Center for Free Enterprise is enrooted to the idea of liberalism. Hence we know the significance of market economy system in terms of one nation’s economic development. However, all sorts of myths and falsities that distort the truth of liberalism and market economy prevail in our society. Sometimes those falsities and lies work as social pressure. Market economy is often misunderstood as Winner-takes-all, and the collective society is always preferred over individual value. The perception that market is evil and government is good remains dominant. The claim that interventionist socialist policy designed by humans rather than market economy derived from spontaneous order stands pervasive as well.
Center for Free Enterprise is an institution that encounters such misunderstanding, distrust, and superstition about liberalism and market economy. We never hesitated to do so in the past. However, our society still puts collective value before individual value, and imposes wrong perception on citizens by framing it as public concern or being social. Especially politicians – regardless of the ruling party or the opposition party – who had gained political support by putting economic democratization forward as their main political aim since the last general election and the presidential election have been taking the lead in policymaking which essentially damages the fundamentals of market economy. The developer of public choice theory, Professor Buchanan, had explained the phenomenon of “political failure”, which is apparently taking place in Korea.
The value of freedom is precious. While we agree on the importance of political freedom and the freedom of the press, we are indifferent to economic freedom. Due to globalization, the world is experiencing an economic war. The only way for Korea to take the next step towards an advanced country is not the government interventionist policy but the enhancement of the economic freedom. Center for Free Enterprise is well aware that it is not easy to achieve high economic freedom in this society. Thus we try to pave the foundation for Korea to become an advanced country by studying and propagating the importance of economic freedom ourselves.
I remind myself the slogan of our institution again, “Freedom is not free”. The role of Center for Free Enterprise is more important than any other time right now. It is time to delicately polish the idea of liberalism and act on behalf of this in order to make the economic freedom a universal value. We strive to become an organization which behaves in consistent to our ideology. However, this is not a job that can be solely done by Center for Free Enterprise. A number of citizens who feel the importance of the market economy, scholars, and students should participate in order to make this possible. We can only make our proud Korea ‘with’ their help. Center for Free Enterprise will do our best to gather thoughts of citizens who strive to bequeath a bigger prosperity of our cultivated achievements to the next generation and experts who put their endless efforts to develop liberalism and the market economy. We will become the place where their strong will becomes the driving force for changing the world.
Director of Center for Free Enterprise
Hyun Jin Kwon