Students for Liberty: Ready to Change the World!

Posted on December 18, 2010 by


Some of the most exciting moments of my life have been experienced in exhilarating silence while listening to the ideas of liberty expounded upon by scholars of economics, history, philosophy, and even sociology.  One of the best weeks of my life was the week of Mises University 2007 in which the required readings taught me about the “Calculation Debate” and professors like Roger Garrison explained the Austrian Business Cycle Theory.  I consider myself very lucky to have ever heard about these ideas.

My older brother introduced me to the Mises daily e-mails in 2005 after having been introduced to them by a mutual friend who attended Purdue University whom discovered them on the forums of a website called “NewspeakDictionary.”  I signed up for the daily e-mails and read a many as possible.  The first major influential article was one that Bettina B. Greaves transcribed of a lecture by Ludwig von Mises entitled Beware the Alchemist.  Reading that lecture was absolutely enthralling and life changing for a person who had, up until then, found Ann Coulter to be a good read.

Ron Paul ran for president in 2007.  This seems to have been a turning point in the liberty movement, creating a critical mass of young students who are interested in the ideas of liberty and willing to spread the message on campus.  Many students from Indiana went to campaign for Ron Paul in Dubuque Iowa during the caucuses.  Of the group of students I met in Dubuque, many are actively participating in the student movement today.  Ideas were spread like STD’s at an orgy and many students came out of that week with a new perspective on liberty, a few even becoming radicals for liberty.  Many students have vocally wished elections were every year and Ron Paul would run so that they could experience what they experienced in Iowa and their respective states.

Elections cannot be every year and not everyone has the fortune of being exposed to Ludwig von Mises through the roundabout process I was.  However, with this newly formed critical mass of liberty oriented students and the emergence of Young Americans for Liberty, there is a demand for the ideas of liberty of liberty like never before.  The Mises Institute has been at full capacity with Mises University applicants and has been turning down students due to space constraints because of the popularity of Austrian Economics.

Students for Liberty entered the scene to fill the resource gap for liberty oriented groups that were either single issue or generally inclined towards a liberty perspective.  The goals of SFL can be compared to the goals of the Bill of Rights but instead of taking the political route, as YAL and C4L are effectively doing, they are using ideas as ammunition to strike the root of statism where it’s sown, college campuses.  When Luke Kenworthy and I started a Young Americans for Liberty group at Indiana University Kokomo we had the support of an amazing national organization under Jeff Frazee that provided us with resources we needed to spread the message of liberty through protests and pizza.  Students for Liberty, however, provided our group with books through their “free books” written by Ludwig von Mises.  YAL and SFL are two effective organizations for spreading the message of liberty; one focusing on political activism and student organizations and the other focusing on the ideas of liberty, best practices, and education.  If you were to use a venn diagram to illustrate their strategies for liberty there would be quite a bit of overlap.

Students for Liberty has a special place in my heart though.  Not only do they teach you how to spread the ideas that have left me sitting in enthralled amazement during lectures, but they also host conferences and webinars with such speakers.  My personal favorite webinar was one done with Jeffrey Miron on the drug war.  These conferences combine the experiences I’ve had at Mises University with the experiences I’ve had campaigning for Ron Paul and attending YAL events.  The Midwest Regional Conference in Chicago, and notably Tom Palmer, was an incredible experience I was able to share with many Indiana friends from many different student groups.

If you would like to give the gift of liberty, Students for Liberty is working on a Christmas Campaign to fund their radicalism for these ideas in the coming years.  For more stories on how Students for Liberty is effectively doing this read these here, here, here, here, and here. For there report on how they spend donor money go here.  I also encourage donations to YAL and any other liberty oriented organization.


Posted in: Student Activism