On April 14th 2022, Free Market Road Show was held at University of Donja Gorica, Podgorica, Montenegro. The topic was „The freedom variant“. More than 200 participants attended the FMRS conference: students, professors, representatives of business sector. It is no wonder that this event was well visited, given the fact that pillars of this research-entrepreneurial university (UDG), and thus, its students and alumni, are set on the principles of Austrian Economic Thought.
The first panel, was dedicated to the ongoing economic and trade crisis, caused by the pandemic and health crisis, but also the recent start of the war in Ukraine. The panellists were: Barbara Kolm, Austrian Central Bank, Austrian Economics Center; John Chisholm, John Chisholm Ventures and Ivan Jovetic, University of Donja Gorica. They shared their vision on possible outcomes of the economic and trade crisis. The hypothesis of the panel was F. Bastiat’s thoughts: “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will”. Discussing about specific conditions in which the trade in 2022. has been realized, panellists pointed out that freedom becomes a lust when it is taken away. Therefore, they posed a question whether the free trade today exist at all? One of the important policies to be implemented was the question of the sound money policies, given the inflation which is rising day by that, due to major delays, food shortages and the printing of money to solve the global crisis. Also, the panellists explained that education is extremely important in this process, taking into account the fact that human capital is the key in solving the problems the current crisis is producing. In opinion of our participants, the free trade and property rights should emerge spontaneously, thus, free trade might be the good tool to reduce warfare. “What if Ukrainians sold those pro-Russian regions to Russia?”, one of the panellists asked. Finally, they concluded that freedom’s pair is responsibility and that one of the key problems is that people are not keen to face the consequences. In order to have development, you must not have the war. Thus, war in Ukraine is every country’s development problem.
The topic of panel 2 was dedicated to finding the answer to a question: The West and the Rest: How Free Countries Should Engage with Adversaries? The hypothesis of the second panel was that that freedom is an important development resource. It is the headspring of willpower, emotions, patriotism, which, in long term, will overcome technology and military power, no matter how important they are. The strength of resistance is reflected in one nation’s attachment to freedom.
Baruch Spinoza said that the only goal of politics is freedom. Are today’s politicians and decision makers heading towards this goal? How should the free world engage with its adversaries, not the military ones, but primarily with those that are opponents to values of freedom and liberty is the key question of this panel. Participants: Calum Nicholson, Danube Institute; Amir Shani, Ben Gurion University in the Negev, Mitja Steinbacher, Faculty of Law and Business Studies discussed issues of moral crisis of the Western civilization; the lack of entrepreneurial spirit of its citizens as well as the loss of multiculturalism philosophy and atmosphere within Europe. Panellists concluded that the major threat to the West is denial of freedom. Also, they pointed out that the problem of radicalisation is not its outcome, but its source. Therefore, it is of essential value to formalize the problem, in order to solve it properly. The only solution to that is bringing back the core Western values to the global scene: liberty, entrepreneurship and democracy, which crisis is shaking the whole Europe of nowadays.
The panels were inspiring to the audience and numerous questions were posed. Students who posed the best questions were awarded a John Chisholms’s book „Unleash your inner company“.
FMRS Podgorica – Program
10:00am – 10:10am
10:10am – 11:15am
“When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will” – Trade 2022, is Bastiat still right?