Bio: James Paul “J.P.” Gonzales is an undergraduate student at the University of California Merced, currently working towards a B.A. in Cognitive Science. While familiar with the commonly leftist ideals of equality of opportunity and social justice as early as high school, it wasn’t until around 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, and even some who would shy away from the libertarian label! Today, J.P. is very interested the psychological and cultural features of libertarianism, particularly in understanding the roots of anti-authoritarianism and the human need for personal autonomy. He is also very committed to the dialectic process as applied to libertarianism, the art of context-keeping and the importance of gaining new perspectives in libertarian discourse. J.P. is currently the President of the Students for Liberty group at UC Merced, has been an active member of the Complete Liberty meetup group which regularly holds “Monday Mises” meetings at Cafe Libertalia in San Diego, and has worked as a volunteer at California’s Libertopia Festival for the last two years.
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!