Gissurarson: Catholicism and Liberalism Compatible

Pribicević, Gissurarson, Anker, and Grubišić.

Catholicism and classical liberalism are quite compatible, RNH Academic Director, Professor Hannes H. Gissurarson, argued on 11 May 2022 at a seminar in Zagreb, organised by the Zagreb School of Economics and Management and the Austrian Economics Center. He recalled the cogent defence of private property rights presented by St. Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologica and his argument about sin: Man is indeed a frail being, a potential sinner, the philosopher-saint recognised, and accordingly government should concern itself only with those sins which are harmful to others, such as theft and physical violence, and leave alone other sins, today often called victimless crimes. Gissurarson also pointed out that two of the most distinguished representatives of what he had identified as the conservative-liberal political tradition were devout Catholics, Alexis de Tocqueville and Lord Acton. In his recent book in two volumes, Twenty-Four Conservative-Liberal Thinkers, Gissurarson devotes chapters to Aquinas, Tocqueville, and Acton.

Other speakers at the seminar were American businessman Terry Anker on entrepreneurship, Croatian Finance Professor and investor Andrej Grubišić on economic opportunities in Croatia, Croatian Economics Professor Vedrana Pribicević on preconditions for economic growth in Croatia, British-Croatian writer Dr. Robin Harris on Croatia and the European Union, Austrian economist Dr. Barbara Kolm on monetary regimes in small countries, American Professor Christopher Lingle on the case for the free market, Croatian financial strategist Dr. Neven Vidaković on necessary reforms in Croatia, American writer Craig Biddle on individualism, Canadian-Croatian accountant John Gasparac on doing business in Croatia, and Croatian businessman Damir Vanđelić on the prospects for economic growth in Croatia. After the seminar, Croatian political philosopher and MP Dr. Stjepo Bartulica took the speakers on a tour of the Croatian Parliament and the premises of his think tank, Center for the Renewal of Culture. At a subsequent drinks party at the Center, Gissurarson and Harris discussed the personality, policies and legacy of Margaret Thatcher on whom Harris had written a book, Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher. Gissurarson had met Thatcher on several occasions and Harris had worked for her at 10 Downing Street.

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