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davies1With the Supreme Court of Canada preparing a landmark ruling on euthanasia and assisted-suicide in regards to the Carter v. Canada case, the question on whether or not an individual has the right-to-die is reemerging in Canada. Countries like Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Colombia have all successfully implemented right-to-die legislation, but currently the Criminal Code of Canada constitutes euthanasia and assisted-suicide (similarities and differences are noted here) as “murder” liable to 14 years of imprisonment. Throughout the decades, there has been a lot of opposition to this classification as illiberal and unethical. While their advocacy was ignored for many years, the tide seems to be turning in favor of right-to-die legislation. Last June, Quebec became the first province to pass right-to-die legislation, which treats euthanasia as part of end-of-life care, though it has been met with opposition by religious groups and the federal government. This sparked calls to re-examine the current federal legislation regarding euthanasia and assisted-suicide, prompting the upcoming review by the Supreme Court. But why does the right-to-die legislation matter so much and why should it be supported?

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     “As such, the least practicable measure of government must be the best. Anything beyond the minimum must be oppression.”~ The God of the Machine.

paterson2Born on January 22, 1886, Isabel Paterson is undoubtedly not as widely known as she deserves to be. Of course, we all know Ayn Rand but did you know that Rand admitted she owed an intellectual debt to Paterson? Well, you see, someone had to teach Rand about the wonders of the free market, and that teacher was Isabel Paterson. Paterson led a young group of writers in the late 1930s, and she would stay up all night long answering all of Rand’s and Rose Wilder Lane’s questions.

Paterson, Rand, and Lane, are considered to be the three founding mothers of libertarianism in America. So besides tutor those two ladies all night, what exactly did Paterson do? Paterson is noted for being a journalist, novelist, political philosopher, and a literary critic. According to her biographer, Stephen Cox, Paterson is the “earliest progenitor of libertarianism as we know it today.” She wrote about free trade and opposed the major economic program of her time, known as the New Deal. Paterson was in favor of less government involvement in both economic and social issues.

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“The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.” -George Orwell

George_Orwell_press_photoBorn in the height of British Imperialism, author Eric Arthur Blair began using the pseudonym George Orwell to signify a shift from being a pillar of the establishment into that of a literary rebel. Known for works criticizing and warning of totalitarian dangers, Orwell’s work has endured in classrooms and intellectual circles to present day.

Orwell was born in 1903 in India, to a lower-middle class family in the civil service. He was sent to a Sussex boarding school, where he was reportedly distinguished from other boys by his brilliance, and continued his education at Eton. During his years at Eton, he studied under thes writer Aldous Huxley (author of Brave New World and other satirical works).  After college, he joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma and served in many imperial stations for at time. However, as he saw how oppressed the Burmese were by the imperial state and how they were being ruled against their will, he felt increasingly ashamed of his position and resigned.

After leaving, he felt guilty for being so far removed, in class and station, from the Burmese people and tried to immerse himself in the poor of England to better understand their situation. He wrote at length at his experiences working  and living in the slums, and his career as a writer began with works like Down and Out in Paris and London (1933). His rejection of “bourgeois” (upper-class) lifestyle led to a political reorientation, and after returning from Burma he began calling himself an anarchist, and eventually a socialist (though he was far too libertarian in his thinking to take the next step of calling himself a communist, and was virulently anti-Stalinist.)

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Join the Cato Institute in New York City on January 29th for a special morning event!

The special half-day “Can We End Poverty?” conference will bring together a diverse group of panelists to consider the successes and failures of LBJ’s “War on Poverty” and private charitable alternatives to government welfare.

Speakers include John Allison, John McWhorter, Michael Tanner, and others. Learn more and register for free here!

What: Can We End Poverty conference
Who: John Allison, John McWhorter, Michael Tanner, and more!
When: Thursday, January 29th from 8:30am-12:15pm
Where: Columbia University, Roone Arledge Auditorium

yeonmi_park_titleOn February 13-15th, over 1,500 students and activists will converge on the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. for the 8th annual International Students For Liberty Conference. It will be an exceptional weekend that acts as part pep rally, part classroom, part strategy session, and all fun. The weekend features a filming of the Stossel show, a “History of the Libertarian Movement” exhibit, a pro-liberty art show, over 60 partner organizations, and much more.

While the list of speakers is certainly impressive (Ron Paul, Judge Napolitano, Nick Gillespie, Rep. Justin Amash, Rep. Jared Pollis, Vera Kichanova, Tom Palmer, Jeffrey Tucker, Grover Norquist, and many more), I think that no speaker should garner more attention than 21-year old North Korean defector Yeonmi Park. Students For Liberty is honored to have Ms. Park speak on her life experiences in North Korea and her harrowing escape from the worlds most oppressive societies.

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