Bio: James Paul “J.P.” Gonzales is an undergraduate student at the University of California Merced, finishing a BA degree in Cognitive Science. While supportive of the commonly leftist ideals of equality of opportunity and social justice as early as high school, it wasn’t until 2009 that he noticed the significance of the libertarian philosophy: both as a critique of statist solutions to complex social problems and in furthering the goals traditionally held by the Left. He has been inspired by a host of incredible libertarian thinkers, both classical and contemporary. Today, J.P. is interested the psychological and cultural features of libertarianism, particularly in understanding the roots of anti-authoritarian attitudes and the human need for personal autonomy. He will be applying to Ph.D programs in social psychology and organizational behavior for Fall 2014, aiming to do experimental research on the psychological effects of social power. J.P. served as a Campus Coordinator for SFL from 2012-2013 in Central and Northern California, supporting groups at CSU Fresno, Bakersfield, and Stanislaus. He also served as President of Students For Liberty @ UC Merced and is responsible for organizing the 2013 Northern California Students For Liberty Regional Conference at UC Berkeley in October.
Favorite Figures in Liberty: Nathaniel Branden, Wes Bertrand, John Taylor Gatto, Helmut Schoeck, Murray Rothbard, Gary Chartier, Kevin Carson, Scott Horton
Prospects with Students for Liberty: “It is a pleasure to be working with an organization like SFL, committed to the ideas of liberty above anything else. I hope to effectively convey to young students the significance of the ideas of liberty to all aspects of life, not just economic and political. As a Campus Coordinator, I would like to work with student orgs and help make a home for libertarians in California’s Central Valley!