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The following is a post from Calvin Tran, one of SFL’s Campus Coordinators. 

May 9, Monday, one night only — I directed a play.

It was incredibly dark and poignant — a biographical play about Harry Pauly, a gay man who survived true horror during the Holocaust.

You can watch it here:

It took only about 3 weeks to produce, although I should probably have chunked out a bit more time for this. Thankfully, the script was written by a good friend of mine and I had a great team behind me to get this project done. It really was a great experience working with all these moving parts — the producer helped me land a location, my art director handled all the costuming and props, my actors brought their own intuitions to the table. Truly something I feel proud to have been a part of.

Why did I produce and direct a play?

I’m a film student, so technically theater is still pretty far out of my expertise. I mainly wanted to do a play because I just got sick of doing student films about New York City relationships that ‘go sour,’ but I think that question hints at a bigger question — why did I choose to be a filmmaker and not an economist?beforeyou1

Those who know me when I was applying for university know I have two passions — economics (which I had discovered with the whole fervor of the 2012 Ron Paul run) and filmmaking, which I had picked up when I was in the fifth grade. Both seemed like plausible career paths, but at some point, I realized — I’m so fucking sick of politics — and there’s no way being an economist could ever be non-political.

And you know, electoral politics has nothing to do with policy prescription or discourse. With this current election cycle as the most apparent example, no one gives a shit about any actual legislation being debated (if any) — it’s all running on culture. This is a battle of “my culture against yours,” my framework of ethics against yours, Rightism with its back against the wall versus academia-dominated Leftism. (more…)

The following is a message from our friends at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. 

FIRE is thrilled to announce that our eighth annual FIRE Student Network (FSN) Conference will take place this year from July 15–17 in Philadelphia.

FIREFIRE’s annual conference is a weekend-long workshop designed to teach students about their rights on campus—and provide the tools to assert and defend them. Our conference brings together college students from around the country and across the ideological spectrum who share a passion for free speech and due process. Attendees will learn to protect and celebrate their civil liberties and will be able to take what they learned at the conference back to their campuses.

In addition to our two keynote speakers, whom we will be announcing soon, the 2016 FSN conference will feature dynamic and interactive workshops by FIRE staff. Working directly with attendees, FIRE staffers will educate students about the First Amendment and provide practical lessons about how to successfully stand up for their rights on campus.

The conference will open with a reception on Friday afternoon and close with lunch on Sunday. It is free to attend and open to current students at U.S. colleges and universities, including graduate students and incoming freshmen. Housing and meals will be provided. Travel reimbursement for up to $300 per student will be available to help students travel to and from Philadelphia.

For more information, visit thefire.org/conference. Space fills up quickly, so apply today! We hope to see you in Philadelphia this summer!

This year’s Casey Youth Conference on Liberty and Entrepreneurship (CYCLE)  —  set for July 4-8, 2016 — is shaping up to be the best one yet! With a roster of teachers like Liberty.me’s Jeffrey Tucker, Atlas Network VP (and all-around inspiration) Tom Palmer, and Healing Our World author Dr. Mary Ruwart, it’s sure to be an engaging event. The conference’s unique structure (and online presence) always provides for interesting conversation and collaboration between teachers and participants. cycle-banner-2015

Some SFL leaders will be speaking as well! Wolf von Laer, our director of professional development, will be speaking on emotional intelligence and ESFL Programs Director Yaël Ossowski will both speak during the conference and make an appearance on CYCLE founder Lobo Tiggre’s Liberty.me show for a chat.

The conference’s history is pretty interesting as well. Against the backdrop of the Soviet Union, the seminar originated as the “Liberty English Camp” in the woods of Lithuania. Under the auspices of teaching English, it served as a means of teaching people about liberty. These yearly seminars were later renamed the Casey Youth Conference on Liberty and Entrepreneurship: CYCLE and so continue today.

While the event itself takes place in Trakai Lithuania, it will also be broadcast world-wide via Liberty.me. Everyone and anyone interested is welcome to participate. You can find more information here, and feel free to contact Lobo Tiggre with any questions at [email protected].

  • What: CYCLE 2016
  • When: July 4-8, 2016  
  • Where: Trakai, Lithuania (or on your computer)

Register Now

hands-41338_960_720It’s kind of a trick question. The philosophy of anarchy, like most areas of thought, is nuanced and diverse. There’s a lot to explore in this rich intellectual tradition and SFL’s next upcoming Virtual Reading Group is designed to do just that. We can’t promise that you’ll have a clearer idea of how to answer this question after the experience, but we can promise you’ll learn a lot about different anarchist theorists and work through some of the practical problems of anarchism as a group.

While some associate anarchism with violence and chaos, most philosophical proponents of anarchism have something more subtle in mind – and not always the same thing. The readings for this program explore how social order and legal systems can arise independently of centralized political authority and in fact avoid violence and chaos. The selected readings are a combination of theoretical and historical studies, allowing us to discuss both the logical coherence and the practicality of proposed approaches to non-state social order.

Apply now to join this next VRG: Anarchy: Theory and Practice with Dr. Aeon Skoble of Bridgewater State University

Meeting times are: Tuesdays, June 7 – July 12 12pm EDT
Application deadline: Friday, June 3

Apply Now

NoNanny Chocolat eIt’s time for us to take a stand. As a Canadian myself, I witness the over-reaching nanny state here in Canada everyday. Today, I want to give you an opportunity to join me in pushing back against over-regulation.

Myself and other SFLers are going to be on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday May 31st to mock the growing number of nanny state regulations in Canada and we would love for you to join us! We plan on starting at 9:00am.

If you interested in helping educate people on Parliament Hill and taking a stand against the ever-growing nanny state, simply email me at [email protected]

Also, if you are in need of travel assistance to get to Ottawa, please let me know!