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Academy | Ideas & Social Change

"We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage." -F. A. Hayek

Why do we offer courses on public policy and liberal philosophy? Because ideas rule the world. The political actions of today are the result of the intellectual debates of prior eras. Tomorrow's political possibilities will depend upon the ideas we cultivate today. If we want a more free, just, prosperous and peaceful world, ideas matter.

In his essay The Intellectuals and Socialism, one of the greatest philosophers of liberty, F. A. Hayek, argued that, in the long run, the world is governed by the ideas that people hold. To achieve social change, it is crucial to influence the public intellectuals who disseminate ideas to society.

One way to visualize Hayek's philosophy of social change is a model designed by Joseph Overton of the Mackinac Centre for Public Policy called "The Overton Window of Political Possibilities"