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Over the last month, we at SFL have been publishing weekly highlights of our Campus Coordinator Program on our website. Now it’s time to cut to the chase: CC applications are due this Friday, May 1st. Apply now before it’s too late!

In case you’ve missed our weekly highlights, the CC program is ideal for any current or aspiring student activist. By joining the CC program, you will receive:

  • In-depth training on how to build up the libertarian student network in your region
  • Free SFL resources (e.g. banners, t-shirts, books, etc.) for your student group
  • A ticket to a summer retreat in your region to learn from the libertarian student movement’s best and brightest
  • The opportunity to galvanize the libertarian student movement in your area by assisting in organizing an SFL Regional Conference
  • The chance to attend the International Students For Liberty Conference in February 2016 for free
  • A professional network of libertarian professionals to build a career
  • A social network of dozens of fellow CC’s to build lifelong friendships

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to apply to SFL’s Campus Coordinator Program today! The deadline is this Friday, so you will not want to miss your chance to take the next step in your career as a leader of liberty.

 “They who employ force by proxy are as much responsible for that force as though they employed it themselves”

Who: Herbert Spencer was a philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and classical liberal theorist who argued that liberty is essential to social progress and that government’s only proper function is to promote liberty by protecting individual rights.Herbert_Spencer_5

His Life: Spencer entered this world on April 27, 1820 and died December 8, 1903. His father, an individualist with strong anti-establishment and anti-clerical views, greatly influenced him. Indeed, Spencer demonstrated independence and a good deal of resistance to authority throughout his early years. Though his uncle offered to send him to Cambridge, Spencer declined this opportunity. Instead, he accessed higher education through reading. His work has been very politically influential; in 1986 three Supreme Court justices were reportedly avowed ‘Spencerians.’ Furthermore, Spencer was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1902, though he did not accept most of the honors he was given.

Why He Matters: Spencer derived the law of equal freedom which states that “every man has the freedom to do as he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.” From this, he concluded that legal law represents a restriction of liberty, which is in itself, an evil justified only where necessary to preserve others’ equal liberty.

Spencer further posited that each individual within society is a self-conscious and independent actor. Unlike animals which possess one consciousness relating to the whole pack, human social societies exist for the good of individual members and not the other way around. Indeed, in Spencer’s eyes, societies depend upon the value of individual identities. When governments restrict individual freedom, social progress and utility decline. This makes sense because happiness reflects complete adaptation of an individual organism to its environment; in other words, happiness is a marker of progress and humans naturally seek happiness as an ultimate goal. Furthermore, a prime factor motivating humans to come together and form societies is rational self-interest—particularly interest in avoiding war and violence, but also a general interest in bettering one’s position in life by forming trade routes and so forth. Therefore, by preventing individuals from pursing their own interests (so long as these interests harm no one else), governments fail to perform their intended functions. (more…)

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Today is the last day to put your name into Students For Liberty’s raffle for free registration to Voice & Exit. So, what are you waiting for? Click here for your chance to spend a long weekend with the best and brightest libertarian minds in beautiful Austin, Texas.

If you haven’t heard of Voice & Exit before, you won’t want to miss it. The two-day event is a celebration of “flourishing” through human freedom, and is formatted in a way that redefines the conference model through blending in entertainment, art and narrative elements. Participants experience short talks by visionary thought leaders (similar to TED talks), interactive small group workshops with the speakers, and a celebration of music, technology and art.

This summer, Voice & Exit will be held June 20-21st in Austin and include talks from delivered by thought leaders from many different corners of politics and technology. Check out this lineup:

  • Magatte Wade, CEO of Tiossan — “Aid is Dead: Poor People Want Startups”
  • Alex Tabarrok, Professor of Economics at George Mason University: “Imagining a World Without Borders”
  • Jamie Wheal, Executive Director of Flow Genome Project — “The Biology of Bliss”
  • Dylan Evans, Author of Projection Point — “My Experiment With Utopia”
  • Jack Kruse, CEO of Optimized Life — “Biohacking the Modern World”
  • Jeffrey Tucker, Author of Bit by Bit — “How Peer-to-Peer Tech is Liberating Us”
  • Mark Willis, former CEO of Keller Williams Realty — “The Coming Age of Conscious Business”

This raffle is an exclusive opportunity for current students in SFL’s network, so you’re not competing with a million others. Today is the deadline, and there will not be any extensions. So, put your name in now before it’s too late, and you just might find yourself soon in Austin!

unnamedOn April 7, Rand Paul formally announced his campaign for President. While many libertarians were eagerly awaiting that day for months or even years, others merely rolled their eyes at what they see as just another politician. Aside from a filibuster of the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan two years ago, this is the first time Rand has garnered significant national attention. But in contrast to most American voters, I have personal experience with Rand as a candidate, meeting him five years ago as part of Young Americans for Liberty’s Spring Break in Kentucky program.

In March 2010, I spent my spring break in the Louisville, Ky. area at a Lions Club camp. We received campaign training including attending lectures from influential figures around the country, stuffing envelopes, and conducting “Voter ID” door-to-door around Louisville, asking likely Republicans who they preferred for Senate (for which Rand was in the running along with challenger Trey Grayson) and several local races.

The highlight of the event was visiting a hotel in downtown Louisville and meeting Rand himself. He gave a stump speech on coal along with Grayson, who had no supporters while the Paul crowd consisted of a vociferous 80 supporters. In another speech he gave to us beforehand, he entertained questions from the audience. I was able to pose the final question, and asked about something that I had learned shortly before and that had surprised me: Rand opposed cutting defense spending. In his response, he said he would cut from other areas of the federal budget, but leave defense spending alone. Shortly afterwards, another participant remarked that they thought Rand gave a good answer. I reluctantly agreed, although I was skeptical. Indeed, Rand would flip-flop on this position the next year in a TV interview.

This taught me a valuable lesson about politics: Politicians usually say what others want to hear, especially within their target voting blocs, and not what they actually believe. Many people, especially libertarians, make too much out of simple one-liners and other actions, such as Rand’s endorsement of Mitt Romney for President in 2012. This is often both politically necessary and inconsequential. Other than Rand in that instance, endorsements seldom make news and are merely routine. Similarly, professing one set of beliefs during a primary and another during a general election is the political norm.

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Students For Liberty is pleased to announce our FreedomFest scholarship deadline: May 15th. Apply now for your chance to spend a long weekend in Vegas with some of the brightest students and thought leaders in the liberty movement.

In case you haven’t heard of it before, FreedomFest is the “world’s largest gathering of free minds” and brings together liberty-minded people to socialize, strategize, and celebrate liberty. This will be SFL’s sixth year bringing the best and brightest of the student movement to this mecca of liberty, and we want YOU to join us.

This year the festival will feature speakers such as John Stossel, Yeonmi Park, John Allison, Steve Forbes, John Mackey, Representative Justin Amash, and many more. You can even catch Steve Moore face off in a debate with Paul Krugman, the world’s most controversial Nobel laureate. Best of all, the conference will be packed with leaders of liberty like yourself to network and socialize with in one of America’s freest cities.

SFL will cover event registration and lodging at Planet Hollywood for all scholarship recipients and will also provide a $100 flight stipend for those in need of travel assistance. All other expenses will be the responsibility of the attendee.

So what are you waiting for? Apply today for your chance to join us in Las Vegas this July! While the deadline may be nearly a month away, we’re reviewing applications on a rolling basis. So, the sooner you apply, the better chances you’ll have to roll with SFL’s crew.