How liberals lost Gandhi?

By Barun S. Mitra Was Gandhi a liberal? For the past couple of years, I have been making the case that among the major political leaders in the world, Gandhi was perhaps the last classical liberal or the first libertarian[1]. Here, I use the word liberal in one of its earlier meanings to depict the political ideal that calls for greater civil, political and economic freedoms for the individual, and less government control or minimum government. In the process of this exploration of the man, his methods and his mission, Gandhi made me review the state of liberalism in the world today. More pertinently, he made me ask what many of us who claim to be liberals today may need to realize before they could count someone like Gandhi as their own. This essay is a journey to find some answers to these questions. My interest in Gandhi was reignited more than five years ago, not so much because of his political philosophy, but because of his capacity to reach out, organize and mobilize millions of people. In the context of the shrinking political space for liberals across the world over the past few decades, Gandhi, the greatest mobilizer of people holds a natural appeal. Before Gandhi arrived on the Indian political scene in the later half of the second decade in the 20th century, the Indian National Congress was primarily an association of enlightened citizens petitioning the colonial British government for various political and economic reforms. Gandhi transformed Congress into a mass movement of a kind the world had not seen before—or since. He engaged with capitalists and peasants, industrialists and workers, the rich and the poor, the socially privileged and the discriminated, the elite and those at the margins of society, and helped build a national movement that …

Free Market Road Show across China, organized by Li Schoolland

The three-week lecture circuit began with a week of presentations at the Summer Camp of International Economics and Management Scholars 2019 as the guests of Northeastern University in Shenyang, China. This 10thannual summer program was the brainchild of Li Schoolland in 2009 and has grown to accommodate 200 students from 8 countries.  The summer camp was followed by a two-week journey to Beijing, Chengdu, Dali, Lijiang, Guilin, Yongzhou, and Shanghai. Multiple destinations hosted gatherings ranging from 20 to 100 intellectuals and entrepreneurs. Presenting scholars: Per Bylund, USA/Sweden Barun Mitra, India Victor Claar, USA Doug Bandow, USA Dan Mitchell, USA Patrick Mardini, Lebanon Cris Lingle, USA/Guatemala Zhu Haijiu, China Matt Dale, USA Kishore Jayabalan, Italy Ken Schoolland, USA  Friends and supporters: Liberty International Mont Pelerin Society ACTON Institute Students for Liberty CATO Institute Topics presented: –Entrepreneurship and value –Entrepreneurship and regulations –Economic Growth: Exchange, Production, and Entrepreneurship –AI and the Structure of Production –Demographic transition: From surplus to scarcity –Free market environmentalism: Economics of environment –Property rights: From poverty to prosperity –Digital Dystopia: Lessons of the Matrix—Strengthening State & Squeezing Citizens –The problem of planning –The future of work –Who is the economy? –Automation and the future of work and welfare –The problem of planning –Morality of markets –How free trade and globalization benefit all countries –How politics undercuts markets –The eternal lessons of politics –The economics of government spending –Comparative economic analysis –The economics of taxation –The challenges of public works –The roots of modern day prosperity –Lifting people out of poverty –Cryptocurrencies: From Bitcoin to Libra  –How did China become rich –Human actions & markets: Peaceful cooperation & shared prosperity –China and Trump’s trade war: Causes & consequences –Austrian economics vs. Conservativism: Insights into free market economics –Blockchain technology & a “Real” Social Contract  –Economic interpretation of China’s reform …

Liberty International World Conference Mongolia 2019 – Report

by Anastasiia Mykolenko On June, 6-9th, Liberty International World Conference 2019 was hosted in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, by the local free markets-oriented NGO Silk Road Foundation. Many of this year Conference’s attendees found the event to be “the best Liberty Conference” in terms of organization, logistics, accommodation, extra activities, and, of course, the location. Indeed, not many participants were familiar with Mongolian culture and spirit before the conference. It is  largest contiguous land empire in the world’s history, and is becoming a cultural bridge between East and West nowadays. The Mongolian team did their best to show their hospitality and high level of organizational skills. All the participants were warmly welcomed at the airport right on time and transferred to the hotel, with the locals driving them  through steppe Mongolian landscapes. Click here to watch the lectures! The first Conference’s evening started with the welcoming speech from the Founder of the Silk Road Foundation, M.Khaliunbat. Next came the Mongolian National performance and the introductory lecture by Tom Palmer. The attendees had the opportunity to “meet and greet” each other during the beautifully arranged cocktail party. The intense dive into the liberty ideas started the next day on  June, 7th. The lectures were held at the hotel’s conference room, which was an an extremely comfortable and time-efficient venue for the lunches and breakfasts. Among the first lecturers were Hugo van Reijen talking about “The Entrepreneur and the Government;” Glen Crippe, presenting his and Jacek Spendel’s activities for young freedom fighters; Andrés Cusme Franco and Maria Alejandra Londono with the case studies on Ecuador and Columbia respectively; and the young, but powerful liberty defender Ayemen Fatima from India with her lecture on the War on Drugs. These presentations were followed by the inspirational speeches of Yaron Brook and Kyle Varner. The Chinese struggle …

Tariffs Are Attacks on Property Rights and Freedom

By Per Bylund Rothbard wrote in the Libertarian Forum (v. 1, p. 184) that “… libertarians, if they have any personal philosophy beyond freedom from coercion, are supposed to be at the very least individualists.” Indeed, libertarianism holds high the rights and responsibilities of the sovereign individual: the right to self and to justly acquired property and thus the right not to be coerced or arbitrarily restricted; the responsibility for one’s own actions and the moral duty to respect and honor other individuals’ rights. Yet libertarianism, or at least a relatively large subset of proponents of libertarianism, has taken a strange collectivist turn in the recent years. This is evident in a number of issues, such as free trade, where libertarians used to be in agreement in principle, albeit not necessarily in all the details or the applications of those principles. In contrast, this new turn argues from a different starting point. Rather than the individual’s rights, the starting point for this group is instead a notion of the individual’s collective belonging and identity (such as one’s country or ethnicity). There has of course never been a problem for libertarians to recognize individuals for who they are, or choose to be, and thus within their preferred social and cultural context. No man is an island, and as social beings we are embedded in a context of community, culture, and tradition. The distinction between individualist and collectivist is not either-or, but which is primary: for collectivists, the individual is subjected to the will of the collective (or, in reality, the will of its leadership); for individualists, the collective has no right of its own but is subject to the individual’s choice to associate. For obvious reasons, the analysis of any state of affairs from a collectivist point of view is different than that …

Seeking Sponsors for Liberty International World Conference Speakers

With some funding support, LI has an opportunity to bring additional excellent speakers to the conference in Mongolia. As LI operates on a very frugal budget we normally ask speakers to fund their own expenses with support from their institutions or universities. In some cases this is not possible. So we are reaching out to potential sponsors to assist these important people to our event. Their biographical information follows. Please review the extraordinary activity of these speakers and contact Ken Schoolland <[email protected]> or Jim Elwood <[email protected]> if you are willing to help them come, or donate directly here: Dr. Khalil Ahmad—Founder of Alternate Solutions Institute, Pakistan Khalil Ahmad, Dr. is a political economist and a political philosopher. He cherishes a cosmopolitan spirit and considers himself a moralist and a rationalist. He founded the first free market think tank in Pakistan, Alternate Solutions Institute. He wrote/published hundreds of articles on the various aspects of political economy of Pakistan, and on a variety of issues. He is author of a number of books that focus on the state, economy and politics of Pakistan.             Dr. Ahmad published six editions of Ken Schoolland’s book, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey, including 3 editions in Urdu, 2 editions in Sindhi, and an edition in Balochi. For his extraordinary work at the forefront of the liberty movement in a very challenging region of the world, Dr. Ahmad was given the Torch of Freedom Award by Liberty International at the Bali conference. Park, Jung Oh—North Korean Defector Mr. Park was born in 1968 in Hyesan, Yanggang Province, North Korea.  After graduating from The Communication College, Park worked at the Radio Wave Surveillance Station from 1993 to 1998 as a supervisor. He continued his education at Yanggang University, where he graduated with a degree …

Hotel school aims to help build economy in war-plagued region

Building a hospitality school in an urban environment is one thing, but establishing a presence in an area plagued by a 70-year civil war is another. Developing and encouraging tourism in the Karen State of Burma (now Myanmar) has been a challenge for those hoping to revive the region—and financing options are hard to come by…

Announcing the Inaugural South East Asia Students For Liberty Conference!

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

“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?

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

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: