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Milton Friedman

Ethical Foundations of Economy" in Kraków, Poland

The Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education (PAFERE) organized, with the help of a group of Polish patriots* and Atlas Economics Research Foundation, from Fairfax, Virginia, its First International Conference "Ethical Foundations of Economy" in Kraków, on October 13-14, 2003.

The main purpose of the conference was to attract public attention to the extremely important role of ethics in the economy, while conducting that event in Poland - a post-Communist country - where the public generally underestimates that role.

During the conference 13 lectures and major speeches were delivered (8 in Polish and the rest - in English) by outstanding scholars and other experts. (see the Program, below). Those lectures have been recorded, and will be published on this WEB site. Please check back periodically to view these thought provoking presentations.

Most lectures were educational in nature and they generally stressed the importance of an ethical approach to property and property rights as the basis of economic freedom - concepts still considered suspect in Poland and other post-Communist countries, where the people's mentality has been infected by the decades-long Marxist indoctrination. Unfortunately, among the educators and even those rare politicians who are honest and in power there are very few who truly understand the important role that economic freedom - as secured by private property - plays in the shaping of a more stable and prosperous economy. No wonder that the population falls victim to wrong national economic policies that continue to spread unemployment and poverty.

In a signed declaration most participants of the conference have subscribed to view that the main condition for a prosperous economy is respect by everyone, including the government, of private property, i.e. compliance with the "Thou Shalt not Steal!" injunction in the broadest sense of .its meaning. The idea that private property is a mainstay of economic and general freedom, as well as the foundation of a thriving economy, has been well known to free-market economists.. However, it is just recently that the injunction "Thou Shalt not Steal!" in its broadest meaning is understood to serve as the main economic imperative if a nation seeks an optimally prosperous and stable economy for its people..

This innovative approach, together with the reasoning leading to it, had been prepared and presented by PAFERE in the form of the above mentioned declaration entitled: "Przypomnienie podstawowych nakazów gospodarczych" (English translation: "Reminder of Basic Economic Injunctions and Recommendations" - please see Addendum). This declaration was endorsed by a majority of conference participants.

It is worth noting that the subject declaration, also referred to as "manifesto", in some Polish press, is not directed exclusively to the people of one particular nation, continent, nor religion. The truths it conveys are of universal character, and easily understood by ordinary and all people.

The conference was a successful event attended by an unusually high percentage of the invited guests, including a significant number of young "economic freedom fighters" from among university circles. The lectures and speeches were thought-provoking and universal in character. Some of the Q/A sessions evolved into debates that showed a remarkable public interest in the matters discussed. The simultaneous (Polish - English) language translating services were very helpful and further facilitated the exchange of ideas. The conference took place in a pleasant and very friendly environment. The conference organizers have received many congratulations for a well done job, as well as inquiries as to when future events of similar nature will take place.

* Special thanks are due here to Stanisław Michalkiewicz, Wojciech Popiela, Zbigniew Zarywski,, and their local helpers, Tadeusz Stanek, Andrzej Nelicki, and Łukasz Keler, all of them having shown their dedication to the affairs of the conference and common good.

* * *
Program of the 1st International Conference
"Ethical Foundations of Economy"
Dom Polonii (House of Polonia), Rynek Główny 14, Kraków, October 2003

During the following sessions each lecturing speech will include 20-30 minutes of the lecture itself, the time for questions and answers, and a 10 min. break. All speeches will be immediately translated from Polish into English, and vice-versa)

Monday, October 13: 8:15 - 9:15 AM: Registration and buffet breakfast;
9:15 - 9:30 AM: Introduction: Stanisław Michalkiewicz, Esq..

Morning Session Moderator: Stanisław Michalkiewicz, Esq.
9:30 -10:30 AM: Prof. Michał Wojciechowski (Cardinal Wyszynski University, Warszawa; Olsztyn University): "Economic, Social, and Political Function of the 10th and 7th Commandments of the Decalogue", (in Polish);
10:30 -11:30 AM: Prof. Tadeusz Ślipko, SI (Ignatianum, Kraków, Poland) : "Ethical Basis of the Private Property Rights and their Sacredness", (in Polish);
11:30 - 12:30 PM: Prof. James T. Bennett (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA): "Ethics in the Labor Market"", (in English).

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM : Break for lunch

Afternoon Session

Moderator: Stanisław Michalkiewicz, Esq.
1:00 - 3:00 PM: Dr. Alejandro Chafuen (President of Atlas Foundation, Fairfax, VA, US): "Ethics of the Transition away from Communism", (in English);
3:00 - 4:00 PM: Dr. Marcin Masny (Adam Smith Centre,Warszawa): "The Costs of Running the State", in Polish;
4:00 - 5:00 PM: Janusz Korwin-Mikke, Esq. (Former Polish Presidential Candidate, Warszawa): "Fair and Unfair Taxation", (in Polish);

5:00 - 7:30 PM: Break

7:30 - 8:30 PM: Banquet (for the conference participants) with a key-note speech, in English, on "Religious and Ethical Foundations of Constitutionalism and Liberty in the European Tradition" by Prof. Leonard Liggio (President of Mont Pelerin Society)

Tuesday, October 14:

8:00 - 9:00 AM: Buffet breakfast

Morning Session:

Introductory speech:, in English: Dr. Alejandro Chafuen.
Moderator Andrzej Sadowski, Esq. (Adam Smith Centre, Warszawa)

9:00 - 10:00 AM: Prof. Ryszard Legutko (Jagiellonian University, Kraków): "Religion, Political Democracy, Economy, and Ethics", (in Polish);
10:00 - 11:00 AM: Dr. Robert Gwiazdowski (Adam Smith Centre, Poland): "Protection of Property and Liberty by the Economic Legislation in Poland", (in Polish);
11:00 - 12:00 AM: Prof. Jadwiga Staniszkis: (University of Warsyawa): "Incomplete Post-communist Capitalism: the Ethical Perspective", (in Polish);

12:00 - 1:00 PM: Break for lunch

Afternoon Session

Moderator, in English, Dr. Alejandro Chafuen.
Moderator, in Polish,: Stanisław Michalkiewicz, Esq.

1:00 - 2:00 PM: Presentation of the paper by Prof. Wacław Wilczyński (Academy of Economics, Poznan, Poland): "Economics, Economy, and Ethics - the Costs of Misunderstandings and Ignorance", (in Polish);
2:00 - 3:00 PM: Dr. Ana Eiras ( Author of Economic Freedom Index, Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC, US): "Ethics, Corruption, and Economic Freedom", (in English)
3:00 - 4:00 PM: Prof. S. P. Kothari and Adam Kolasinski (Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MS, US): "Ethics in the Stock Market Environment: the Case of Equity Analysts", (in English);
4:00 - 5:00 PM: Summing-up, by Stanisław Michalkiewicz, Esq.

* * *
Organizers of the Conference:
(In alphabetical order):

John (Jan) M. Małek,
Stanisław Michalkiewicz,
Andrzej Nowak,
Wojciech Popiela,
Zbigniew Zarywski.

Cooperation (in Kraków): Łukasz Keler, Andrzej Nelicki, Tadeusz Stanek

Initiator and Sponsor of the Conference : Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education 'Pro Publico Bono', P.O. Box 1475, Torrance, CA 90505, USA.. E-mail:


The organizers of the Conference present herewith their great thanks to Atlas Economic Research Foundation for its support of the initiative and project of the conference, and especially they thank the President of Atlas - dr. Alejandro A. Chafuen, who is always willing to share with others his organizational experience and to serve them with his advice.

Źródło: Strona Prokapitalistyczna
Data dodania: 2008-02-08 13:22:50
Artykul przeczytano 4152 razy