Archive for students
I am happy to announce that LibertarianChristians.com will be hosting a breakout session at the International Students for Liberty Conference next weekend. Come meet me, Jason Rink, Doug Stuart, and Chris Wolske as we talk about the challenges Christian libertarians face and propose bold ideas for the future of liberty and the Christian church.
Our session begins on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. (Washington 6 room), and is entitled Christian Libertarian Solutions to Common 21st Century Problems. From the program booklet description:
Christian libertarians face the dual challenge of being Christian in a largely secular libertarian world and of explaining libertarian perspectives in Christian communities. Yet Christian and libertarian beliefs are indeed complimentary and offer solutions to today’s problems. Come learn how to explain this synergy and grow our community.
Besides addressing these “big picture” ideas, we will also be introducing our upcoming program to connect Christian libertarians together through small group meetups. We hope that all Christian students attending will come visit us and learn more about what it means to be a Christian libertarian in the modern world.
This is just the first of many behind the scenes things happening at LCC, so stay tuned as we update you on all the great stuff we have in store for you in 2015!
Texas House Representative David Simpson delivered the following speech on October 8, 2014 at a Students For Liberty Event in Houston. This text was originally published at the SFL website. Rep. Simpson also recently was a keynote speaker for the first Christians for Liberty Conference. You can visit David’s website here.
We are here today to celebrate the next generation of pro-liberty leaders. In so doing I want to link pro-liberty leaders with America’s greatness.
America’s greatness is often depicted in its natural resources and so we sing: “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!” But America’s greatness lies not merely in the blessings of its rich resources of oil and gas, and farmland, but most of all within its people!
A people bound together by an idea, but even more than that, a conviction and recognition that individuals are endowed with certain inalienable rights—rights that cannot be severed from our being without doing violence to their humanity.
Recapping the interesting and significant news of this past week.
From the nanny-state department…
The Feds have now mandated that all new cars must be built with rear-view cameras by 2014. It’s for the children, people! We have to do EVERYTHING for the children to keep them “safe” no matter the cost!
The corrupt and insane Austin City Council (where I live) passed a plastic AND paper bag ban this past Friday morning (a 2 a.m. bill, no shame I guess). Here is what one of my friends had to say about it:
Plastic bags are an incredible benefit to society, allowing for a cheap, efficient, and more environmentally-friendly way to transport goods and later be recycled for all sorts of other uses, from acting as lining in a trash receptacle to cleaning up after pets. Furthermore, they are less burdensome for waste management and landfills.
Thank you, City of Austin, for saving humanity from a better tomorrow.
My sentiments exactly.
More Star Wars fun… Over at the Young Americans for Liberty blog, Zach Foster has begun a series of articles about Star Wars and Austrian economics. If you are a fan of either, this series will probably be fun for you.
The International Students for Liberty Conference was hosted just a few weekends ago in Washington D.C. (If you have been around LCC for a while, you know that I love SFL and have been quite involved with them over the past few years.) A major highlight of the conference was the Stossel show taping an entire episode with all the students. It was pretty interesting, and there was even a little controversy. You can view the episode in its entirety here:
Did you visit LCC this week? Here’s what you missed if not:
Have some relevant news and links you want to share? Post in the comments below. I read every comment and respond to almost all of them. Let me know what you’re thinking!
Last fall I gave a talk at the Students for Liberty Texas Conference 2010 during the Student Panel that touched on a variety of topics: leadership, activism, even some tidbits of philosophy. Here’s the Youtube video of the talk(while you’re at it, you should subscribe to the LCC Youtube Channel).
For more of the student panel videos, check out the full playlist.
I love Students for Liberty and look forward to seeing how this organization will change the world in the future.
I just watched two video clips from the Stossel Show recorded at the Students for Liberty International Conference. Stossel’s guest is David Boaz from the Cato Institute. During the first segment, Stossel and Boaz describe their personal journeys discovering the value of liberty and free markets, and they have pretty interesting stories.
The second segment is on war and society. Boaz’s first statement isn’t terrible; he says war is bad for a variety of reasons. It is costly and does not accomplish anything, and he even blames American occupations as the cause of terrorism. Then Boaz completely refutes Stossel’s suggestion that surge was a good idea. Good for him, that’s correct. But then the Q&A session starts (starts at 3:40) and I just about hit the ceiling.
A students asks, “True or false: slaughtering innocent people is never justified.” Stossel, without missing a beat, says that we “had to kill innocent people to end World War 2.” Really? Regulating aspirin? Oh no! That’s an attack on liberty! Incinerating a city full of civilians whose government is trying to surrender? Fully defensible. Fire-bombing Dresden just because it’s a German city? Fully defensible. But gee whiz, if nuking a city into oblivion isn’t wrong, is there any killing in war that is not justified?
Boaz counters the original question by saying that “slaughter” is a charged term and we need to rephrase the question. Even granting that Boaz’s first counter is true, that the question is loaded, his answer that follows is horrifying. Essentially, he argues that killing innocent people probably is justified if it leads to creating freer countries. “Self-defense and national independence are basically the only reasons” that killing innocents is justified. So he is implicitly affirming exactly what Stossel said. I don’t care that he said it “should not be undertaken lightly,” trying to justify deaths of innocent people is always taking an issue too lightly.
I’m kind of a fan of a certain principle of morality, one stating that you do not get special privileges to do certain immoral things if the “circumstances” are right. Killing innocent people is one thing only: murder. You don’t get a free pass to kill innocents so long as “freedom” is in sight. So, an innocent British traveler dies in the American Revolution because an American soldier became angry? Murder. No special rights because you’re a “freedom fighter.”
And if you concede that innocents die in every war, then you have only one conclusion to draw: War is mass murder. Get it?
I’ll give Stossel some grace considering he has not been very exposed to our philosophy except in limited amounts. He is not being thoughtful toward the issue. Perhaps he would come around just as he did on free markets given a substantive and fair presentation of the information. I met him in Austin about a year ago and I think he is a good fellow, and I truly hope he can figure out this critical principle of libertarianism.
How Boaz can hold such contradictory thoughts in his head, though, is downright baffling. I would plead with him to reconsider such positions. Liberty means liberty for all.
Dear Christian reader, I hope we will not make the same mistakes in our own thinking, lest we fall prey to the next justification for mass murder.
UPDATE: This post is getting a lot of traction right now due to it being highlighted in places like LewRockwell.com and others, so I just want to make absolutely clear that I still think Students for Liberty is a fantastic organization and I am not implicating them at all in this particular breach of libertarian principle. I also hold a lot of respect for the work that Stossel and Boaz have done and I am urging them to become better by talking openly about this.