What’s really happening in Cyprus?

By George Rupert A little over ten years ago the famed Dutch Libertarian, Toine Manders, offered me a one-year contract to work in his office in Cyprus. For me, Cyprus was just what the doctor ordered, sun, sea, mountains, low taxes, offshore businesses, offshore banking, and lax enforcement of minor laws. The island was awash with money, unemployment was less than 1%, and the government ran a surplus. I was introduced to a lot of locals, and a Cypriot family even took me under their wing. I was cemented in, and ten years later I am still here. In 2004, the EU came with their pockets full of money, and much to my chagrin Cyprus joined. The country was now subject to a number of ridiculous regulations against things such as ‘producing too much milk’ or ‘hoarding sugar’. There were also EU produce laws mandating picture perfect produce, where cucumbers had to be straight and of a certain length. It was a complete shock to the system. Then in 2008—as economies around the world began to falter—Cypriots elected the communist Dimitris Christoflas. A man whose picture proudly displayed the image of Che Guevara in the background. I suddenly found myself under a Communist government with a bloated administration, 31 poorly performing state owned companies, and a financial mess on the horizon. Flash forward to 2012, the country is in real trouble, unemployment is around 10%, and the government is out of money. First they asked for and got a five year 2.5 billion euro loan from Russia, of which Cyprus could not even make its first payment. Then, hat in hand they asked the EU for 10.2 billion euros of support. At the start, the EU said that it would take 13 billion to clean the country up. The required …

LLI in Armenia

Leadership School in Yerevan On March 12 and 13, the Leadership School founded by Samvel Movsisyan organized 2 events for LLI (in cooperation with Armenian Youth for Libertyfounded by Inessa Shahnazarova) at the Congress Hotel in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. The first was an evening with about a dozen members of the school to show the movie “Call of the Entrepreneur”, followed by a lively discussion on the topic of entrepreneurship and the role it can play in Armenia. The second event was also at the Congress Hotel in the centre of Yerevan. Featuring Andy and Glenn, who presented an hour each, this event was open to the public. Over 200 people came to hear about entrepreneurship, including social and intellectual entrepreneurship, as well as the meaning of money and highlights of the philosophies of Ayn Rand, Frederic Bastiat and Friedrich Hayek. It was a real pleasure to have several students from past Liberty Camps in the audience and to establish new contacts and friendships. Thanks to Samvel and Inessa for making these events happen! Liberty Camp Armenia 2013 From 14 to 18 March, our third Liberty Camp in Armenia took place at our usual mountain resort of Tsakhkadzor, the top ski resort in Armenia, some 60km north of Yerevan. This year, the Liberty Camp was a joint venture of LLI, Friedrich Naumann Foundation (South Caucasus), and Armenian Youth for Liberty. Some 29 students from Georgia and Armenia attended the camp at a conference center owned by Yerevan University. The weather over the 4-day period varied from bright blue skies to rain and, on the last night, to heavy snow with temperatures averaging around 2 degrees C. Perfect weather for an indoor camp! The program featured our usual lectures on classical liberal philosophy, including John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Ayn Rand, Frederic Bastiat, …

What Liberty Camps Are All About

English is the international language of commerce and political, scientific and commercial discourse. Fluency in English is necessary for personal and professional success all over the world. The mission of the Liberty English Camps is to support and assist organizations and individuals (with special emphasis on reaching students) in countries that are recovering from tyranny and attempting to develop the institutions of free societies, by means of English-language education. The Camps also serve to spread the ideas of free markets, social tolerance, ethics, limited government, and entrepreneurship among the students. For years, ISIL has supported the Liberty English Camps in Lithuania and other East European and African countries. These youth camps improve the English skills of high-school and university students, using libertarian materials. Many students have themselves become camp teachers and organizers, and have become active libertarians in their home countries. With the 2013 camp season underway and growing the scholarship fund needs replenishing. Help create tomorrow’s libertarian leaders who may change the course of their nations! Details on the camps are at the Language of Liberty Institute (LLI) Web site, www.languageoflibertyinstitute.org, www.ProfitFromFreedom.com  and at www.lessonsofliberty.org. The Liberty English Camps were founded by Steve Browne and ISIL Lithuanian Rep Virgis Daukas and began in 1993 in Lithuania, and have continued annually since 1997. Held at the rustic lakeside resort of Trakai, they have drawn as many as 120 students from Lithuania, also from Belarus, Poland and other ex-Soviet countries. ISIl has provided student scholarship funds to this camp for many years. Famed author/investment advisor Doug Casey has become a major supporter and participant in the Lithuanian Camps, and in his honor the official name of the Camp has become CYCLE (Casey Youth Conference on Liberty and Entrepreneurship). A website on the CYCLE Trakai Camp is now up at www.ProfitFromFreedom.com. Inspired by …

Planting Liberty’s Seeds in the Former Communist Bloc

Student graduates and a few organizers of the Gonio, Georgia “Lessons of Liberty” camp pose for a group shot. Glenn Cripe, President and Director of the Language of Liberty Institute (LLI) and ISIL Director Lobo Tiggre spoke at the Williamsburg conference about their efforts to spread libertarian ideas to groups of young people at week-long summer camps in Central and Eastern Europe. In early July of each year Cripe’s organization runs the annual (and original) “Liberty English Camp” in Lithuania. These camps were founded in 1997 by Steve Browne and ISIL’s Lithuanian Rep. Virgis Daukas – and have received along the way important assistance from many ISIL members, including Kevin Bjornson, Ken and Li Schoolland, and Lobo Tiggre. Both Cripe and Andy Eyschen joined the project in 2004, and formed LLI in 2005 to continue the camp and spread it to new countries. Jaroslav Romanchuk, another long-time member of both ISIL and LLI, runs the Mises Scientific Research Foundation in Minsk, Belarus. For several years he has brought a group of 25 Belarusian students from behind the new Iron Curtain to join 25 Lithuanians at the camp – which is usually held at the lakeside resort town of Trakai, 28 km west of Vilnius. The objective of the Liberty English Camps is to provide students in Central and Eastern Europe an opportunity to develop their English skills – via intensive interactions with native speakers (while discussing classical liberal ideas and learning more about freedom and civil society).      Texts used are libertarian-oriented – Henry Hazlitt, Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, Adam Smith, speeches by dissidents, and the like. The camps have been extremely popular with students who are hungry for the ideas of liberty and who have shown particular enthusiasm for the libertarian message. For many, the camps have been their first …

Free Market Summer Arrives In Prague

ISIL’s 25th World Freedom Summit July 2006 – Prague, Czech Republic Free Market Summer Arrives In Prague – a conference report by Vince Miller – Dan Stastny (Vice Dean of the University of Economics – Prague), Josef Sima (Economics Department Head) and Josef’s wife Tereza discuss conference proceedings The Rise of Capitalism in the Czech Republic Promoting An Austrian-School Version of Law & Economics The Politics and Economics of Radical Reforms: The Case of Slovakia West Against The West: In Search of the Land of the Free Liberty and Community – Voices from Afar The True Nature of Politics and The Story of the “Littlest Dissident” The Rise of Classical Liberalism In France Markets and Morals Libertarian Logic Liberty In Costa Rica Freedom In the 21st Century: Theory and Practice How To Find Freedom In An Unfree Europe Enterprise and Social Welfare Oil Price Fever and the Future of Energy Production International Thinktank Panel Africa Panel The Liberty English Camp Project It’s been 25 years since we held the first ISIL world conference in Zürich back in 1982. At that time the world was in the icy grip of the cold war; and the Iron Curtain, which isolated millions in socialist slavery, looked as though it would last forever. But times changed – very rapidly as it turned out. The Berlin Wall crumbled, the Soviet empire collapsed – and as we have observed, many of the people in the former Soviet states (having experienced decades of socialism on their backs) have rushed to adopt varying degrees of capitalism. Many have progressed at astonishing rates. Gone are the days when we could do little more than smuggle books behind the Iron Curtain via members traveling into those countries (conveniently leaving important titles behind – to be laboriously reproduced via Samizdat). When …

ISIL World Freedom Summit 2005 — Gummersbach, Germany

ISIL World Freedom Summit 2005 – Gummersbach, Germany by Vince Miller Introduction Surprise Meeting With Iraqi Constitutionalist The Moral Hazards of “Orange” Revolutions Why The EU is Doomed The EU – A Pragmatic View French Anti-Liberalism: Don’t Do It the French Way In Praise of Non-Centralism: The Swiss Experiment Tax Competition As A Means To Control Leviathan Globalization As A Peace Strategy The Limits of Democracy Africa’s Scars Will Take More Than Live-8 To Heal Africa: Cultural Impediments To A Free Society Networking Panel: Free Market Thinktanks Religion: Fundamentalism vs. Liberalism Religion: Are Religion and Capitalism Compatible? Report: International Free Student Network Celebrating The “Year of Ayn Rand” Banquet: Awards Ceremony Post-Conference Tour INTRODUCTION The ISIL conference this year celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding of ISIL in Ann Arbor, Michigan back in 1980. For history buffs, we started out as Libertarian International, but later in 1989 merged with the original Society for Individual Liberty (SIL) which dated back to 1969. We changed our name to ISIL. A historical review is included in this issue of the Freedom Network News. Our 2005 conference was held in Germany at the facilities of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Gummersbach (near Cologne – or Kóln as it is properly known). This year many hot topics were covered – including the state of the European Union, globalization and free trade. We owe a great vote of thanks to Jim Peron of the Institute for Liberal Values (New Zealand) and Wolfgang Mueller who has just formed the only privately-funded German thinktank – the Institut für Unternehmerische Freiheit(Institute for Free Enterprise) in Berlin, for their outstanding work in hosting this event. The conference had originally been scheduled for St. Petersburg, but deterioration of the political climate in Russia made it necessary to us to change …

ISIL’s 2003 World Conference — Vilnius, Lithuania

ISIL’s 2003 World Conference – Vilnius, Lithuania – A Triumphant Emergencefrom Tyranny by Vincent H. Miller   Marshall Bruce Evoy Memorial award winner Jaroslav Romanchuk and Elena Rakova (both from Belarus) pose in front of the historic Trakai Castle (former capital of Lithuania).      In spite of a spate of violent conflicts, terrorism, and sundry other temporary setbacks on the world stage, many positive trends continue to quietly develop in numerous spots around the globe, and the movement for liberty marches inexorably on.      Nowhere was this more evident than in Lithuania, the site for ISIL’s 22nd world conference, which was held from July 6th through the 10th 2003 in the capital city of Vilnius.      At this remarkable event we sat shoulder to shoulder with the architects of a free Lithuania – along with people like Yuri Maltsev, who had been on the team drafting Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika.      Not so many years ago, many of the people at this conference would have been looking at each other over rifle sights. Times have changed indeed. A Fascinating Historical Background      During the 20th century the people of Lithuania were ground under the tyrannical heels of both Nazi and Soviet occupations. One third of their total population of three-million people were annihilated, with almost all of the 100,000 members of the Jewish community being slaughtered by the Nazis. Many of the people we met during our visit could relate personal tragedies of how members of their families had been murdered by Nazis. Others had been tortured and murdered by the KGB or exiled to Siberian slave/death camps.      Just prior to the ISIL conference, a small group of us toured the charming Old Town section of Vilnius, and along the way made a visit to the KGB museum. This museum had been an actual KGB compound, …