Friday, December 05, 2008
One of the reasons I decided to start the Emerson Institute for Freedom and Culture was because of my passion for the arts and humanities (I do, after all, have a M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in the Humanities) and my belief that economics is a complex system emergent from human action, a naturally-occurring system that is dangerous to tinker with. Looking at the think tanks we now have, I saw they were mostly trying to influence politicians. But politicians are going to do wha t the voters want (more or less), meaning the problem is less with the politicians than with the voters. We live in a culture that is anti-market in its beliefs and overall mentality. That needs to change. How do we change that? We need to change the culture, meaning we need to change the messages put out by the arts and humanities. Those who are pro-market do not find a lot of support in the universities or elsewhere, so it seemed to me that we needed a new institution to support those kinds of artists and scholars, and to educate the populace as a whole. That is the goal of the Emerson Institute. One of the reasons for my passion for the arts and humanities is the fact that I am myself a poet, playwrights, short story writer, and scholar. I write because I must. This Fall I wrote three verse plays. Now, in reality, I could probably take on both full time jobs of running for office and of running the Emerson Institute. But when would that leave time for me to do my creative and scholarly writing? That is something I cannot imagine giving up. Thus, I'm afraid that my decision is that my time would be best spent on the Emerson Institute and on working on my own creative and scholarly works. Political office just isn't for me. At least, not that this time. I'd rather do something of longer-lasting importance than hold political office. I hope that those who were planning to support me in my run will instead support me in my endeavors with the Emerson Institute. My goal with is is nothing less than educating the populace about the very nature of freedom, its importance in our lives, and the place of free markets in it. If one cannot have a democratic republic without an educated populace, then my work will be just as important, if not more so, than if I had run for office and won.