Sunday, August 6, 2017

Guatemala's free-market university

The Bond villain libertarians of Guatemala - Don Hannan, Washington Examiner:

December 19, 2016 - "Hidden away in Guatemala, surrounded by tall jungle trees, ... Francisco Marroquin University has been turning out free-marketeers for 45 years....

"The buildings are named after F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and other Austrian School economists. There is a Plaza Adam Smith... One of the buildings is adorned with a massive sculpture of Atlas holding the world aloft — a homage to that vinegary anti-collectivist Ayn Rand. She would have approved of the way that lecturers must bid for teaching aids according to an internal market, with prices rising at popular times.

"Francisco Marroquin — named after the first Bishop of Guatemala, who translated several of the indigenous languages — is one of the best universities in Latin America. Its fees are at the upper end of the range, and it sets stiff entrance criteria, including a required fluency in English. All its undergraduates, whether they are studying law, medicine or architecture, are given a basic grounding in the principles of personal liberty and limited government....

"What makes Francisco Marroquin unusual is not that it seeks to inculcate values. Rather, it's that those values are not the leftist ones prevalent in almost every other institution of higher education. Instead of promoting anti-racism as the supreme political value, Francisco Marroquin promotes freedom. Safe spaces, micro-aggressions and trigger warnings have no place in these handsome buildings. Students are constantly exhorted to think for themselves....

"The free-market liberalism taught here has a samizdat feel. Most undergraduates are as opposed to the big-government paternalism that passes for conservatism in Latin America as they are to the Left.

"Which is why the best hope for the region lies in these young people. With the partial exceptions of Chile and Colombia, open markets have never really been tried in Latin America.... Latin America's underlying problem remains unaddressed.

"Governments are simultaneously too large and too small. Too large in the sense that they aim to control industries, dictate wages, set prices. Too small in the sense that they fail to operate impartial legal systems through which private citizens can claim redress....

"Just as the London School of Economics educated a generation of post-colonial leaders in Asia and Africa, with dire consequences, so there is now a crying need in Latin America for leaders who understand the difference between being pro-business and being pro-market. Every alternative has failed."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment