The Spanish-speaking world lacks classical liberal values. Statist and redistributive schemes dominate the histories of Latin America and Spain. The allure of figures like Che Guevara and Fidel Castro are symptoms of the failure of Hispanics to grasp the intellectual foundations, economic processes, and social benefits of individual freedom. In order to overcome this cultural problem we need leadership in the articulation, production, and dissemination of alternatives.
Universidad Francisco Marroquín is uniquely positioned to rescue and reassert insights abandoned by the Spanish-speaking world. Our legitimacy comes from the fact that we can trace our intellectual roots back to the theologians of Salamanca, who understood that personal and economic freedom are vital for virtuous individuals and social progress. UFM is also exceptional as the only institution of higher learning in the world expressly founded to teach and disseminate the ethical, legal, and economic principles of a society of free and responsible persons. Our challenge is to leverage UFM’s well-developed philosophical, pedagogical, and technological platforms into powerful and replicable tools that can transmit free-market principles to different disciplines and ages.
Our Next Step project will be led by UFM’s Centro Henry Hazlitt, the hub for developing curricula and activities related to our mission. Five additional components focus on pedagogical reforms, multimedia publications, and outreach programs that can expand UFM’s impact beyond Guatemala: a film and media studies unit, four MOOCs on Don Quijote, two publications on the practical applications of economics (a review of free enterprise in Guatemala and an analysis of the current business cycle), and an online K-7 primary school program. We can change the debate in the Spanish-speaking world (including the United States) by informing key populations about the relationship between liberty, prosperity, and human dignity.