Saturday, November 1, 2008

Boston SFL Conference Begins

At 9:00am, students and speakers began arriving at the Boston SFL Conference, held at Harvard University. 20 students from 8 schools are in attendance, ranging from schools with well established organizations like Harvard, Columbia, and Brown, to students from schools looking to start new clubs at MIT, UMass Dartmouth, University at Buffalo, City University of New York, and Northeastern University.

The first speech was given by Liam Day of the Pioneer Institute, a libertarian Massachusetts-based think tank. His speech, "Libertarianism on the Left", argued that the libertarian philosophy is more closely aligned with leftist politics than the right because of a belief in social liberties. His conclusion, that it's OK for a libertaian to vote for Barrack Obama, will be challenged later tonight by Dr. David Tuerck who will be arguing for why libertarians ought to vote for John McCain. These two speakers are a great illustration of SFL's effort to promote discourse and debate on the philosophy of liberty and best practices for promoting liberty in the real world.

Starting at 2:00, Brett Powell from the Free State Project, gave a presentation on the Free State Project and the philosophy of social change behind the project. Here are some interesting notes I learned from the presentation:
  • The Free State Project began as an academic paper that just said that the libertarian movement was failing, but immigration patterns could be a solution.
  • Dick Heller, the plaintiff from D.C. v. Heller, is a Free State Project member and will be moving to New Hampshire at some point in the near future.
  • If you post on the Free State Project's website when and where you will be moving in to New Hampshre, their "Welcome Wagon" will bring members to help unload your stuff.
  • New Hampshire has the largest state house proportionate to its population, and so it's one of the cheapest places to run a statewide campaign and win.
  • The Free State Project loves to talk to students because they have few obligations, no mortgages, and most able to relocate for their values.

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