The Free Market Road Show, the event organized by the biggest European network of freedom fighters, visited the lovely city of Castellón (Spain) for the first time. In cooperation with the Act-Tank Club de los Viernes, we held a magnificent event with a full house and three very interesting three panels.
These lines will only focus on the second panel of the event. We encourage, however, to visit the Austrian Economics Center Youtube Channel to watch the other two panels and to take a look at different videos we post of Road Show conference across Europe.
Focusing now on the Castellón event, Fernando Díaz de Villanueva and María Blanco had a very interesting talk regarding European values.
Mr. Villanueva is a journalist and author, among others, of a biography of Ernesto ‘Ché’ Guevara while Ms. Blanco is an economist, university professor, and her latest book is ‘Afrodita desenmascarada.’
The panel was kickstarted by Mr. Villanueva’s intervention, who explained that “there is no such thing as European values… there are Western values.” These values include not only the Old Continent but also the “new Europes one can find in the Americas and Oceania.”
The concept of the West comes from Ancient Greece, Mr. Villanueva said. “The Greek defined themselves as the West in opposition to the East – which they rich both as rich but also decadent and tyrannical.”
The Spanish journalist detailed many features that he believes are typically Westerner.
“In the West we find inventions that have no equivalent in any other place in the world. For instance, universities and scholastics. The passion for exploration is also very typical of the West.”
“The preeminence of reason is also a feature of the West,” said Villanueva, “and the technology to produce a symphony.”
The journalist ask why it was the West who came up with free trade and accountancy while China was more developed when those innovations occur. The same could be said about exploration. “Why were the Portuguese such wonderful sailors and not the Moroccans? Why did Portuguese ships arrive to China and not the other way around?” Mr. Villanueva claimed that “the very idea of entrepreneurship is embeded in Western culture, because the West is individualistic.”
On the notion of tolerance, Villanueva explained that it really started after Luther’s schism and the religion wars. From a purely religious beginning, it quickly moved towards the realm of politics. That is how the respect for minorities began.
Villanueva concluded responding to the 2018 FMRS motto. “Values. What values? Ours!”
María Blanco’s speech was certainly less apologetic.
She claimed that there are the good, the bad, and the ugly about the West and its values. The West was created over a history of violence. Moreover, the West (or Europe in particular) is responsible for atrocities such Marxism, Nazism, or the Inquisition.
Ms. Blanco went on and said that many claim that the West is supported by Capitalism, Christianity, and Conservatism… But are those the only Western values?
“Europe is not a compact entity. We have a complex history. Even Saint Paul had to start spreading the teachings of Christ amongst us. Christianity did not appear on Western lands,” Ms. Blanco concluded.