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The vibrancy of libertarianism on our campuses

I know Anton Howes, a smart guy who is part of the new generation of 20-somethings making their mark in spreading pro-liberty ideas in our university campuses in the UK.

“In the UK alone, the number of freedom-oriented student groups quadrupled in just a year from 7 to around 30, and the conferences held by the Liberty League, the UK’s network for young libertarians already attract over 100 people. The presence of these groups allows for all sorts of possibilities. Once they start to use their support to make their voice heard around campus, it will no longer appear as though the radical left is dominant in universities, and this may eventually lead to a new status quo in student politics.”

The vibrancy of the libertarian student movement over the past few years has been one of the more encouraging things I have observed lately. It is worth bearing this in mind when contemplating the inevitable cat fights (organising libertarians is a bit like herding cats) that have roiled certain groups in recent years. Regarding that point, I hope that the CATO Institute, which produces a lot of good work, does not get damaged by a wrangle over the estate of the recently deceased William Niskanen.

7 comments to The vibrancy of libertarianism on our campuses

  • chuck

    No sensible person herds cats, they just drag a piece of string along behind them while walking to the destination. Food works pretty well too, and maybe drinks for the thirsty. If it works for cats, it should work for Libertarians.

  • RRS

    Since my previous post seems hung up in the spam grinder, I will offer re: Cato et simile:

    Devaluing the Think Tank by Tevi Troy of the Hudson Institute in National Affairs Number 10 (Winter 2012).

  • Samsung

    Well, things are looking up. When I was a student over twenty years ago, nobody ever talked about libertarianism. I don’t even remember ever hearing the word libertarianism spoken back then. As far as I can remember back in the eighties, feminism and socialism were pretty prominent ideologies in our colleges and universities. When I was doing my degree as a student, Marxism was flavour of the month amongst the young ‘right-on’ politico student types. Usually spoilt middle class shits who thought Karl Marx was ‘Cool’. I came from a working class background and could never understand why some of these pampered little bastards were into this evil garbage. Still don’t.

  • Paul Marks

    How on Samsung (nice “Notebook” by the way – I bought one recently) I was a student (just about) 20 years ago and me and my FCS friends talked about libertarianism all the time.

    You are not claiming that we lacked Earth shattering importance are you?

  • Laird

    20 years ago, in one of my MBA classes (Business Ethics, I think it was; go figure), the professor asked if anyone considered himself a libertarian. Two of us raised our hands; no one else even knew what it meant.

  • Samsung

    Paul Marks, you must have gone to a different university to me. I don’t recall anyone ever talking about Libertarianism. All I can remember is hipster students reading the Guardian, Socialist Worker, Marxism Today and HATING Thatcher. Spoilt middle class wankers. What the hell did those bourgeois phonies know about being one of the down trodden proletariat. They didn’t come from council estates. I fuckin’ hated them. I think my student days helped mold my desire for freedom and liberty, be revulsed by the bankruptcy of Marxism and ultimately gravitate to Libertarianism. It also made me deeply suspicious of privileged middle class trendy wendy’s who spout socialism. Tony Blair, Ed Miliband, Ed Balls…. etc etc. In fact practically the whole fuckin’ Labour Party are made up by these student types I encountered all those years ago.

    My parents are working class and LOVED the fact that Thatcher allowed them to BUY their council house. She empowered the working classes by making them property owners. That’s more than the Labour party ever did. If as a student, I had come home from Uni with a copy of Marxism Today under my arm, I don’t think it would have gone down too well with Mum and Dad. My parents may not be well educated, but they are not daft.

  • Paul Marks

    Laird and Samsung – you have got the percentages about right.

    A handful of resisters does not alter the fact that most students are either indifferent or accept the propaganda they are taught.

    I was being ironic you know.

    We did discuss libertarianism a lot – but there were only a few of us (a small percentage of students in most universities).