The Fragility of Freedom: Why Subsidiarity Matters -- Peter Fenwick

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236 pages

For thirty-five years, Peter Fenwick managed the professional services consultancy, Fenwick Software, which he founded in 1976. Its culture is built on the principles of classic liberalism. Its employees are granted an appropriate degree of autonomy, provided with opportunities to grow and assume more responsibility, and encouraged to apply their skills to help each other and to deliver value for their clients. In 2011, Peter established an employee-shareholder scheme and sold 75 percent of the business in equal parts to five key staff, one of whom, 31 year-old Greg Galloway is now CEO. The firm is thriving and the culture is being maintained under his leadership. In The Fragility of Freedom, Peter applies his experience to a wider canvas. He explains how the coercive and regulatory powers of the state have been captured by powerful sectional interests for their own economic benefit, leading to corruption in public life and crony capitalism in business. Civil virtues have declined throughout the community with leaders in politics, religion, business and the trade unions often abusing positions of trust. The Fragility of Freedom is his quest to identify what is wrong and suggest ways to put things right. The book provides readers with a basic understanding of the cultural heritage of our Western Civilisation - the fundamental principles of liberty, prosperity and free enterprise. It discusses the consequences of socialism, the welfare state, distributive justice and unsound money. Replete with quotations from over fifty philosophers and economists, it introduces readers to some of our great thinkers. It equips them to engage in informed debate and to challenge conventional wisdom. Peter recommends that the role of the state be limited to functions that cannot be achieved by lower orders of organisation. He proposes a moral society based on the principle of subsidiarity in which individuals take responsibility for themselves and their families, behaving as good citizens within their community.

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