2017 FMRS #21: Pristina

The Free Market Road Show visited the capital city of Kosovo – Pristina. The young country welcome the Road Show with a full house at the University for Business and Technology. The event was co-organized by the Liberal Institute for Policy Research, led by Adri Nurellari. After the opening words it was the time of the keynote speech by the Minister of Economic Development Blerand Stavileci. Mr. Stavileci presented an outline of the economic situation of Kosovo and the possibilities for economic growth. According to him, the IT sector can and will be fundamental for the country.

He stressed that the IT is one of the few sectors of the global economy that face little barriers and regulations. He concluded that this area will be key for young Kosovarians who want to export their knowledge.

The man of the hour, however, was Mitja Steinbacher. Dr. Steinbacher has a PhD in Economics and a Masters degree in Mathematical Economy. He currently teaches at the Catholic University of Slovenia. Dr. Steinbacher reflected on institutional game-changers and economic development. In order to do so, he started his approach using Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek.“Why we choose how we do it?,” asked Steinbacher and replied, “to have an answer we need to understand the fundamentals of human action.”

The main point of good economics is to go to individual and see how s/he acts, Steinbacher explained. “This is exactly what Adam Smith did: he wrote the ‘Theory of moral sentiments’ before writing the ‘Wealth of nations.’ The economy is not about aggregates but about individuals.”

In a direct reference to the thought of Hayek, Steinbacher said the reason top-down planning fails is because knowledge is dispersed. He also shown how classical liberalism differs from communism in the what regards to the anthropological conceptions they have. For Steinbacher the proponents of free markets philosophy believe that human nature is not necessarily evil. This is why they want to empower all individuals. On the contrary, communism was based on the premiss of a negative view of human nature. “And we have all seen the results,” he sadly noticed.

The Free Market Road Show will travel Europe and the Caucasus until May 23rd. Check here when we will visit your city.

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And for more personal stories, visit the Free Market Diaries, by Federico N. Fernández.


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