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The Lockesmith Institute was founded in 1992 , dedicated to two central purposes. First, it seeks to provide serious students opportunities to develop their academic skills through such media as research, symposia, and lectures. Second, it hopes to play an important role in the growing resurgence of the scholarship of classical liberalism. Accordingly, the Institute provides students the chance to explore and develop the principles of individualism, private property and the free market, the rule of law, and social toleration.
Wealth of Nations provides perhaps the greatest defense of the natural harmony of a freely functioning market.
There was a time when these principles dominated the dialogue of ideas in America. However, to date, intellectuals in the twentieth century have been rather unappreciative of these perspectives. Yet, alternative ideas have quite often clearly failed to achieve their ends and have produced instead authoritarian and totalitarian regimes and, consequently, immense suffering. Gradually, the intellectual and political communities seem to be realizing these failures. Accordingly, in recent years, the ideas that define the earlier liberalism have begun to again find support. The Institute is founded upon the idea that classical liberalism can provide important contributions for future generations and that the place to begin is with those who will carry the intellectual banner into the future, today's serious students.
All Institute programs are directed by graduate and undergraduate students. The Lockesmith Review was the first of these projects. The first volume of the review, Great Thinkers in Classical Liberalism, was published in 1994. All articles, editing, and publication matters were controlled by a student editorial board. All contributions were written by students. As the opportunities arise, the Institute hopes to continue the occasional publication of the review. Copies of the first volume are still available for purchase. Also, its lead essay, "The Rise, Decline, and Reemergence of Classical Liberalism," which provides one of the best overviews of the history of the thinkers, schools, and ideas that constitute classical liberal thought currently available, is provided in textual form here.
The Institute plans to expand its operation to include other educational opportunities, again, all developed by students. This website will provide an especially useful medium for expansion into other areas of scholarly development and dissemination. We plan to maintain a website for high quality student research on issues regarding classical liberal thought.
The Institute is located at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. It generates its revenues through private donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals, as well as publications sales. On principle, it does not accept any form of government funding. Individuals wishing to make contributions or receive additional information, or students interested in contributing research should write to:
1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee, 37212-3757