Quantcast
Learn More
Find A Leader
Support SFL
Make a Donation Join the Network Attend an Event Start a Group

The following was written by Linda Kavuka, an African Students For Liberty Executive Board Member. 

The Women For Liberty Seminar held on October 11th at the University of Nairobi was the first of its kind in Kenya. It attracted over 50 participants, with some traveling from as far as Eldoret (6 hours away) and Kitui (3 hours away), both out of town. The fact that women were the target audience also did not deter men from attending. The conversations that came up were very interesting, as the participants challenged each other, asked questions, and came up with solutions to the highlighted issues. This particular audience was very inspiring, being made up of ladies and gents form different schools and faculties of study. Liberty and Leadership formed the agenda for the day as this seminar was taking a different approach from the usual tired topics. Women have been empowered and it is time for young ladies to stop complaining and take advantage of the numerous opportunities accorded to them thanks to increased educational opportunities in the developing world. It is time for women to contest for leadership positions in society, politics, and the economy. (more…)

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

“A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.” – Oscar Wilde.

Who: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish writer and poet. He is popular today because of the intensity with which he lived his life and because of the wit and wisdom he showed in his writings, especially his plays and epigrams.

Why he matters: Wilde considered himself a libertarian socialist and even though he had mixed ideologies, his main concern was reaching an individualist society focused on individual flourishing and enlightenment. He thought that altruism was a false cure to poverty and that the way to eradicate it was through competition. Wilde stressed the difference between authoritarian socialism and individual socialism, advocating for a more libertarian approach. His major libertarian work is his poem A Sonnet to Liberty, and after reading some works of Peter Kropotkin he declared himself an anarchist. The British government ruined Wilde’s life by imprisoning him two years under the charge of homosexual acts. After being released, both his health and career decayed.

If you only read one thing: Read The Importance of Being Earnest, which is a satire on society’s morals and obligations of the time.

Major works available online:

Learn more about Wilde:

Introduction to Wilde and his World 

The Religion and Political Views of Oscar Wilde

70 Brilliant Oscar Wilde Quotes

Oscar Wilde in America

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t consider myself a politically correct person. I curse. I enjoy Cards Against Humanity and South Park. My sense of humor is not always appropriate in mixed company. After all, why should I bother with political correctness when it’s all just left-wing propaganda used to stifle my right to free speech? No one has the right to not be offended.

I used to think that there was absolutely nothing remotely libertarian about political correctness; I thought the idea was directly contrary to freedom of speech, which should always take top priority. Like most things, it’s not that simple. On the one hand, freedom of expression is one of the primary tenants of libertarianism, but on the other, so is respecting the dignity of the individual. Should we really defend those who knowingly and unapologetically say things that might demean others? Besides, campaigns such as the Spread the Word to End Word campaign, don’t advocate for a government that punishes citizens for saying offensive words, but instead aim to educate the public about why certain words are offensive so that people will change their behavior voluntarily.

Ultimately, if I say something that offends someone, that someone has every right to tell me they’re offended and ask me to stop. That person’s right to speak out in favor political correctness is just as valid as my right to be politically incorrect. It’s true that no one really has the right to “not be offended,” an argument I commonly hear from those who dislike political correctness. However, I rarely hear about the opposite right, the right to be offended by someone else’s speech, and more importantly, the right to say something about it.

(more…)

The following is a guest post by SFL Campus Coordinator Chance  M.E. Davies.

This year, Canadians will be welcoming between 240,000 and 265,000 new immigrants into our country. The rationale for such is that Canada has a large shortage in its labor market: one that our domestic labor force simply cannot fill. My problem is not that the immigration rates are too high, but rather that they aren’t high enough. The Canadian government prioritizes giving permanent residency to skilled immigrants, but completely neglects the benefits of having unskilled labor. There are three broad categories for immigrants in Canada: Economic Immigrants, Family Class, and Refugees. With 63% of the accepted permanent residents for 2014 being considered Economic Immigrants, I find this disregard for the unskilled unsettling.

From 1902 to 1914, Canada saw immigration boom to the highest rates in its history, with 2.85 million newcomers calling Canada home (for context, Canada had a population of nearly 5.5 million people). Some of the factors for this increase in immigration to Canada had to do with the new advances in the Canadian economy opening up economic opportunity, (railroads, dry-land farming, the Yukon Gold Rush etc.) which the Canadian government promoted immigrants to take advantage of. During this time, expansion across western Canada accelerated phenomenally and the economy followed suit with rapid growth. Industrialization became paramount in the early 20th century. It shouldn’t be surprising that these economic developments across Canada coincided with high immigration rates. Economic immigrants saw the opportunity to capitalize on this expansion to bring a better life to their families, whether they lived in Canada or not, and the Canadian economy thrived because of immigrants putting labor back into our development as a country. We still see the effects of this wave of immigration today through the colorful mosaic of people that contribute to the diversity that Canada is famous for.

(more…)

The follow is a guest post by Matthew La Corte, SFL North American Executive Board co-chair and Young Voices Advocate.

This week, the new documentary Time is Illmatic was released nationwide. The film chronicles the lead-up of rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones’s debut album Illmatic in 1994 and his journey from the Queensbridge Projects of New York City to the upper echelon of hip-hop heavyweights. The movie features music from arguably the greatest rap album of all time and appearances from some of hip hop’s most legendary characters. More importantly, the film powerfully depicts  the lost generations of young black men and broken families created by the US criminal justice and prison system. Prison reform must be adopted to prevent future generations from experiencing this vicious cycle.

During a poignant scene in the film, Nas examines a photo taken during the initial Illmatic photoshoot back in 1994. Nas recounts gathering friends and neighbors from Queensbridge to take part in the photoshoot. One picture stands out where fifteen young black men are posing for the camera. Nas tearfully explains that out of those fifteen men in that picture, fourteen spent time in prison, are in prison, or are currently engaged in legal troubles, with Nas being the only exception. This picture illuminates the destruction of entire generations of young black men removed from society due to the punitive prison system.

The US has just five percent of the world’s population but incarcerates more than a quarter of its prisoners. The US does not just lead in number of imprisoned but it has a rate of incarceration that is five times the world average. The social impact of these statistics is staggering. A United Nations report explains that when a member of a family is imprisoned, the disruption that occurs alters relationships between spouses, parents, and children. This results in a “reshaping of the family and community across generations.” They conclude that mass imprisonment produces a deep social transformation on families and communities.

(more…)