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America is Not a Democracy: New lesson in NU Idea course

December 15, 2023

Just in time to celebrate winter commencement, Northwood University has posted a new lesson in its free online course about freedom and free-market economics.

“America is a place that has always appealed to people seeking opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their children. That is in no small part because our system of limited government was specifically designed to secure individual rights, but leave people otherwise free to pursue their own path in life,” stated Northwood Economics Chair Dr. Dale Matcheck.  “The result has been a dynamic entrepreneurial and civic culture and the world’s highest standard of living.”

The online course, “The Philosophy of Free Enterprise,” is available to anyone — at no charge. Through a series of lessons, viewers will learn about the importance of business in society, the ethical foundations of the capitalist system, the meaning of free enterprise and the ways in which it benefits us, limited government and the rule of law, and the differences between capitalism and other economic systems.

The online course, Philosophy of Free Enterprise, includes a series of complimentary lessons for anyone interested in free-market economics and The Northwood Idea, which is Northwood University’s guiding philosophy.

“In addition to individual freedom and personal responsibility, The Northwood Idea endorses the ‘Golden Rule,’ requiring each of us to treat others as we would like to be treated. It encourages personal choices that drive progress through courage, self-discipline, hard work and thrift,” explained Matcheck, who also serves as the David E. Fry Endowed Professor in Free Market Economics at Northwood University.

The newest video is intended to appeal to viewers from all education levels and backgrounds, Matcheck explained. Taught by Dr. Glenn Moots, Northwood’s Political Science and Philosophy chair, it incorporates humor and is told in a way that you don’t need a college degree to understand.

The new lesson is America is Not a Democracy. Other lessons in the course include Make a Law, Light a Match; Rights from the Start; A Brief History of Progress; Innovation & Innovism; Vocation of Business; Constitution, Rules and Games; and Entrepreneurism, and Prices, Knowledge, & Incentives.

Upon completing each lesson, learners can test their knowledge through interactive quizzes. Upon completion of the course, participants can earn a certificate from Northwood University.

The principal donors behind this effort are Donald S. Gottwald, a 1988 alumnus, and his wife, Pamela. The effort also was aided by a generous gift from the Thomas F. and Harriet S. Oakley Family Trust.

Donors who value liberty, the American free-enterprise system, and creating leaders who drive economic and social progress may consider a gift to Northwood University. Visit our giving page ( or contact Northwood’s advancement office at (989) 837-4356.

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