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We’re proud to announce the first ever European Students For Liberty Ukraine Summit, coming to Kiev on the weekend of October 25-26th, 2014.

 

This will be our first major event happening in the country, where we will hope to unite students, young people, and anyone interested in freedom to discuss peace, social and economic liberties, and the future of freedom in Ukraine.

 —

25-26 октября 2014 года в Киеве пройдет конференция “ЕВРОПЕЙСКИЕ СТУДЕНТЫ за свободу” в Украине.

 

На форуме в качестве спикеров выступят вице-президент Atlas Network Том Палмер, автор грузинских реформ, бывший министр экономики Каха Бендукидзе и другие известные гости. Также слово будет предоставлено студентам университетов Украины.

 

All are welcome to join!

 

  • When : 25-26 October 2014
  • Where : Kiev, Ukraine
  • Program : Coming soon
  • Sponsor : The Atlas Network
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : English, Ukrainian, and Russian
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Event link

SPEAKERS

Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks.

Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights.

He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy,EthicsCritical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesDie WeltCaixingAl Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author ofRealizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, published in 2009, and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism, published in 2011.

Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford.

Kakha Bendukidze is a Georgian statesman and businessman, and is a founder of Knowledge Fund, the founding organization of the Free University of Tbilisi and Agricultural University of Georgia.

After the Rose Revolution, he served as Georgian Minister of Economy (June–December 2004), Minister for Reform Coordination (December 2004 – January 2008) and Head of the Chancellery of Government of Georgia (February 2008 – February 2009).

Previously, he had served as Georgia’s economic development minister since 2004, state minister for reform co-ordination from 2004 to 2008 and head of the State Chancellery from 2008 to 2009.

Before embarking on his political career in the wake of the 2003 Rose Revolution, Mr. Bendukidze had been chief executive officer and chairman of OMZ, one of Russia’s largest heavy engineering companies, from 1996 to 2004. He had begun his career in the 1980s as a scientific researcher; in 1989 he co-founded the Bioprocess Corporation in Moscow and subsequently became chairman of the company. Mr. Bendukidze served as a Non-Executive Director at Aqua Bounty Technologies, Inc. from July 2012 until October 2012.

He graduated in biology and genetics from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi University and holds a postgraduate degree in molecular biology from Lomonosov Moscow State University.

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For more information, please contact conference director Viacheslav Dvornikov at vdvornikov@studentsforliberty.org or ESFL Program Manager Yaël Ossowski at yossowski@studentsforliberty.org.

Recently, a blogpost written two years ago by my friend Clint Townsend ‘Five mistakes libertarians should avoid‘ was wildly shared again. The problem many people had was with Clint’s statement that ‘The principle of foreign non-interventionism is not a precondition to being a libertarian.’ Clint goes on to argue that there is widespread disagreement and therefore that it’s not part of a litmus test. I hope this blogpost can clarify this issue a bit.

The key issue is – of course – that words matter. The dictionary definition broadly defines libertarianism as being pro liberty in all areas of life. However, if you use the Rothbardian definition and equate libertarianism wit the NAP (and thereby exclude all government action per se), ‘foreign intervention’ (usually a term associated with government policy) is a necessary implication. To turn this around, it also means that it is a precondition to be against foreign intervention if you want to qualify as a libertarian. (Or, at least, that you are not libertarian on that particular issue.) 

I personally don’t think that Rothbard’s definition is the best definition that truly captures the broad classical liberal/libertarian tradition. Hence, I have argued in the past for a different interpretation, that ‘libertarianism’, historically and currently, covers a tradition that is about “safe-guarding voluntary interaction, where the key mechanism to guard this is (broadly spoken) Lockean rights.” To expand on this

“The core question that libertarianism historically attempted to answer was: how can people with different views of the good life live together peacefully and cooperatively? This, to me, is the key emphasis on what libertarianism is (as well as why we are still, intellectually, cousins to modern day high liberalism (Rawls and all).”

I will add, immediately, that as president of the Belgian based Murray Rothbard Institute that I think Rothbard’s interpretation is, more or less, right. I think that in real life, libertarianism should aim for what Murray called ‘anarchy’ – a society where there is no monopoly on the use of force and or the deliberate creation of legislation, or, even different, competitive enterprises who provide law and security. This also means that I agree with Rothbard’s prudent and principled case against foreign non-intervention.

However, I think it’s – again, historically and currently – more accurate to say that Rothbardianism is a very important subdivision of libertarianism, rather than the core of it. When it comes to policies, I generally like Walter Block and Stephan Kinsella more than I like the proposals for Universal Basic Income from people like Zwolinski. (Which doesn’t mean I don’t want to have that discussion, but I just happen to think they are wrong.) One can think Rothbard is (broadly) correct in his conclusions, without thinking that one necessarily has to agree with Rothbard to be called a libertarian.

I hope by now it’s sort of clear from what angle that Clint’s statement came. If you take a broad view on what libertarianism is – and, again, I think this definition is more accurate, contra Rothbard – then it’s not necessary to be principled against foreign interventionism. (Just like it’s not necessary to be principled against ‘the government existing’.) However, there is another important aspect and that is, obviously, the prudential question.

Just because Objectivists are in favor of a minimal government, doesn’t mean that anything can be justified even if it falls within the case of a ‘minimal government’. Similarly, even if you think that in principle there is nothing wrong with intervening in other countries, it doesn’t follow that you think is prudent.

Let me be clear: I think the principled case in favor of (government) non-interventionism is true.I disagree – fundamentally, prudentially and principally – with those who advocate foreign intervention (even in very, very limited cases). However, it doesn’t necessary follow that they aren’t libertarians. I just think they are wrong for advocating it. And plausible even dangerously wrong in some cases.

I am also happy to report that most, if not all, SFL’ers share a deep skepticism about justifications for foreign interventionism by governments everywhere. This doesn’t mean that some SFL’ers aren’t more open to some kinds of interventionism, than others. But even there is a small difference, I’d argue.

I think – but feel free to disagree – that there is still an important difference between justifying government action for a cause that is not inherently evil relative to a cause that is. I am allowed to defend myself. If a police officer – I do understand the fictional nature of the argument, but let’s suppose – defends me (while being on tax money), this is not an inherently evil cause, but it’s supported with evil means (taxation). Similarly, some ‘foreign intervention’ goals – such as: overthrowing the North Korean regime, or even assassinating dictators – doesn’t seem inherently problematic (but it is highly problematic that is done by government), whilst advocating foreign genocide (as you, for example, sometimes hear on both sides of the Israel/Gaza discussion) is.

It is in the former category that some libertarians can be persuaded that foreign military intervention can be justified. ‘We have the army, so why not use it for good causes’. Again: I think this opinion is highly problematic, but I have no need to define these people out of the movement. I do want to convince them of the general error of their ways, and if they want to be persuaded, a good (prudent) case against this, is Chris Coyne’s After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy.

One more note of caution. The ‘libertarian’ movement is not in danger because we – at SFL – refuse to define people out of the libertarian movement. Libertarian is only a word. Can we please stop focussing on how SFL defines libertarianism – we have had this debate, really – and start focussing on: why do people favor certain positions and explaining why (you think) they are wrong?

Lode Cossaer received master’s degrees in philosophy from the University of Antwerp and the Catholic University of Leuven and is currently working on a PhD proposal.

He teaches economics in Brussels, at a private business school. Cossaer was a political officer of the LVSV. He is an executive board member of European Students For Liberty and president of the Murray Rothbard in Belgium.

  • When : 6 December 2014
  • Where : Istanbul
  • Host : 3H Hareketi
  • Conference : 9h – 19h
  • Social : 22h
  • Program : Coming soon
  • Sponsor : Rising Tide Foundation
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : English and Turkish
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Event Link

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

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  • When : 29 November 2014
  • Where : Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung e.V.
  • Host : Münchner Libertarier
  • Conference : 9h – 19h
  • Social : 22h
  • Program : Coming soon
  • Sponsor : Rising Tide Foundation
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : German and English
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Event link

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

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  • When : 22 November 2014
  • Where : University of Belgrade
  • Host : Libek and Studenti za slobodu
  • Conference : 9h – 19h
  • Social : 22h
  • Program : Coming soon
  • Sponsor : Rising Tide Foundation
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : English
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Event link

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Matt Kibbe is the President and CEO of FreedomWorks, a national grassroots organization that serves citizens in their fight for more individual freedom and less government control. An economist by training, Kibbe is a well-respected policy expert, bestselling author and political commentator, and a regular guest on CNN, Fox News, The Blaze TV and MSNBC.

He also serves as Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Austrian Economic Center in Vienna, Austria. Dubbed “the scribe” by the New York Daily News, Kibbe is author of Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America, (2012) and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (2010).

According to Slate Magazine, “Kibbe…looks like Billy Bob Thornton cleaned up for a Job interview,” and is prone to wonkish pronouncements regarding music, philosophy and beer.

Terry, his awesome wife of 27 years, takes no responsibility for his many mistakes or frequent embarrassments.

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  • When : 15 November 2014
  • Where : University of Iceland
  • Host : Heimdallur
  • Conference : 9h – 19h
  • Social : 22h
  • Program : coming soon
  • Sponsor : Rising Tide Foundation
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : English
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Event link

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

GENERAL SPEAKERS

Hannes H. Gissurarson is professor of politics at the University of Iceland. He served on the board of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1998–2004 and on the Supervisory Board of the Central Bank of Iceland in 2001–9.

He received a B.A. in philosophy and history and an M.A. in history from the University of Iceland, and a D.Phil. in politics from the University of Oxford.

In Iceland, he founded the Libertarian Alliance which brought F. A. Hayek, J. M. Buchanan and both Friedmans, Milton and David, to Iceland. At Oxford, he was the R.G. Collingwood Scholar at Pembroke College 1984–5, and one of the founders of the Oxford Hayek Society.

He has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, UCLA, George Mason University, LUISS in Rome, ICER in Turin and universities and institute in Japan and Brazil. A regular commentator on Icelandic affairs for the Wall Street Journal, he has published two books in English, Hayek’s Conservative Liberalism, his doctoral dissertation, and Overfishing: The Icelandic Solution, on the application of private property rights in fisheries. In Icelandic, he has published more than 15 books on various subjects, such as political history and political theory. At present, he is writing a book in English on the Icelandic 2008 bank collapse.

In 1991–2004, he was an informal adviser to the Icelandic centre-right government which implemented comprehensive economic reforms, reducing taxes, privatising, liberalising and stabilising. Since 2012, he has been the academic director of the Icelandic Research Centre for Innovation and Economic Growth, RNH.

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  • When : 8 November 2014
  • Where : Warsaw School of Economics
  • Host : Civil Development Forum (FOR)
  • Conference : 9h – 19h
  • Social : 22h
  • Program : Coming soon
  • Sponsor : Rising Tide Foundation
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : English
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Link event

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Leszek Balcerowicz – economist, professor at the Warsaw School of Economics (Szkoła Główna Handlowa), MBA at the Saint John’s University in New York. Author of the economic reforms in Poland that were commenced after the fall of communism in 1989.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the first non-communist Polish government after the Second World War (1989-1991) and in the years 1997-2000. Chairman of the National Bank of Poland in the years 2000-2007. He was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa title at 20 Polish and foreign universities.

Author of over 100 publications on economics published both in Poland and abroad. Awarded with many Polish and foreign prestigious prizes and honors – including the Order of the White Eagle, the highest possible Polish decoration, awarded to Leszek Balcerowicz for his input in the systemic transformation in Poland.

In 2007 he founded the Civil Development Forum Foundation (FOR) of which he is the Council Chairman.

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Questions? Contact Krzysztof Kowalski at kkowalski@studentsforliberty.org.

  • When : 8 November 2014
  • Where : Università cattolica di Milano
  • Host : Italian Students For Individual Liberty
  • Conference : 9h – 19h
  • Social : 22h
  • Program : Coming soon
  • Sponsor : Rising Tide Foundation
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : English
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Event link

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Pascal Salin is a French free market economist, professoremeritus at the Université Paris-Dauphine and a specialist in public finance and monetary economics.

He is a former president of the Mont Pelerin Society (1994 to 1996).

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  • When : 25 October 2014
  • Where : University of Cologne
  • Host : Kölsche Libertarier
  • Conference : 9h – 19h
  • Social : 22h
  • Program : Coming soon
  • Sponsor : Rising Tide Foundation
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : German and English
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Event link

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks.

Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights.

He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy,EthicsCritical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesDie WeltCaixingAl Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author ofRealizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, published in 2009, and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism, published in 2011.

Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford

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  • When : 25 October 2014
  • Where : TBD
  • Host : ESFL Spain
  • Conference : 9h – 19h
  • Social : 22h
  • Program : Coming soon
  • Sponsor : Rising Tide Foundation
  • Registration cost : Free!
  • Language : Spanish and English
  • Dress Code : Business casual
  • Facebook: Link event

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

James W. Lark, III is a professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering and the Applied Mathematics program in the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. He has also served as a professor in the Department of Statistics and the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

In addition, he has served as Assistant to the Athletics Director for Special Projects at the University of Virginia. He has served as a visiting scholar in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley and the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition, he has served as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice at Virginia Tech and at the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business at the University of Rochester.

His current research projects include risk analysis in financial markets, collective decision making processes, applications of Markov decision processes, and operator theory. His solution procedure for finite-horizon partially observed Markov decision processes is known in the research literature as the “Lark algorithm” (or “Lark filtering algorithm”).

Dr. Lark serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Self-Government. He is the secretary of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Individual Liberty. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Fundacja Wolnosci I Przedsiebiorczosci) in Poland.

He is a member of the (United States) Libertarian Party’s national committee, and served as the Libertarian Party’s national chairman during the 2000-2002 term.

GENERAL SPEAKERS

Alex Chafuen serves as President of Atlas Network and has previously served as President and CEO from 1991-2009, and was elected to its Board in 2009.

He is also the president and founder of the Hispanic American Center of Economic Research and is the author of Faith and Liberty. He serves on the boards of the Chase Foundation, the Acton Institute, and the Fraser Institute.

A graduate of the Argentina Catholic University, he was Associate Professor at the Argentine Catholic University, University of Buenos Aires, and The Hispanic American University, CA.

He is a Trustee for Grove City College, PA.

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