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Creative Empowerment and Liberal Education
Tuesday, 28 May 2008

Episode #028
(44:49 min 41.0MB)
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Siegfried Herzog discusses the objectives of a liberal education: acquisition of basic skills, development of a critical mindset and a passion to learn and the instruction of values and sensibilities. He then examines how open education, the growing worldwide movement to develop free educational content, fulfils these.

However, he cautions against thinking that open education is the cure all for the problems of the educational system. Indeed this new method will revolutionize the system, but the guidance of a competent teacher continues to be important. Learning is a complex process and differs among individuals. But for most people, the personal interaction with a teacher has been and will probably remain vital. The best scenario is therefore open education under the direction of a capable teacher.

The music is provided by Dieter Bachmann.

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Institutions and Economic Development
Tuesday, 17 April 2008

Episode #027
(53:48 min 49.2MB)
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1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics laureate Douglass C. North speaks on the formation of human societies. Restricted social orders continue to be the norm in most of the contemporary world. These limited access societies are ruled by elites through monopolies or rents. These coalitions are based on personal ties, hence he calls such societies “natural” states. However, a number of countries have developed into open access societies where competition in economic and political markets, instead of rent-creation, sustains civil order.

The challenge therefore is how to transit from a limited access society into an open access one. He explains that the answer is not deliberately imposing the characteristics of a free society on a restricted one. What is needed is to encourage a limited access society towards maturity by working within the constraints of its cultural heritage, informal norms and belief systems.

Read more on the natural state here.

The music is provided by Dieter Bachmann.

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The Role of Civil Society in Philippine Democracy
Tuesday, 31 March 2008

Episode #026
(11:33 min 10.3MB)
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National Institute for Policy Studies President Mario Taguiwalo explains the economic and social background that gives birth to Philippine civil society. He expounds on its rise during the Marcos dictatorship and its continued flourishing in restored democracy. He speaks of civil society as the central channel of engaging politicians due to the lack of ideologically based political parties in the country.

The music is provided by Dieter Bachmann.

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Liberalism and Morality: Capitalism and Christian Values
Tuesday, 05 February 2008

Episode #025
(20:32 min 18.7MB)
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The final part of this installment has Fr. Robert Sirico touching upon the correlation between business ethics and corruption. He explains that personal corruption is one reality, but that it is institutional corruption which forces the lack of business ethics. This occurs when the political apparatus extends into the private sphere.

Fr. Sirico elaborates on the Church’s teaching of subsidiarity which states that needs are best met at the local level. Individuals have the responsibility to address their own needs. It is only when individuals are not able to accomplish this, that they must look towards the next level on the ladder of social organization. The highest level (the state) should only intervene when there is great need, and this intervention should only be temporary. As a result, limiting bureaucratic interference in the private arena would reduce corruption and make society more efficient.

The music is provided by Dieter Bachmann.

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