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CFE’s great advance

Posted December. 08, 2014 03:44,   


The Center for Free Enterprise (CFE) of Korea was ranked second in the number of visitors to the websites of economic think-tanks recently according to Rankey.com, a website research firm, following the Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI). The CFE was not in the top ten until last year. It is notable that the think-tank with only 13 research and administrative staff surpassed other private think-tanks which have much more resources and budgets. The two books published by the CFE -- “Why did I become liberal?” and “Reading Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century” – were awarded with the top and second prize in market economy in publication, respectively, this year. The think-tank was often cited in the media.

Unlike most think-tanks which are bureaucratic, the CFE’s members including President Hyun Jin-gwon, Vice President Choi Seung-no, and Dr. Kwon Hyeok-cheol respond to a wide range of issues with agility and passion. They voice their expression‍ in panel discussions, media contributions, interviews, statements, gatherings and Facebook. They also ally with other liberalists in various walks of life including professors such as Kim Jong-seok, Ahn Jae-wook, Min Gyeong-gook, and Kim Young-yong, writers like Bok Geo-il and Nam Jeong-wook, activists such as Park Sung-hyeon and Byeong Hee-jae, and teachers like Kim So-mi and Cho Yoon-hee. Another reason behind the progress of the think-tank is the revelation of limits in anti-liberalism in economy and ideology.

Today, the CFE is dedicated to spreading “how to understand the world right” to young people who will lead the future of the Republic of Korea. It increases contributions from young liberal writers and host op-ed competition for college students and lectures for high school students. “Liberalism that brought prosperity to human beings and wealth to the Republic of Korea should not stay irrelevant to the younger generation,” President Hyun, who took the helm of the think-tank in April, said. He stresses the easy and emotional way of communication.

If history is any guide, a country with dominated by totalitarianism is destined to collapse. Intellectuals are obligated to prevent their community from being misguided by a wrong ideology and collapsing. The surge of the CFE shows that if one works hard to realize the value of liberalism, it can become popular. Korea will have a hope only if a new wave of “acting liberalism” spreads at a time when anachronistic left-wing totalitarians have a stronghold in our society.