Over the past few days, I’ve been pleased to be able to participate in a number of events, first in Ukraine and then in Greece. In Ukraine, I was fortunate to be able to address the European Students for Liberty conference in Kyiv. Ukraine is a country and region in crisis that is desperately in need of the liberty message and I was pleased to be able to play a role in the conference. European Students for Liberty is doing some great work in Ukraine in regards to free markets and liberty.

Addressing the ESFL Conference in Kyiv
Addressing the ESFL Conference in Kyiv
Students at ESFL Conference in Kyiv
Students at ESFL Conference in Kyiv

As you can see from some of the pictures, there was a healthy attendance and the students seemed to enjoy themselves greatly. We were able to distribute many copies of The Morality of Capitalism in Ukrainian. There was a review published of the Ukrainian edition of The Morality of Capitalism, as well. The only negative from the conference was that Kakha Bendukidze, who had plans to attend the event, had recently passed away. While the conference was occurring, The New Yorker printed this article of appreciation about our hero Kakha Bendukidze, whom we honored that weekend in Ukraine. After the lecture at Kyiv National University and interview on EspresoTV with Mykola Veresen’. I had a meeting with Ukrainian economists working on reforms.

There were a few opportunities for interviews in Greece, which gave me the opportunity to explain libertarianism in a country that has been plagued with debt, anarchism, and state failings for years now.

I was able to conduct a number of interviews in Greece. Amongst them were this interview in in.gr, which is the major news portal in the country, with more than three-million unique visitors per month. Athens Voice is the largest free press (one that was recently attacked by anti-capitalist anarchists when their offices were reduced to ashes) and I was pleased to be able to do an interview with them as well, found here. MarketNews.gr is one of the most well respected financial websites in the country, I gave an interview for them which has now been published.

Greek Translations of Why Liberty and The Morality of Capitalism
Greek Translations of Why Liberty and Peace, Love & Liberty
Morality of Capitalism in GreekMorality of Capitalism in Greek

We were able to see Greek translations of Why Liberty and Peace, Love & Liberty printed and on display. Both of those books can be downloaded for free in English here. I was able to attend a few more events in Greece, including an event at The Amalia Hotel called “A static Europe in a progressive world? How much freedom is good for a society?”

The Audience at the event at the Amalia Hotel
The Audience at the event at the Amalia Hotel

Next I had a talk on “A Brief History of Liberty” at the Institute for Diplomacy in Athens, sponsored by the John Stuart Mill Research Group – Ερευνητικός Όμιλος “John Stuart Mill”.

Lecturing on "A Brief History of Liberty" in Athens
Lecturing on “A Brief History of Liberty” in Athens
The crowd at the "A Brief History of Liberty" lecture in Athens.
The crowd at the “A Brief History of Liberty” lecture in Athens.
Lecturing on "A Brief History of Liberty" in Athens.
Lecturing on “A Brief History of Liberty” in Athens.
Discussing issues underneath the Parthenon in Athens.
An interview underneath the Parthenon in Athens.

Next was the Greek Students for Liberty Conference, also in Athens. This is an organization of students organizing for liberty who I am very proud to be associated with. Their conference was well attended and gives me hope for the future of free markets and liberty in Greece.

Greek Students for Liberty Conference Audience.
Greek Students for Liberty Conference Audience.
Greek Students for Liberty Conference audience.
Greek Students for Liberty Conference audience.

I am proud to be associated with so many liberty and free market-oriented groups, events, and people. This trip to two countries and regions that have struggled with these issues recently gives me hope that we can spread the message of liberty to every corner of the globe.

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I’m pleased to announce that in January I’ll be speaking at events in Nepal and India. These are countries that have a budding interest in liberty and free markets, so it is wonderful to see student organizations and events occurring there.

From January 8th until the 10th, 2015, in Kathmandu, Nepal, I’ll be at the Asia Liberty Forum: Advancing Liberty & Markets in Asia. I’m scheduled to speak to the forum and am pleased that I will have the chance to hear some of the other speakers as well.

On January 17th-18th, 2015, the first annual South Asia Students for Liberty Conference will be held in Delhi, India. Myself, Barun Mitra, Ken Schoolland, Christopher Lingle, Jerry Johnson, are scheduled to speak to the conference. More information can be found here or on the Facebook Event.

 

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I’m currently in Greece doing a series of events and was pleased to be able to give this interview with MarketNews.gr, my first interview on this trip to Greece. The interview is written in Greek, so if you don’t speak that it will likely not be too appealing. But, if you’re eager to eager to read some more liberty materials in Greek, I did another interview years ago that can be downloaded here.

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Students for Liberty is holding a Black Friday-Cyber Monday sale on a number of books they have published in the last couple of years. One can get 100 copies of various books for just $20.00. I served as the editor for several of these books, including After the Welfare State, The Morality of Capitalism, Why Liberty, and Peace, Love, & Liberty. This is a great opportunity for student groups and liberty organizations to get a bundle of resources that will connect with members for very cheap.

Students_for_Liberty

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Liberty in Greece

November 28, 2014

I’ll be doing several speaking events in Greece over the coming week. This includes speaking on Wednesday the 3rd of December at Amalia Athens Hotel. The topic will be, A static Europe in a progressive world? “How much freedom is good for a society?” 

On Thursday the 4th of December, the Institute of Diplomacy is hosting a talk, where I’ll speak on the topic of “A Brief History of Liberty”.

The next day, Friday the 5th of December, I’ll be attending Students for Liberty’s Regional Conference in Greece. I’m always pleased to be able to attend Students for Liberty events, as they’re always a refreshing look at the future of the global free market movement.

 

 

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Tomorrow, the 18th of November, I will be speaking at the University of Alabama: at the Gorgas Library, Room 205 at 6:30 pm. No RSVP is required. This is a Cato Event, where I will lecture on Giving Peace A Chance. I look forward to interacting with students, please join us if you can.

Next month, on Friday December 5th, at 4:00 pm local time, I will be attending the European Students for Liberty’s first national conference for Greece in Athens. You can find more details about that event here. This is a country that is very much in need of free market ideas right now

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Tomorrow I’ll be speaking to the 2014 Students For Liberty Pittsburgh Regional Conference along with others like David Boaz, Lawrence W. Reed, Shikha Dalmia, Matt Welch, and Nick Gillespie, among others. These regional conferences are rewarding events for students and one of the dominant ways that Students for Liberty excites young activists. If you are unable to attend but want to support Students for Liberty, follow them on Facebook or go to their Website to see how to get involved.

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An article at RealClearPolitics includes a few of my thoughts about post-Communist Europe. There are undoubtedly groups of people nostalgic about communist Europe, but things seem to be moving in the right direction at the very least.

I asked Palmer, now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and executive vice president for international programs at the libertarian Atlas Network, for an updated view. In his email, he sounded more upbeat than one might expect: “Remember what the condition was in 1989 and 1990. Dictatorships. Food shortages. Despair. Visit those countries now and you find very different places. Yes, they are not perfect, but it’s so easy to overlook the progress when you’re looking for the faults.”

Still, Palmer acknowledges that there is a lingering nostalgia for communism among some in Eastern Europe—especially older people for whom normal nostalgia for their youth is associated with the communist past—and that such sentiment paradoxically feeds into the popularity of far-right nationalist and even fascist movements. In the case of Russia, he says, “there is another element, which I call ‘Failed Empire Syndrome’: the longing for the days when ‘we were feared,’ mixed in with conspiracy theories of being betrayed, humiliated, etc.”

You can read the whole article here.

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On November 29th and 30th, I will be present at the European Students for Liberty Ukraine Summit in Kyiv. Top speakers will address the crowd in Ukrainian, Russian, and English on a number of important issues for a country and a region that is very much in crisis.

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I wrote this article on the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today is the 25th anniversary and it’s worth remembering how and why the wall came down.

Just as important as celebration of the overthrow of entrenched evil is the attempt to understand how and why that system of evil fell. I spent most of 1989 and 1990 in Eastern Europe spreading the ideas of the free society — smuggling books, photocopiers and the like and holding seminars, lectures and meetings with dissidents, students and others who were beginning to confront socialism openly. I observed the fall of communism up close. This is what I learned.

The collapse of the communist ideal came about quickly; it surprised the leaders of the socialist states, not to mention almost all American observers. But the rot had set in many years before. I remember the Polish workers who complained, “Forty years of Socialism, and still no toilet paper!” But the ruling classes were in some ways even more demoralized, for it was they who traveled to the West and could compare our societies with theirs. Rich and powerful people who traveled to America or West Germany realized that their standard of living was lower than that of the average industrial worker in a Western country.

The whole rotten structure came tumbling down when people realized that the “real” communists among them were but a small minority. As they learned that, it became possible to express opposition to the system and not be singled out as the lonely dissident who could expect to be manacled and thrown down the memory hole.

Communism and state socialism have not gone away in the years since this was written. But we can still derive important lessons for liberty from the fall of the Berlin Wall. The hows and whys of the fall of the Berlin Wall are extremely important for libertarians and lovers of liberty and peace to examine closely, so that we might replicate that success elsewhere.

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