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This past weekend the 2011 Chicago Regional Conference kicked off SFL’s Fall Regional Conference line up! Over 140 students and guests traveled from across the Midwest to the University of Chicago (home of Milton Friedman) to hear from professors, activists and the some of the top leaders in the pro-liberty movement today.

David Hart speaks on war and the modern state at the conference

Saturday was kicked off with a rousing presentation by Lynne Kiesling, a professor from Northwestern, who is a regular presenter at Institute for Humane Studies seminars and is widely respected for her work in free-market economics, especially in energy policy. Students also got the chance to attend a variety of breakout sessions throughout the day on topics ranging from the drug war to international trade policy to education reform. Other speakers throughout the action-packed day included David Hart of Liberty Fund and former Michigan politician, Leon Drolet.

The closing keynote for the conference was John Tillman, the CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. Tillman, who has built IPI from a small operation into a well-respected think tank, spoke with hope on how the next generation of activists, scholars and leaders in the movement can more effectively spread the message of liberty.

Javonni Butler (left) and Matt Needham discuss techniques for successful student organizing on the activism panel along with Tony Hennen (not picture).

Additionally, attendees got the chance to hear from fellow student leaders on the campus activism panel where they learned best practices for student group organizing. The conference also played host to an informational student lead debate that addressed the merits of the Chicago School of Economics versus the Austrian School of Economics.

Many of our partner organizations attended, such as the Institute for Humane Studies (who sponsored the conference social), the Foundation for Economic Education and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Students got the chance to discuss opportunities with these organizations as well as take home tons of free stuff! Students who attended the conference will be bringing back more than just books and stickers to their campuses, however. They now have even more tools to promote liberty at their schools and their own understanding of these ideas has been greatly enhanced.

Attendees of the 2011 Chicago Students For Liberty Regional Conference

I would sincerely like to thank all of our speakers and partner organizations for making the conference such an incredible success and supporting the student movement for liberty.  And for all of the attendees, it was a pleasure meeting so many of you and we hope to see everyone in D.C. in February at this year’s International SFL Conference.

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), one of the oldest free-market organizations in the United States, is currently seeking an Assistant Director of Programs at their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Assistant Director of Programs will have three main roles:
1. Event Planner
2. Public Relations Representative
3. Marketing Coordinator

The Assistant Director will help to plan and execute FEE’s annual summer seminars, in addition to any events that take place during the spring and fall. The end goal will be to provide improved programming to the maximum number of students within the provided budget.

As a public relations representative, the Assistant Director of Programs will serve as the face of FEE, developing relationships with potential students and faculty. The end goal will be to ensure FEE has maximum exposure across the groups of individuals involved with the summer seminar program and other events.

Finally, the Assistant Director will be responsible for helping to coordinate, direct, and disseminate marketing efforts for the summer seminars and other events that occur throughout the year. The end goal for the marketing should be to increase the number of applicants for the summer seminars each year.

The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes:

  • 1 – 5 years of work experience, preferably in a related role
  • Experience in event planning, marketing, program management, and relationship building
  • Ability to teach simple economic concepts and run occasional educational events (explain, start and monitor educational simulations)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills with a keen attention to detail
  • Ability to multitask
  • Penchant for working in a fast-paced and growing environment
  • Understanding of the liberty movement and comprehension of the freedom philosophy
    Bachelor’s degree

For more information on this job and how to apply, please click here

For other jobs available within the liberty movement, please go to http://talentmarket.org/

Be sure to tune-in tonight at 8pm EST for the “How to Run a Successful Student Organization” Webinar!

This webinar will delve into what truly makes an effective pro-liberty student organization. SFL Leaders Alexander Falkenstein, Karina Zannat, Kelly Jemison, and Liya Palagashvili will discuss the key aspects of running a successful student organization — such as running events, marketing your group on campus, recruiting new membership, identifying core leaders, transitioning leadership and much more! The webinar will be discussion-based so come prepared with your questions!

Wednesday October 5th at 8pm EST

Topic: How to Run a Successful Student Organization

Register Here | Facebook Event Here

To view all October webinars, visit our webpage here:http://studentsforliberty.org/college/webinar-program/

When you first discover libertarianism, there are certain names that jump out. It’s important to learn from intellectual giants like Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard, but there are many unsung heroes that are also worth exploring. In this educational series, we hope to introduce students to such individuals. While not all of the figures profiled here explicitly identified as libertarian, they made great contributions to the cause of liberty that are worth acknowledging. The author of this post is Christine Marie Dixon. 

José Rizal was a national hero of the Philippines whose writings about freedom and individual liberty infuriated the nation’s Spanish conquerors and ultimately led to his execution.

José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda was born to a wealthy family in 1861. He studied throughout Europe and Asia, spoke 22 languages, and was trained in law and medicine.

Though he was executed as a revolutionary, Rizal never attempted to incite rebellion. His writings called for reform of the Spanish colonial system and advocated for the Philippines to become a province of Spain and have representation within its legislature rather than be colonized. He advocated equal rights for Filipinos who were often mistreated by their conquerors and supported freedom of speech and assembly. In a letter to the women of Malolos, Rizal declares that “All men are born equal, naked, without bonds. God did not create man to be a slave; nor did he endow him with intelligence to have him hoodwinked, or adorn him with reason to have him deceived by others.”

Rizal recognized that Filipinos would never truly be accepted as equals by the Spanish and attempted to preserve a Filipino identity under their rule, claiming that “while a people preserves its language: it preserves the marks of liberty.” He also created La Liga Filipina, a mutual aid and self-help group aimed at reform.

His writings, affiliation with individuals who also criticized Spanish rule, and attempts to preserve Filipino identity marked him as a rebel. Charged with rebellion, sedition and conspiracy, Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896 at the age of 35. His execution helped to spur the Philippine Revolution. Rizal is celebrated as a Philippine national hero to this day and should similarly be embraced by libertarians as an important advocate for freedom.

With the state growing larger and larger by the day, the conventional methods of combating this problem such as political campaigning, protests, and petitioning for redress of grievances have not proven to be very effective. Fortunately, with cutting edge technology and unprecedented amounts of capital at our disposal, a new dimension of libertarian activism is open to us. The creation of parallel mechanisms to replace government functions, and thereby make the state more and more irrelevant, is the missing component needed to make the movement mainstream. A proactive step for creating a free society is to show that private enterprise is the correct alternative government monopolies.

Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy

Khan Academy illustrates the power of market-driven programs that have the potential to serve as parallel institutions in a state-oriented political economy. This educational organization supplies a free online collection of more than 2,600 lectures on YouTube that cover subjects ranging from mathematics to computer science.  Khan’s main goal consists of providing a “free world-class education for anyone anywhere”. Through the creation of Khan Academy, Salman Khan did more to reveal the bureaucratic boondoggle of government-run education than all of the free market politicians who have ever argued in the halls of Congress.

Similarly, Silicon Valley’s Seasteading Institute has the potential of completely changing the way in which societies are organized by establishing autonomous communities on ocean platforms that would serve as competition to the current nation state model of governance. After all, why bother trying to reform a coercive political institution, when you can provide a legitimate market alternative that could ultimately outpace it?

Seasteading: Floating Cities of the Future?

Most individuals may never understand how all services are best provided through a system of mutual voluntary exchange. They do not necessarily have to have an in-depth understanding of the philosophical or intellectual underpinnings of this truth. All they need is the ability use one service or the other. Most people who use FedEx or UPS don’t understand that it’s superior to the Post Office because it operates under a system of profit and loss and not by coercion. They just know that these services can be counted on no matter what. Libertarians with entrepreneurial streaks should be allocating their time in developing products that compete with government. Think of all the things that the government does that your everyday economics textbook claims the market can’t do. Libertarians should be at the forefront of developing better defense services, better consumer rating agencies, safer retirement plans, and more efficient educational programs. With the government absorbing more and more of the private sector and other public sector services such as education, fire services, and law enforcement potentially being cut during austerity measures, the market is ripe for potential private alternatives to these traditionally government provided services.

Is the revolution that we seek one that consists of elliptical motions, of running around in circles, forever repeating a past we are doomed to repeat? Or is there a possibility to transform it into an evolving spiral? The way to break free from this ellipse of misery is to use proactive means of the marketplace to combat the state. What sets libertarianism apart from other political philosophies is the fact that it is the true philosophy of progressivism, which eschews the reactionary nature of political bickering. Libertarian entrepreneurs should take up this mantle and use the power of the marketplace to create society that is less reliant on the state. With the Internet and countless ways of efficiently pooling capital, we should also imagine a countless array of cutting edge services that the market can provide. It’s time that we no longer sit on the sidelines in the marketplace of ideas and services.

It’s time to outpace the state.