the benefits of free-market capitalism, which in his opinion have brought greater prosperity to the human race. Both the sessions were concluded by interactive discussions with the speakers, with several key issues being raised by the students.
Thematic displays in the campus premises sparked a great deal of conversation between passing students and the team members and volunteers. The World's Smallest Political Quiz was another major attraction, and several students left the event with new ideas and a better understanding of the concept of liberty.
Freedom Caravan now moves to Pune to continue in its aim of reaching out to the youth, stimulating ideas and introducing them to liberal philosophy.
To view photos of the day Click Here.