Charles C. Cook comes to Campus

Posted: October 08, 2019 | Author: Lyndsey Nelson | Read Time: 3 minutes

Charles CookeEarlier this year, Southern Utah University’s Entrepreneurship program was honored with a donation from the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation. As a part of the donation, the Entrepreneurship Program has been given the opportunity to host an annual Free Market Scholar.

“The purpose of the scholars is to help students understand the relationship between economic freedom and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Tyler Stillman, Entrepreneurship program director and associate professor of management and marketing.

The first Free Market Scholar to visit the entrepreneurship program was Charles C. W. Cooke, author and editor for the National Review, and the author of The Conservatarian Manifesto. Cooke has been a frequent guest on MSNBC as well as Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO.

During his visit, Cooke spoke about the American view of free markets and entrepreneurship, and argued that our view of free markets and entrepreneurship is relatively similar across the board, despite any other differences we may have.

“We see free markets in America as a natural facilitating mechanism for our day to day life, rather than some system that was contrived in a laboratory and then chosen,” Cooke said. “Americans engage in democratic acts all the time without thinking about it or without actually voting. Electing to attend this speech is a democratic act. Electing to start a company in your garage in a democratic act. Selecting the company from which you source your goods and services is a democratic act. When majorities step into those arenas and they say ‘no’, what they’re doing is keeping millions of your free choices off the ballot.”

Cooke drove home the idea that we need to be aware of what we relegate as ‘commerce’ in our discussions of human actions, and that by determining the actions of companies and individuals making purchases and starting their own businesses to be entirely commercial, we dismiss everything else that goes into that act.

“If a speech is made by the New York Times or by Volkswagen, it’s still speech,” Cooke explained.

Overall, Cooke’s visit to the school was one aimed to inform students of the value of their actions, and to encourage entrepreneurship students to be involved with the world around them through more than just commercial interactions.

Students were encouraged to be aware of the full extent of their actions, and to view politics and business as one and the same, recognizing that running a business isn’t just about the act of running a business.

“So, yeah, entrepreneurs run businesses, but that’s the least interesting thing that they do,” said Cooke. “The most interesting thing that those businesses do, is what those businesses do, whether that’s cook food or design telephones or sell plastics or teach children the alphabet. And if we remove that market, we’re closing off all those activities.”

The entrepreneurship speaker series is designed to benefit students from all majors as well as community members, with a focus on the guiding principles of “Educate, Experience, and Elevate”. Some of the upcoming highlights of the speaker series include Maskcara founder Cara Brook, and DecorWorx Chief Operating Officer Tenia Wallace. 

Tags: Entrepreneurship School of Business

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