On November 4th three members of the LPO were fortunate enough to attend the Student for Liberty Regional Conference hosted at The Ohio State University. We were very grateful for the invitation to represent the Libertarian Party of Ohio. Despite a modest attendance, the quality of the crowd was apparent and while walking the hall where various sponsors had set up my ears were pleased with the talk of the liberty-lovers of tomorrow. It was wonderful to hear the real promise in the rhetoric and debates among the next generation of advocates for freedom.
The event opened with advice from Derek Magill, a college dropout turned successful entrepreneur, who is currently the Director of Marketing for Praxis. Without the academic degrees that so many covet in today’s society, Magill has created an unconventional approach to education. His organization enables participants to gain invaluable apprenticeship experience that often translates to promotions within the Marketing and Technology industries. His advice played well into the main topic for the event: Are business and liberty compatible? Derek showed how choosing not to adhere to societal expectations can play out well for people willing to be innovators.
Next up was a big fat serving of bitcoin knowledge courtesy of Steve Patterson. Steve proved to be a worthy source of information concerning the still evolving technology as he has already penned the book What’s the Big Deal About Bitcoin? This currency format offers its investors the opportunity to manage their currency without unnecessary mediation of the banks thus allowing a reduction in the barriers to accessing capital for business and other ventures. As Patterson emphatically points out “Bitcoin surged 500% this year”. Bitcoin creates a necessary level of intervention away from traditional banking in an effort to reduce governmental restrictions.
Much to my personal delight, an enlightening presentation was given on the negative impact of crony capitalism by Eliott Fox from the Koch Institute. The content provided valuable insight into government manipulation in matters of business and the way preferential funding and shameless tax credit incentives promote unfair competition among companies. To put it bluntly, as Fox himself stated, “When the government picks winners, liberty loses”. Crony capitalism is the exact antithesis to the success of free-market businesses that flourish under the style of capitalism demanded by Libertarians.
To round out the afternoon we were given a preview of the LibertyCon promo video which was very inspiring and a presentation by Jennifer Anju Grossman, CEO of the Atlas Society. At the event that day, seeing the thousands upon thousands of students engaged in prior LibertyCons gave me so much hope for the growth and advancement of the Libertarian party in the decades to come! Jennifer was the perfect closer to follow the LibertyCon video as few Libertarians have been as inspiring as Ayn Rand. Grossman was introduced with a video supporting the evolution of Libertarian ideals in the female mind. Her principles, however, were applicable across both sexes as she spoke of the highly contagious rhetoric contained in Rand’s classic novels.
Events of this nature, especially those impacting the up and coming youth of the Libertarian movement, are critical to the proverbial passing of the torch from the more seasoned members. As we find ourselves facing the closing months of our Voter Freedom Drive petition it is easy to get discouraged or sometimes feel as though we are spinning our wheels. In lieu of giving into this pessimism it is essential that we continue to seek opportunities to build networks and connections that are inclusive to the entire demographic, especially the youth.