Is liberty a noun or verb? For Phil Glazman, a keen advocate for tech freedom, liberty is a profoundly practical philosophical undertaking.
“Some people think that if you’re interested in the ideas of liberty you can only go into academia, but I think the purpose of SFL is to make liberty practical: take those ideas and implement them in the world.”
Now a rising leader and respected voice in the crypto world, Phil got involved with Students For Liberty while he was in high school, founding the SFL High School Program to enable high school students around the world to connect and engage with pro-liberty ideas. Although he already had a keen interest in history and economics, it wasn’t until he read Bastiat and Hayek that he became convinced that, “we can improve the human condition if people act in a voluntary way.”
Starting a libertarian club and growing the liberty movement
In 2013, he received a full scholarship to study computer science at Ramapo College in New Jersey, during which he started a libertarian club and later served on SFL’s North American Executive Board.
Phil remembers how important it was that Students For Liberty connected him to other people and other organizations in the movement, including the Institute For Humane Studies and the Charles Koch Institute.
One of his favorite memories from his time in Students For Liberty was when he attended LibertyCon, because the event helped him connect with like-minded individuals and become a part of a community.
“When you’re into liberty, usually there aren’t many people around you, geographically, that you can talk to and SFL’s conferences help you connect with them.”
Putting a spotlight on tech freedom
In 2016, Phil founded the Students For Liberty Tech Freedom conference at New York University, aimed at exploring cryptocurrency, privacy, and improving the web through market principles.
This conference was well attended and attracted a lot of big names in the world of tech freedom, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation. On SFL’s role in helping with this conference, Phil says:
“I had the idea for this conference and SFL helped me implement it. SFL is great about that – if you have an idea, they’ll help you with it. Students For Liberty provides students with the framework and the network to put their ideas into practice.”
Entering the world of cryptocurrency
Following his graduation from college in May 2018, Phil began working as a core developer for Bitmain, the most valuable Bitcoin company in the world. It was through a Students For Liberty conference that he first got introduced to the crypto world. He became drawn to Bitcoin’s potential to advance freedom in the world and worked long hours.
“Crypto takes us further into freedom because people can act in a voluntary way. Bitcoin separates money and the state and like never before in history, it provides an opportunity to show governments that we can create our own money and it can be better.”
Finding pro-liberty networks all over the world
After moving from New York to Amsterdam, Phil was able to connect with the robust Students For Liberty community in Europe.
“SFL teaches you that ideas matter. You also get to meet a lot of smart people who challenge you, and it is so important to have a community of supportive people who also don’t shy away from pushing you to think harder and to do better.”
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Edited by Russell Coates
This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.