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Character

Over the last 25 years, leaders in the free market movement have stressed the need for sound public-policy research and basic economic education. Though important, they are proving to be insufficient to overcome trends that are eroding our liberties. Why?


The missing focus is on personal character. 
 
In America’s first century, strong personal character kept our liberties substantially intact without the need for think tanks, policy research, and economic education. Americans from all walks of life generally opposed the expansion of government power not because they read policy studies or earned degrees in economics, but because they placed a high priority on character. Using government to get something at somebody else’s expense, or mortgaging the future for near-term gain, seemed dishonest and cynical to them, if not downright wrong.
 
A free society is impossible without character because bad character leads to bad economics, which is bad for liberty. Ultimately, whether we live free or stumble in the dark thrall of serfdom is a matter of our individual character.
 
To learn more about FEE's character initiative, visit the Blinking Lights Project page.

You can also read Lawrence Reed's pamplet Are We Rome? here.

 

Lawrence Reed on Liberty and Character:

 

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The Morality of Capitalism

JULY 22, 2013

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Morality and the Market

MARCH 18, 2010

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Foundations of Morality

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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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