Announcing the Inaugural South East Asia Students For Liberty Conference!

Joe Kent Asia, Blog, Camps, Events

Having had tremendous success across the globe, Students For Liberty first dropped anchor in South East Asia in 2015. After a year of inspiring, motivating, and educating students, the time and opportunity is now here for our first South East Asia Conference. This is a huge opportunity for SFL Indonesia in the current phase of their movement. They started small (with less than three Charter Team members) and now have over 20 students working to put this conference together. Sessions aim to give attendees a deeper understanding of the ideas of liberty. They are also focused on training attendees to be more effective advocates of liberty. We have put together a distinguished roster of speakers who have, in various ways, helped advance the vision of a free and prosperous society. These role models will inspire you, influence your ideas, and potentially become your mentors moving forward. The goal of this conference is to bring students from all over South East Asia to exchange their experiences, learn the ideas of liberty and energize their leadership of the pro-liberty movement in South East Asia. This event will be a massive celebration of freedom.   Featured Speakers Tom G. Palmer Tom Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Network and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and director of Cato University. He received his doctorate in politics from Oxford University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, as well as in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and …

An Honest Look at Government Accounting

Joe Kent Asia, Economic Policy

“Accounting is a tool to find the right person for the right job,” said Hiroshi Yoshida at the World Conference on Market Liberalization in Bali in 2015, hosted by Liberty International. “If the performance is good,” said professor Hiroshi Yoshida, “we continue trade. If the performance is bad, you stop the trade.” According to professor Hiroshi, accounting is an important tool to evaluate the performance of an individual. However, government does not do honest accounting, said Hiroshi Yoshida. “The Japanese government has a very big liability,” said Hiroshi, “It is [bigger] than Greece . . . who pays for it?” “Our children will pay,” added Hiroshi. Watch the full video below:

Is Bali More Free than the US?

Joe Kent Asia, Spontaneous Order

Is Bali more free than the United States?  In some ways, it is, said Jack Blaylock at the World Conference on Market Liberalization in Bali in 2015, hosted by the International Society for Individual Liberty. “I have more freedom and liberty in this environment than anywhere in the United states,” said Jack, about his time in Bali. Jack Blaylock moved to Indonesia from the United States 32 years ago, and he says that Bali offers individuals more freedom in may ways.  “Freedom and liberty really does work the way we all theorize it’s supposed to be — in small scale examples that I see all the time.” Jack presented many examples of spontaneous order in Bali, from legal matters, to traffic, business freedom, and resolving disputes.  He compared this to America, where it is illegal in many areas to open a lemonade stand. He also recognized that freedom can be healthy for self development.  “When you’re in an environment like this where you have so many day to day little freedoms, what it does for you, is it unleashes the power of your creative mind.  The freer you feel, the more creative you become.  And everybody values the ability to think creatively.  Not just artists.  Thinking creatively is problem solving.  Creative problem solving is one of our most important evolutionary gifts that governments try to kill.” Watch the full video here:    

Casey Lartigue on Teaching North Korean Refugees

Joe Kent Asia

Casey Lartigue gave a talk at the Harvard Extension Alumni Association 2015 Innovation Symposium at Harvard University, 24 May, 2015. Casey quoted Christopher Hitchens, saying, “A place that you can’t live, but that you can’t leave, is the definition of hell.” Casey continued to give some examples of the horrible atrocities in North Korea, and then described what his organization is doing to try to help teach North Korean refugees.  Casey helps teach the refugees English, or other languages, and also society integration skills.  Casey also helps students feel comfortable giving speeches, and tell their story.  After Casey helped Yeonmi Park through the program, she became an international super star because of her powerful story.  Yeonmi’s book can be purchased here. Click here to watch the rest of the video:

Ken Schoolland in Mongolia

Joe Kent Asia, Economic Policy

Ken Schoolland recently appeared on Mongolian National Broadcasting to speak about economics, and why the Austrian school is so important. Host: Please tell us about the, since we talk about the Austrian school of economics, and the certain direction of economic teaching.  What kind of major branch of economics teachings exist, and what makes the Austrian school so specific? Ken: Well, I usually display four categories.  The Marxian is that the government should own all the resources and make all the decisions for society.  What is to be produced, how, and so on. The Keynesian school of thought is focused in on government intervention in the economy through fiscal policy, spending taxation, debt, and regulatory controls over every aspect directing the economy as officials in government see fit.   A 3rd school of thought is the monetarist school that argues that monetary policy through banking regulation, interest rates, money supply, is the way to control and manipulate the economy utilizing the banking system.   And the Austrian school argues that they’re all the cause of the problem, not the solution.  It’s sort of like a disease masquerading as it’s own cure.  The government creates problems and then creates more agencies and officials to try and solve these problems it created in the first place. The Austrians are the ones who believe that it is better to trust individuals with their own decision making, not only to own yourself, but to own the product of your wealth.  The government shouldn’t intervene by trying to manipulate your behavior with taxation incentives and punishments.  Because government officials aren’t any smarter than the rest of us — as a matter of fact, they’re much less smart.  It’s just that when they spend other people’s money, they spend it rather grandly on their friends and …

Interview with Riya Basnet and Nisha Niraula

Joe Kent Asia, Jonathan Gullible

Riya Basnet and Nisha Niraula are young leaders in the liberty movement in Nepal.  They are involved with Students for Liberty, Women for Liberty, and published the first Braille edition of Jonathan Gullible.  They spoke with Joe Kent at the World Conference on Market Liberalization in Bali in July, 2015. Joe: Can you talk about the Women for Liberty Project? Nisha: A year ago, we did the campaign, and we specifically focused on women.  We went to the rural areas of eastern Nepal.  We tried to explain our program to the rural area.  But before moving to that grassroot level, we conducted seminars in the four walls of the room.  But while conducting seminars, we found that the main issue, main problems, are in the area where the women are facing problems. Joe: What kinds of problems are they facing? Nisha: Women are dominated by society, dominated by norms, they are intervened by societal norms, their families and such.  Women in rural areas want to work outside — going beyond the boundry of their home because of the dominance of the family. Joe: So your talking about women in rural areas are oppressed right now, and you’re trying to spread the message about liberty, and more power for women?” Riya: Yes.  These women they save certain savings, but they don’t know where to invest it.  So first of all we did research.  We found out what are the major problems that are hindering them to go out and work for themselves.  So we decided to conduct a workshop where we invited local female entrepreneurs . . . and we helped these women to know about what to do about their savings, how to invest it. Joe: What does investment look like in rural areas? Riya: Like small shops, like tea …

Liberty Entrepreneurship Camp in India

Joe Kent Asia, Camps

This report is posted by Venkatesh Geriti This is Venkatesh Geriti, Founder and C.E.O of India’s Future Foundation, a free market educational foundation who mission is to educate, train and connect young people who believe ideas of free markets, entrepreneurship and limited government. I had great days during this summer with lot of libertarian programs such as Foundation for Economic education summer seminars, the independent institute’s challenge of liberty seminars, Acton University in USA, International Society for Individual Liberty World Conference on Market Liberalization in Bail and Liberty Entrepreneurship Camp by our organization.  This is best and most productive libertarian summer in my life and I was happy to end it with our first Liberty Entrepreneurship Camp successfully in Vishakhapatnam, India from 8th July – 12th July 2015. Liberty Entrepreneurship Camp is a five day workshop promoting the moral and ethical dimensions of entrepreneurship and educating young people about economic freedom, free markets and classical liberal ideas.  The liberty camp was jointly organized by India’s Future foundation and the Language of Liberty Institute (USA) in Vizag, India from 8th to 12th July 2015 with 30 students. The main purpose of this program is to help young people explore alternative ideas for existing problems; to help young people understand the value of entrepreneurship, free markets and limited government. Language of Liberty Institute speakers who had great experiences within economics, business, entrepreneurship and politics and introduced the principles of classical liberalism, free and competitive markets to participants.  Local Indian speakers who are experts in ideas of free market in local context explained the need for free market ideas.  The Camp combined lectures, discussions and workshops as speakers presented various topics such as the roots of classical liberalism. The first day we started with an introduction of the liberty camp and the activities of Language of Liberty Institute and …

We Care: We will Rebuild Nepal Call for Help

Joe Kent Asia

By: Students for Liberty Nepal SFL- Nepal is looking for help to aid lives in this miserable time. These individuals, who could otherwise not hope to afford to run their lives. Our goal to help bring these people back to life and for this we will require a budget of $2500 to complete our small campaign.  Please click here to donate. The earthquake which killed more than 7,000 people and injured more than twice as many with a moment magnitude of 7.8.  This was the most powerful disaster to strike many lives and crushed thousands shelters. Among the affected areas, Sindhupalchowk is the most disastrous one where many lives are struggling to survive. Women and Children are more prone to these vulnerabilities. It is heart wrecking to helplessly see these people cry for help. Major focus has been given to food and accommodation but if we see from the close proximity there is a high risk of epidemic outbreak given the situation of toilets and washrooms also people tending to use open spaces to urinate and excrete. Also lives in the tents in an open space are not that easy. Snakes become your neighbors, leopards roam in the nights, and insects/mosquitoes bite the children. Moreover if we see trough the density of people living outside the shelters or on to the roads there is more risk of communicable disease. SFL-Nepal in collaboration with Nepal Peace building Initiative has started running in campaigns to distribute food and some sanitary requirements in Sindhupalchowk. Further we are trying to launch a campaign to build temporary toilets and distribute sanitary items that can help much to improve the health of people suffered.  Likewise, as schools are set to reopen after the Directive issued by the Government to resume Schools, we SFL will take a step to help students and …

The Liberty Movement in Asia

Joe Kent Asia

by Ken Schoolland I recently had the good fortune to visit Nepal and India during a whirlwind of libertarian activity across the region. Since I was already heading to the Asia Liberty Forum, the dynamic folks at The Samriddhi Prosperity Foundation in Kathmandu invited me to speak on “Entrepreneurship, Migration, & Economic Growth” for the students and faculty of the College of Management at Tribhuvan University and at the Executive MBA programs of Ace Institute of Management and of Kings College. Migration & Economic Growth Migration is a sensitive topic where 1,000 people reportedly emigrate from Nepal every day for work in India and the Middle East. The reasons for departure are sad—usually crippling government obstacles to economic freedom at home. Yet there are short-term and long-term benefits to come of it. While these able-bodied young men and women gain skills and contacts abroad they have been sending record remittances back to Nepal to help their families and friends. Remittances to Nepal are among the most impressive in the world, now amounting to 170% of the value of imports. For low-income nations as a whole, remittances are rapidly on the rise, amounting to 6 times more than all the official overseas development assistance combined. Remittances now comprise 8% of total GDP for low-income nations. And remittances are far more beneficial than foreign aid since it comes from people who appreciate the value of the money they earn, they know the people on the receiving end, and the recipients appreciate the value enough to spend it productively. Why? One reason is that it is voluntary and could be cut off if the money isn’t well spent. Contrast this with foreign aid, whereby officials forcibly tax people they don’t know in high-income countries to give to other officials in low-income countries for …

Student Lessons of Liberty in Nepal

Joe Kent Asia

The following story was contributed by Riya Basnet: Nisha Niraula and I recently visited schools in Nepal to find blind students for our braille book distribution. Through this project we developed a way of teaching children about their individuality by portraying simple daily life examples and highlighting the importance of academic freedom. A great tool for doing this is by a simplified Nepali version of the book The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible.   Riya Basnet & Nisha Niraula We found blind and deaf students at Save Our Soul School and at a women and girl’s hostel in Kathmandu. Others were found through an association of the blind in Pokhara and Dharan, where we can distribute books and offer lessons about liberty. So far the project has been going great! In one session we took up Chapter 6, “Best Laid Plans,” to demonstrate the linkage of individual rights to the current scenario in Nepal where the homes of hundreds of people are destroyed and people are left homeless. Through this we discovered some children whose families have been the victims of government plans. We give them an opportunity to tell us how their families have fared after such harsh treatment. We have asked the teachers to collect the students’ notes about their feelings when they see such situations happen. I plan to collect the student essays and share them in Nepali and English. We also demonstrated how force can lead to evil effects. We called on two students and asked one to be a big fat man and another to be a thin man. We asked the big fat guy to snatch things from the thin one and we asked the class, “How does the situation feel to your eyes and to your heart?” We discussed about rights, happiness, and freedom to hold …