Event SpotLight

The Morality of Capitalism
with Tom G. Palmer

In March of 2015, the Bastiat Society of Sri Lanka hosted Tom G. Palmer in Colombo. His talk was titled “The Morality of Capitalism” and it managed to raise quite a stir in the island’s leading newspapers after the event. It was the first ever public event held in support of free market capitalism in this island nation.

This first public lecture was six years in the making, starting with just a local language blog written in defense of liberty by Aruni Shapiro. Economic concepts from the Austrian School tradition were introduced two years ago in a premier business web portal founded by Ishara Gamage. Readers and followers of both these sites started to ask for more. Language and locality were barriers everyone wanting to learn more had to overcome.

Establishing a Bastiat Society chapter to bring in speakers from overseas was an ordeal under the then harsh regime. Public speaking was curtailed and NGO activities were restricted.

Then an unlikely turn of events made the regime change.

A small window of opportunity presented itself, and the chapter quickly organized a first meeting only a few weeks before and then presented the first public event. For the first time in its history, people in Sri Lanka have begun to discuss Frédéric Bastiat on social media sites and in newspapers, and made this event an immensely successful one.

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