March 21, 2016 Print

The news cycle makes it easy to get caught up in current events without reference to underlying principles, the ideas of political philosophy and economics that illuminate cause and effect throughout society. Poland-based Atlas Network partners Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation and KoLiber have teamed to establish Freedom University, a new educational project that brings a deep background in theoretical knowledge to young people.

The first Freedom University course, “Anatomy of a Political Society,” was held in January in Kraków. It featured Dr. Piotr Bartula, a philosopher at Jagiellonian University, presenting a set of five related lectures through which he taught the event’s 42 participants about the social nature of man; utopian political philosophy; the political dimension of disputes about universal principles; dilemmas surrounding  free will, evil, and freedom; and the politics of democracy and liberalism.

“Libertarian University is a great opportunity for reflection, discussion and mental gymnastics — contrary to appearances, often with a large dose of humor,” said participating student Kamila Kępińska (translated from Polish). “In addition to the intellectual horizons, you can also expand the circle of friends, interested in similar themes.”

The second course expanded its scope in mid-March, congregating for five subsequent Tuesday evenings in three different cities. In Katowice, Dr. Stanisław Górka of Jagiellonian University brings new insight about the migration crisis in the European Union; in Kraków, Dr. Łukasz Stach of the Pedagogical University of Cracow and Dr. Witold Sokała of the Jan Kochanowski University of Humanities and Sciences explain how contemporary armed conflicts have changed the modern political landscape; and in Poznań, Dr. Stanisław Wójtowicz of Adam Mickiewicz University provides both a beginning and an intermediate overview of libertarian theory.

Students participating in at least four out of each set of five lectures have a chance to receive certification of the knowledge and skills they have learned in each course, and are eligible for discounts on similar educational projects in the future. The organizers — Mikołaj Pisarski, president of the of the Kraków branch of KoLiber; and Marcin Chmielowski, vice president of Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation and former vice president of the Kraków branch of KoLiber — hope that these ongoing courses will help to develop a deeper knowledge of libertarian ideas among the participating pro-liberty students, helping to instill their future work in academia, business, non-profit organizations, and even government with the crucial lessons of a free society.