The CEE Web Log

CEE Review: Walmart’s $10 smartphone is better than the iPhone | The VW regulation debate | How to fight conflict minerals, and more

News and Opinion

walmart-smartphoneThis 11-year-old is selling cryptographically secure passwords for $2 each. Ars Technica.

Walmart’s $10 Smartphone Has Better Specs Than the Original iPhone. Motherboard.

Innovation: self-regulating “skins” for buildings to reduce energy use. Fast Company.

Scientists develop ‘nanopores’ that inexpensively filter the salt out of water. ScienceAlert.

How important is liberty for entrepreneurship? Professor William Kline’s 14-minute video lecture at our site.

Is VW proof that businesses can’t regulate themselves? An interesting discussion at The New York Times.

Cutting Red Tape in Canada: A Regulatory Reform Model for the United States? Mercatus Center.

Flag_of_Canada.svgNew federal crowdfunding regulation passed. Federal Register.

The Value of Trust. Business Ethics Highlights.

Nearly half of all work activities can be automated with current tech. But there is some good news. American Enterprise Institute.

How to Fight Conflict Minerals? Mandatory Disclosure. Bloomberg View.


Drucker-culture-eats-strategyWestern Michigan University’s Center for the Study of Ethics is hosting a conference on March 17-18, 2016, titled Bioethics: Preparing for the Unknown. The theme highlights uncertainty as a fundamental factor in bioethics. Submissions will be accepted in the category of formal papers and panel discussions. Possible topics for submissions include unintended consequences of innovative medical technologies, public health planning for new diseases, incidental findings in clinical research and practice, prevention of medical error, and communication of risk. The deadline for submissions is December 16, 2015. For Inquiries contact Sandra Borden.

Idea: “The led must not be compelled. They must be able to choose their own leader.” Albert Einstein

See you next time with our digest of new and interesting items in entrepreneurship, ethics, and political economy. Here are the previous editions of CEE Review.

William Kline on entrepreneurship and liberty

University of Illinois, Springfield Professor William Kline’s 14-minute video lecture on “Entrepreneurship and Liberty.” Professor Kline discusses the relationship between liberty and entrepreneurship. He explains how laws, culture, and economic regulation can infringe upon the freedom of entrepreneurs and inhibit their abilities to be innovative. He stresses the importance of economic liberty in particular in providing the right environment for entrepreneurship to flourish.

Professor Kline’s lecture is part of the ongoing Entrepreneurship and Values series, recorded and produced by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. Other lecturers in the six-part series include Alexei Marcoux, Stephen Hicks, Terry Noel, and Robert Salvino.

The Three Best Arguments against Liberal Capitalism

Stephen Hicks gave a lecture at the Atlas Summit this past summer in New Hampshire on “The Three Best Arguments against Liberal Capitalism.”. See the video of the 50-minute lecture here:

More information about the Atlas Society and the Atlas Summit can be found here.

CEE Review: Dubstep violinist who made $6 million on Youtube | Enviropreneur of the year | Iowa sued over job licensing law, and more

News and Opinion

lindseystompThis dubstep violinist made $6 Million on Youtube without a record label.

2015 Enviropreneur of the Year. Property and Environment Research Center.

Innovation: Soccket is a soccer ball that, when kicked around, stores energy that can power small appliances in underdeveloped villages.

Unbreakable glass that’s as strong as steel created by scientists in Japan. International Business Times.

What is the relationship between public policy and entrepreneurship? Professor Robert Salvino’s 15-minute video lecture at our site.

abq1Albuquerque is quickly becoming the most entrepreneurial city in America. Learn about their Entrepreneurial Mindset Program.

How Congress lost control of the regulators. The Hill.

Wrongdoing: Evil, or Incompetence, or Both? Business Ethics Highlights.

Iowa rightly, finally sued over job licensing law. The Des Moines Register.

Gabriel Kolko’s “Political Capitalism”: Bad Theory, Bad History. Library of Economics and Liberty.


Vital,Anna-why-become-eA new book on disaster recovery titled Community Revival in the Wake of Disaster: Lessons in Local Entrepreneurship has been published. The authors of the book use examples of recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Hurricane Sandy on the Rockaway Peninsula in New York to argue that creating space for entrepreneurs to act after disasters is essential for promoting recovery and fostering resilient communities. Related: our interview with Jay Lapeyre, former Chairman of the Business Council of New Orleans, an organization that has been a driving force behind reform efforts to improve flood safety, charter schools, and criminal justice after Hurricane Katrina.

Idea“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” Sam Walton

See you next time with our digest of new and interesting items in entrepreneurship, ethics, and political economy. Here are the previous editions of CEE Review.

Robert Salvino on entrepreneurship and public policy

Coastal Carolina University Professor Robert Salvino’s 15-minute video lecture on “Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.” Professor Salvino discusses public policy and its effect on entrepreneurship. He contrasts active public policy methods (e.g., subsidies) and passive public policy methods (e.g., lowering taxes) and hypothesizes that passive approaches to public policy often result in more innovation and entrepreneurship.

Professor Salvino’s lecture is part of the ongoing Entrepreneurship and Values series, recorded and produced by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. Other lecturers in the six-part series include Alexei Marcoux, Stephen Hicks, William Kline, and Terry Noel.

Hitler and the Death of Free Speech


Stephen Hicks’s article was published recently at The Savvy Street.

It was first published as two separate columns in The Good Life series as “Is Republishing Hitler’s Mein Kampf the Correct Decision?” and “Is Free Speech Dead in Universities?” and was translated into Portuguese as “Republicar Mein Kampf é a decisão correta?” and as “A liberdade de expressão está morta nas universidades?”.

Video Interview with Professor Jerry Kirkpatrick — Transcript

Interview conducted at Rockford University by Stephen Hicks and sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship.

Hicks: I am Stephen Hicks. My guest this evening is Professor Jerry Kirkpatrick from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. He is the author of a new book, Montessori, Dewey and Capitalism. Tonight he gave a lecture to the Philosophy of Education class here at Rockford University, sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship on the theme of “Montessori, Dewey, and Capitalism”.jerry-kirkpatrick

Now Professor Kirkpatrick, both Montessori and Dewey are known properly as modern and very progressive educators — and as two giant names in philosophy of education and education practice in the twentieth century.

What distinguishes them from the long line of traditional educational thinkers and practice over the course of two millennia plus?

Kirkpatrick: Right. The focus on constrain on the child — the whole child, not just communicating a lot of information. They focus on trying to develop the child’s independence, abilities of think for himself or herself and have a good self-directed kind of life.

Montessori uses the term “concentrated attention”, and it’s her primary aim in education to get the child to concentrate for long periods of time. This is something that increases as the years go by to adulthood, which, presumably, would be then a nice, productive career with strong concentration.

John Dewey talks about “undivided interest” in the sense that, first of all, we should have an interest in what we’re studying and be able to choose what we are learning as opposed to the traditional education that has been taught since at least Ancient Greece where, basically, information is drilled into you. Then you must recite it back, and if you make a mistake, you might actually get hit or spanked or whatever. It’s the modern, progressive view of being nice to children and understanding their emotions, their desires, and letting them pursue their own interests.

Hicks: Now, as you say, Montessori and Dewey are drawing on some historical figures in the traditional, not necessarily the dominant figures up until the modern time. Who do you single out as the major figures that both Montessori and Dewey are drawing upon?

Kirkpatrick: Well, there are quite a few since about a century before the Enlightenment, but it even goes back to the Roman educator Quintilian in the first century A.D. He was very concerned about his students and not having this harsh kind of discipline. He wrote a book that was lost in the Middle Ages and rediscovered in the Renaissance which then influenced a lot of other people. And we’ve got the Czech reformer Comenius. We have John Locke and Rousseau, who is called the father of modern education because he focused on the concept of interest, that the child should be able to pursue in his or her own interest and not just be forced into a situation by the traditional teacher. There was a Swiss practitioner by the name of Pestalozzi who had a number of schools. Johann Friedrich Herbart, a philosopher at the University of Königsberg and actually the successor to Kant coined the term pedagogy or science of learning or science of teaching. There was then also Friedrich Fröbel, the father of kindergarten. And kindergarten means “garden for children” as opposed to a very unfriendly kind of classroom type situation. His term kindergarten was supposed to apply all way through education, not just pre-first-grade that we think of today.

Hicks: Right, as you put it in class, a garden rather than a prison.

Kirkpatrick: Yes, right. There is a definite tradition, and I see Montessori and Dewey as the culmination of this whole trend.montessori-maria

Hicks: Let’s focus on a couple the more particular elements of parallel. For Montessori, the phrase is “concentrated attention.” For Dewey, it’s “undivided interest”. Both of them independently are focusing on this as a central part of education, and, in your judgment, it amounts to the same thing with different labels.

Kirkpatrick: Yes, very similar because Montessori wanted the child to learn how to concentrate for long periods of time. She developed these unique and very clever “didactic materials” as she calls them that the child works with. And it encourages the concentration, it relaxes them. Many problems just kind of fade away. Dewey was talking about the traditional classroom, where the child is bored and starts daydreaming. The interest, in other words, is divided, and that breeds dependence and becomes very discouraging to the child.

Hicks: And so, for both, the primary job of the teacher is to set the right conditions for the child to get into the state of undivided attention.

Kirckpatrick: Right. Montessori called it a “prepared environment”, and Dewey just says the teacher needs to develop certain experiences that will encourage this.

Hicks: And then the educational outcome, the primary one, is that then the student cultivates independent judgment. So, in both cases, the teacher is the facilitator of the environment so the student is able to concentrate and then achieve the ability.

Kirckpatrick: Now, I actually think I am extending this a bit to talk about it as independent judgment. Montessori calls it independence, and she and Dewey don’t really define it as specifically as I do. I think most people think of independence as you become an adult, you can pay your bills, and you have good, sound judgment. But independent judgment is going beyond that to, like, the boy in the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. When everyone else is sitting idly by and ignoring it and denying it, the boy pipes up and says, “The emperor has no clothes on.” He sees it, he judges it, and he also acts on it. I would say that another parallel was the ability of revolutionary Americans to go to dump tea into the Boston Harbor, having the guts to really do something that’s not necessarily popular.

Hicks: So independence has both a cognitive component and an existential action component, right?

Kirkpatrick: Yes.

Hicks: You were stressing similarities between Montessori and Dewey, but through most of the twentieth century the perception has been that they are philosophically different, that there have been turf warfare issues. In your judgment, do you think that the differences are overstated or they are real?

Kirkpatrick: Well, they definitely are real to some extent because throughout the twentieth century it was progressive educators — not just Dewey. And Dewey was kind of on the sidelines for most of his career as a professional philosopher. There were people who were speaking for him or in his name, and I don’t think they necessarily followed what he was saying precisely.

But it is still true that Dewey advocated a more social orientation in his schools. He saw education as a tool of social policy and with a very significant political element. Montessori did not. That’s true of most of the European progressives; they didn’t have the strong political element to them. They focused really down at the class level, helping the child become independent and catering to their interests and individual differences.

deweyjohnHicks: One of the things you also mentioned in your talk and developed further in your book are the political and economic implications of these educational philosophies and your extensions of them.

In emphasizing this point of finding one’s own interest, being able to independently concentrate and work through various projects, and then developing the independence of spirit, of mind, and of action — your argument then is that both Montessori and Dewey, whether they were aware of it or not, really were preparing students for a modern, free, entrepreneurial approach to society.

Kirkpatrick: Specifically capitalism, yes. I do a real twist on these things because both Montessori and Dewey were socialists. But I took a look at their ideas and the whole trend of the progressive movement, and I saw what seemed like a contradiction to let the child blossom on its own, let it be free to choose and move around the room. Yet the whole thing is going to be imposed by the State, which is a tool of coercion. So, especially with compulsory education, you are forcing children to be free, which is a contradiction. And I said, “Well, no, they are both talking about independence and want children to grow up to be strong, courageous adults. That sounds just fine for capitalism.” And so I actually advocate a free market in education, removing government completely from the whole education process and having entrepreneurial capitalists providing the schools.

Hicks: The argument actually goes in two directions. One is, if you take the underlying educational philosophy that both Montessori and Dewey were advocating, that prepares students best not for a more bureaucratic top down socialist society but for an entrepreneurial, market society.

Kirkpatrick: That’s what I saw when I was reading them.

Hicks: Then also your argument that is if we want to actually institutionalize the kind of educational approach that Montessori and Dewey are advocating, that is going to be best realized not by state-run democratic institutions but will be best provided by entrepreneurial market approaches.

Kirkpatrick: Right. And both Dewey and Montessori are talking about not interrupting the child, you know, undivided interest, don’t divide the interest. Montessori says it’s very important not to interrupt the child, not to deflect the attention. Well, I see the connection there also at the political level that what government intrusion in the economy does is precisely that. It deflects attention of the entrepreneur and tries to move him in a direction that is away from what the real business is and that’s satisfying customers.

Hicks: Or developing the product to satisfy and deflecting it toward rule compliance and bureaucracy. Well, the book is called Montessori, Dewey and Capitalism by Jerry Kirkpatrick. Thanks for being with us today.

CEE Review: 9 things successful people do differently | Which job skills are most important? | Aristotle’s advice on speaking, and more

News and Opinion

social-entrepreneurshipPoverty in Argentina: rag-pickers and city ordinances to make horses and carts illegal. In Spanish with English subtitles. Fundación Bases.

The 9 countries with the most entrepreneurship. Business Insider.

Barriers to entry for aspiring entrepreneurs. USA Today.

You’re not too tired to create. You’re too distracted.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently. Harvard Business Review.

Aristotle_Altemps_Inv8575How Aristotle’s Advice on Speaking Saved This Woman’s Career, and How It Can Help You. Linkedin.

Which Skills are Most Important on the Job and Which Skills are in Short Supply? Committee for Economic Development.

Steve Mariotti’s list of 15 productions every entrepreneur must see. Our interview with Mariotti here.

Are Networks Replacing Firms as Organizers of Business Activity? Business Ethics Highlights.


Skills-hardest-HireThe Atlas Society has published Stephen Hicks’s lecture, “The Three Best Arguments against Liberal Capitalism.” See the 50-minute video at their site here.

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is coming soon (Nov. 16-22). Last year GEW reached more than 760,000 people across the U.S. through 4,500 event organizers throughout all 50 states. Find out how you can participate.

Idea: “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” Peter Drucker

See you next time with our digest of new and interesting items in entrepreneurship, ethics, and political economy. Here are the previous editions of CEE Review.

“What is The Most Important Question for Latin American Intellectuals?” — Stephen Hicks short video from Buenos Aires

Professor Stephen Hicks gave a talk in June at a conference sponsored by Fundación para la Responsabilidad Intelectual (FRI), Junior Achievement Argentina, and the John Templeton Foundation. When he was in Buenos Aires, FRI also did three short videos of him addressing questions.

Here is a 6-minute video of Stephen Hicks on “What is The Most Important Question for Latin American Intellectuals?”:

More information on Fundación para la Responsabilidad Intelectual can be found at their Facebook page.

CEE Review: Is corporate social responsibility dangerous? | Women of color in entrepreneurship | Failing succeeds, and more

News and Opinion

New Google LogoAds are annoying. So what does the ad industry do about it? Fortune.

Career Coach: If Google is ready to rebrand, maybe you should too. Here’s how. The Washington Post.

This graphic explains 20 cognitive biases that affect your decision making. Lifehacker.

Meet 50 Young Entrepreneurs Aiming to Change the World. Inc.

Women of Color in Entrepreneurship: New data and what it means for the economy. Kauffman Foundation.Volkswagen_logo_2012.svg

Is Rampant Web Traffic Fraud Ruining the Internet? Business Ethics Highlights.

Has Corporate Social Responsibility become a dangerous racket? Matthew Lynn on the VW scandal. The Telegraph.

Cheating Gets the Most Attention, but Doesn’t Do the Most Damage. Mercatus Center.

Behavioral economics gives honesty a nudge. The New York Times.

Failing succeeds: Technology and the “Conroe Crater”. American Oil & Gas Historical Society.


Startup Angels Michigan is holding its first event this month, a half-day conference for experienced and aspiring angel investors on the state-of-the-art in startup investing and ways to capitalize on the global entrepreneurship phenomenon. Hear from top investment leaders, Paul Singh of 500 Startups and Andy Jenks of Drive Capital, on the future of startup investing in the Midwest. Find more information about the event and how to register here.

Purpose-graphic-vennIdeas: Richard Branson’s top ten favorite quotes on failure.

See you next time with our digest of new and interesting items in entrepreneurship, ethics, and political economy. Here are the previous editions of CEE Review.