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Little Guides to Big Ideas is an SFL educational series introducing important libertarian thinkers. Each post is written to give liberty-minded students a starting point to learn from the great movers and shakers who have contributed to the ideas of liberty. The entire Little Guide to Big Ideas series can be found here

“Every time government attempts to handle our affairs, it costs more and the results are worse than if we had handled them ourselves.” - Benjamin Constant.

Who: Benjamin Constant (1767-1830) was a Swiss-French politician, who wrote about politics and religion. He is recognized as the first liberal and probably the first person who understood that the biggest threat to liberty is political power.

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This post is part of a new “Student Spotlight” SFL blog series in which we honor the best and brightest student activists in our network by highlighting the top student, group, and event of the week and share their accomplishments to inspire other leaders to step up their game in advancing the cause of liberty.

Congratulations to Linda Kavuka, Rachael Wamae, Calvins Anundo, Belinder Odek, Marylize Buibwa, and the rest of the students involved in organizing SFL’s chosen event of the week, the first ever Women For Liberty Seminar in Nairobi, Kenya.

Encouraged by libertarian principles and the yearning to implement them in their society, Linda and her group have been creating events to educate and inspire young people. Since Africa is still very socially conservative, they often have to choose their words carefully to be able to attract big audiences and share what liberty means without any problem. Linda shared with us her view that few African women have occupied leadership positions because so many women in Africa, especially the eldest women, are illiterate due to tradition and religion. The first Women For Liberty Seminar in Nairobi was organized with a specific objective:  inspire young women to rise, lead, and take on leadership roles in their societies.

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When organizing events, it’s really easy to try to toss something together as quickly as possible, or to forget details in the planning process. Here are some of my tried and true tips for planning events on college campuses.

Think in terms of objectives, not events. Whenever you, or anyone in your club, comes up with an idea for an event, the first thing you should do is clarify the objective of the event. Is it simply to have fun? Or are you looking to raise money or recruit new members? Maybe you want to create awareness for a given issue? All are perfectly acceptable objectives, but make sure that everyone involved is on the same page. After you decide on an objective, ask yourself: is this event idea really the best way to reach that goal? There may be a more effective or more affordable way of accomplishing the same thing. Once you pick an objective, think of some way to measure it. If the goal is to recruit new members, are you going to measure success by how many people sign up for your email list or how many special event attendees come to your next meeting? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question, but everyone working on the event should have the same understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Don’t be too quick to commit to your ideas. Generally speaking, it’s better to have fewer events that are all great than a lot of events that are mediocre. So don’t jump in head first with every idea you have; Test the waters first. Ask people on campus if they would attend such an event or if they’re willing to volunteer their time in order to make that event happen. If you’re planning on charging money, try to get an idea of what people are willing to pay. You may find that the event wouldn’t be as popular as you’d hoped, in which case it’s better to discover that before you invest the time and energy in making the event happen. You may find that your good idea only needs a few simple tweaks to become an event the entire school will talk about for years to come. Either way, try to get some preliminary reaction from the student body before you get too far along in the planning process. You can use some of the research tips I discussed in a previous article to help you with this.

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Little Guides to Big Ideas is an SFL educational series introducing important libertarian thinkers. Each post is written to give liberty-minded students a starting point to learn from the great movers and shakers who have contributed to the ideas of liberty. The entire Little Guide to Big Ideas series can be found here

“The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime.” - Max Stirner, quoted in The Great Quotations (1960) by George Seldes.

Who: Max Stirner (1806-1856) was a German philosopher whose works are recognized as a precursor to nihilism, existentialism, and individualist anarchism. He undertook many different challenges as an author, including the translation of Adams Smith’s Wealth of Nations and Jean-Baptiste Say’s Treatise on Political Economy into German. His philosophy was polemical because it rested on individualism, egoism, and rationality. In Stirner’s words, “to be free is to be one’s own creature and one’s own creation.”

Why he matters: Stirner challenged the logic of the philosophical and political grounds of his time, advocating for individualism and anarchism. His philosophy had a destructive impact to left-Hegelianism, an ideological current that had a significant role on the intellectual development of Karl Marx. He is the father of contemporary individualist anarchism and he is highly respected as an intellectual who fought against the predominant ideas of his time to free himself.

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The following was written by Milica Pandzic, an EsLibertad Executive Board Member.

The Latin American EsLibertad Conference 2014: The Path of Freedom was the event of the year for libertarian students in Latin America. It was held in Guatemala on October 10-12 at the libertarian mecca, the Francisco Marroquín University (UFM), and attracted over 650 attendees coming from places as far away as the US and Argentina.

The name of the conference, “The Path of Freedom,” was chosen because freedom has not been a static element throughout history, but rather, the possibility of its exercise has been a progressive evolution over time. Likewise, each of us has our own path through which we have fallen in love with liberty. The conference merged these two concepts: the premise that freedom will never come spontaneously, so we have to constantly fight for it; and that this event was a step forward on our personal path that would strengthen our yearn for freedom.

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