July 2023: Civil Society and Political Economy
Please join us in July 2023 for a Virtual Reading Group with Anthony Gill.
We appreciate your interest in this virtual reading group. Unfortunately, this VRG is full and we are no longer accepting registrations. We invite you to check out our upcoming events here. We hope to see you at a future VRG!
Debates surrounding public policy often bifurcate the world into private markets and government. When social and/or economic problems arise, pundits are quick to propose government solutions to so-called failures of private entrepreneurs. However, the quick rush to government solutions overlooks the vital role that civil society plays in creating an institutional environment that serves to alleviate many of these so-called market failures. This is surprising considering the rich history within mainline political economy that considers civil society an essential component to well-functioning nations. Indeed, civil society provides a vital buffer between individuals and government, augmenting the ability of markets to perform effectively and holding the tyranny of government at bay. Our discussion explores the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith, Bernard Mandeville, Edward Shils, and James Buchanan with an eye to understanding how voluntary cooperative action on the part of free citizens supports the common good and promotes human flourishing.
Session I: Tuesday, July 25, 2023, 3:00-4:00 pm EDT, Smith and Tocqueville
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Section II: "Of the Character of the Individual, so far as it can affect the Happiness of other People"
Session II: Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 3:00-4:00 pm EDT, Mandeville on Charity Schools
Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Publick Benefits, Vol. 1, “An Essay on Charity and Charity Schools”
Session III: Tuesday, August 8, 2023, 3:00-4:00 pm EDT, Shils and Buchanan
Edward Shils, The Virtue of Civility: Selected Essays on Liberalism, Tradition, and Civil Society, "Civility and Civil Society: Good Manners between Persons and Concern for the Common Good in Public Affairs"
James Buchanan, The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, Volume 17: Moral Science and Moral Order, Part III: "Moral Community and Moral Order"
Virtual Reading Groups
- One Fell Swoop: Reading All of Shakespeare’s Plays
- December 2023: H.G. Wells, Technocracy and Liberty
- November 2023: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War: the Gettysburg Address
- September 2023: Islam and Liberty
- September 2023: H. L. Mencken on Commerce, Culture, and Democracy
- August 2023: The Price of Power: Bring Up the Bodies and The Prince
- July 2023: Civil Society and Political Economy
- June 2023: The Challenges of Democracy in a Diverse Society
- April 2023: Understanding Reconstruction - the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
- March 2023: Foundations of Modern Environmentalism
- February 2023: Bruno Leoni: Freedom and the Law
- January 2023: Oakeshott’s Moral Vision
- January 2023: The Messiness of Progress: Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and David Hume’s Essays and Histories
- December 2022: Classical Tragedy and the World of Ideas
- December 2022: J.S. Mill “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion"
- November 2022: The Election of 1800: Jefferson v. Adams
- October 2022: Shakespeare’s First Tetralogy
- September 2022: The Evolution of American Federalism
- September 2022: Liberty and Virtue in the Axial Age
- August 2022: Jane Austen’s Persuasion: Aristocracy, Independence, and Economics
- May 2022: THE BILL OF RIGHTS: SELECT CASES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
- April 2022: Education in a Free Society
- March 2022: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Rights of Women
- March 2022: Ancient v Modern Liberty
- February 2022: Joseph Schumpeter’s “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy”
- January 2022: James Madison and the Conflict Between the Executive and Legislative Branches
- November 2021: Pericles' Funeral Oration
- September 2021: Celebrate Constitution Day
- August 2021: Agriculture, the State, and Liberty
- June 2021: Adam Ferguson’s History of Civil Society
- May 2021: The Colonial Origins of the Bill of Rights