September 6, 2018 Print

On August 9 the Tajikistan Free Market Center (TFMC) hosted their latest in a series of lectures on economics and liberty in the Central Asian country. This lecture, titled “Property and Prosperity,” was hosted in the city of Kulob and provided information about the correlation between free market policies, political freedoms, and societal advancements as well as opportunity for discussion between the lecturer and those in attendance.

“Property and Prosperity” explored this relationship between property rights, freedom, and material benefit. One goal of the lecture was to dispel the notion that property rights ought to be subservient to human rights. TFMC argued that this is an imaginary conflict — there is no difference between these rights at all. TFMC advocates the same concept as the late philanthropist Sir John Templeton that “property rights are essential for human rights.”

Like the lectures before it, “Property and Prosperity” was hosted on a college campus and was advertised primarily to students. These lectures convey the necessity of free-market principles for the advancement of individuals and community. As stated in the press release explaining the series, “The main purpose of Open University Lectures is to increase the interest of young people in learning of economics and the promotion of their political orientation, as future professionals and leaders.”

“My audience are young people and most of them have no idea about economics or about free markets, classical liberalism and so on,” said Aziz Timuroff, executive director of TFMC. “They participate only to perfect their speaking skills; to start speaking in English. However, through the English they will learn about what I would really like to share with them [the value of market-based economies and political freedoms].” 

This lecture series occurs twice a month through a partnership between TFMC and American Space Dushanbe — an organization dedicated to helping Tajikian students develop their English-speaking skills. The lectures are given in English, and that has been a vital part of the series.

Throughout the lecture contrasts were drawn between those countries that had a strong, clear, and consistent record of property rights protections and those that did not. The trend — without fail — is that in countries where there are property rights there is more economic prosperity and security for all citizens, while those countries without such protections trend towards ever-greater class disparities, poverty, and crime.  

Sir Templeton strongly believed in the power of free markets and spent his career promulgating those principals. Atlas Network shares the strong belief in the power of markets to improve lives; which is why we partner with more than 475 organizations in 90 countries to help them develop and advance liberty in their home-countries. The John Templeton Foundation has been a gracious supporter of Atlas Network’s work toward advancing liberty through individual empowerment. 

The TFMC is furthering the cause of liberty by communicating it to the next generation in relevant, effective ways. Timuroff predicts the appeal for the lecture series will only grow once the fall semester of school begins. “In September, the number of participants will rapidly increase up to 40–50 people.”