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Make headlines this summer—for liberty and your journalism career! Apply for the IHS Journalism Internship Program to put your writing skills to use, network with like-minded journalists, build an impressive portfolio, and learn how to turn your ideas into impact!

What’s in store for aspiring wordsmiths and media professionals:

  • An eight-week internship at a freedom-oriented newspaper, radio station, new media company, or non-profit newsroom.
  • Weeklong Journalism & a Free Society Seminar featuring lectures by top journalists and scholars.
  • Mentoring and job-placement consultation with industry experts.
  • Stipend, travel allowance, and housing assistance.

Apply today! Summer application deadline: January 31

Learn more and apply here

The Institute for Justice is seeking fellows for its spring & summer internship program. The Maffucci Fellowship is an incredible opportunity & I would encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Details for the fellowship are below:

The fellowship includes assisting with exciting research projects, helping track situations and legislation across the country, and providing valuable administrative support to staff on a variety of tasks. Fellows gain inimitable experience on the front lines of the fight for liberty.

The Maffucci Fellowships are full-time and the duration is flexible, from 3 to 6 months. Fellows receive a monthly stipend, and undergraduates are encouraged to attempt to obtain academic credit for their work.

Candidates should possess exceptional writing skills, be attentive to detail, and have a strong commitment to individual freedom as well as a familiarity with eminent domain abuse, free speech issues, school choice and economic liberty.

Please send a cover letter (detailing your interest in the fellowship that you prefer), resume, two letters of recommendation, and writing sample to the attention of:

Lancée Husebo Kurcab
Outreach Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
Fax – (703) 682-9321
Application Deadline: Rolling
Now accepting applications for Spring 2012 and Summer 2012

More information for IJ employment and internship opportunities: http://ij.org/jobs.

Be sure to check out SFL’s Internships Page for more options!

It has come to my attention that the belief in a spontaneous solidarity between individuals is fading in modern society. What strikes me most about this realization is the decline of a belief in spontaneous solidarity among some young classical liberals. I read this as a sign that our society has become too dependent on a strong government that redistributes wealth. It is a signal that our society is slowly losing the ability to imagine that solidarity is not dependent on enforcement by a big government. This, I find, is a dark prospect and it is time for change, before it’s too late!

I would like to explain my thoughts on spontaneous solidarity using an old – and, for some, controversial – example: the forced participation in social security such as unemployment benefits. This is a form of “forced solidarity” as I like to refer to it, forced upon us by the government, the electoral majority. Installing a system that implements certain securities for the less fortunate isn’t wrong, and I don’t detest solidarity as a concept. I do believe, however, that every individual should be free to choose if they are willing to participate and to what extent. I cannot accept the idea that this has to be forced by a government.

Let me explain what happened when I spoke about these ideas at a convention of young classical liberals in Flanders.  During a discussion on pensions, I tried to convey the idea that people should be allowed to indicate how they would like to participate and how much of their resources could be used for solidarity with their fellow men. The reactions this idea received were shocking to me, knowing they came from people who claimed to believe in liberty: “But then nobody will share anything!” “It’ll only work in a utopia,” etc.

The above event forced me to face the following question: “Why do people think this way?” My answer is directly linked to the current state of our society, and its link to the ever-expanding implementation of forced solidarity measures. It is quite obvious that, in a society in which people are forced to share their belongings with the less fortunate, an individual is not going to be willing to do it on his own. This is because he can claim the following reason not to: “I have already done my fair share by paying my taxes, it is the government’s responsibility to redistribute those in the best way possible.” This is the problem; our society is instilled with a mentality that is causing forced solidarity to expand. Knowing that the system of forced solidarity is showing cracks does not lessen the impact of this mentality.

The solution to this problem can only be found if one is brave enough to think outside the box in which our society has been trapped for too long; the solution is only to be found when one ignores the emotional propaganda used to support social security measures and their expansion. It is my strong belief that we are in dire need of a society based upon the idea that people will not hesitate to help others that are less fortunate. Such a society can only exist, however, when one is free from taxes, which are understood to free one of these moral duties. Without high taxation one would keep more of one’s earnings and thus be free to spend them. Having more freedom to do so and the lack of a system that automatically takes care of the moral duty of solidarity would, in my belief, cause one to help his brothers and sisters in need. That is spontaneous solidarity!

These ideas are not radical or weird; the moment we all realize this will be the moment we will move towards a more social, prosperous, and free society.

Bob van der Vleuten is originally from Turnhout, Belgium. He is studying Computer Science at Hasselt University. He is the Vice President of LVSV Hasselt, a Flemish classical liberal student organisation. Bob also keeps a blog with opinion pieces in Dutch. (bob.vandervleuten@lvsvhasselt.be)

This week’s webinar is with Dan D’Amico, Assistant Professor of Economics at Loyola University, New Orleans. Prof. D’Amico will be discussing “Comparative Political Economy when Anarchism is on the Table: A Response Essay to James C. Scott’s The Art of Not Being Governed

Wednesday, November 30 at 8pm (Eastern)

Register Here | Facebook Here

Participants are encouraged to read the paper here.

Daniel J. D’Amico completed his economics Ph.D. from George Mason University in 2008 with field examinations in Constitutional Political Economy and Austrian Economics. His doctoral dissertation, “The
Imprisoner’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Proportionate Punishment,” was awarded the Israel M. Kirzner Award for best dissertation in Austrian Economics by the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics.

Daniel’s research has been published in a variety of scholarly outlets including Public Choice, Advances in Austrian Economics, The Journal of Private Enterprise, and the Erasmus Journal of Philosophy and Economics. He sits on the editorial board of Studies in Emergent Order and is on the executive committee for the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics. Daniel is an affiliated scholar with The Ludwig von Mises Institute, the Molinari Institute, the workshop in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at George Mason University, and the INWARD Study Center on Urban Creativity at Sapienza University in Rome. Lastly, Daniel is a regular panelist on Freedom Watch hosted by Judge Andrew Napolitano – a daily national television show aired on the Fox Business network.

Daniel is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans and has received University awards for teaching, research and service. His current research is focused upon applying various political economy perspectives including Austrian Economics, Public Choice and New Institutional Economics to understand the processes of social change surrounding punishment and incarceration through history and in the United States today.

For more details and upcoming webinars, visit our webpage here: http://studentsforliberty.org/college/webinar-program/

Campus Coordinator Will Tew with the University of Florida Libertarians

As the fall semester winds down, student groups run the risk of losing steam. The November holidays followed by exams in December and then a several week break all demand the precious attention of group members. It’s important to maintain your group’s momentum through the winter break, especially if the group’s new leaders are inducted at the end of the fall semester. Fortunately, there are more than a few ways to stay active and engaged. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Have a rough plan for the next semester ready before the winter break. It doesn’t take long to cook one up, and it gives something for the group to work for.
  • Speaking of working for something, have a few projects which members can work on over break. Whether it’s submitting tabling permits or inviting speakers to the school, the tasks keep members connected to each other and the spring in their minds
  • Be active on Facebook. This might be the most effective way of keeping up your communication. Start debates in your Facebook group, chat with members individually—whatever works.
  • Volunteer.  Check out opportunities for volunteering at a soup kitchen, or put on a diaper, food, or toy drive.  We don’t need the state to ensure those less fortunate are taken care of!  This is the season for giving, and you can bond with your group members while putting your money (or time!) where your mouth is.