May 17, 2009 - The Importance of Character in a Free Society

Acton Lecture Series (May 7, 2009) - Ravaged by conflict and corruption, the world is starving for people of character. As much as anything, it is on this matter that the fate of individual liberty has always depended. A free society flourishes when people seek to be models of honor, honesty and propriety at whatever the cost in material wealth, social status or popularity. It descends into barbarism when they abandon what's right in favor of self-gratification at the expense of others; when lying, cheating or stealing are winked at instead of shunned. In this talk, Mr. Reed discusses the character crisis in America and what we can do about it.

Mr. Lawrence Reed is President of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), headquartered in Irvington, New York. Reed holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Grove City College and a Masters in History from Slippery Rock State University. He taught economics at Midland’s Northwood University, where he also chaired the Department of Economics. He designed the university’s unique dual major in Economics and Business Management and founded its annual, highly-acclaimed “Freedom Seminar.” In 1982, he was a major party candidate in the general election for the U. S. House of Representatives from Michigan’s 4th district. In the past twenty years, he has authored over 1,000 newspaper columns and articles, 200 radio commentaries, dozens of articles in magazines and journals in the U. S. and abroad, as well as five books. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, among many others. Reed’s most recent book is Striking the Root: Essays on Liberty, addresses the issue of the root of America’s evils today. Reed has also traveled extensively, and in his spare time, enjoys reading, flyfishing, hiking, skydiving, and animals of just about any kind.