Originally published on the author’s Medium blog
Last Saturday, I attended Students for Liberty’s first regional conference in Belfast. The organisation, an international non-profit, is focused on empowering young people to advocate for the ideas of personal freedom in all spheres of life. In short, they are libertarians. “Ew, filthy globalists and capitalists”, you might think. Quite the opposite: during my first experience at a Students for Liberty event and a whole day hanging out with them, I actually found myself surrounded by brilliant people and refreshing ideas.
After a 5-hour-long journey from Glasgow to Belfast, I arrived to a promising event, something unlike anything I had ever been to before. The speaker line-up was irresistibly unconventional: Prof Gerard Casey, an anarchist; Bill Wirtz, a young pro-liberty journalist; Prof Tara Smith, an objectivist philosopher; Vera Kichanova, first elected libertarian in Russia; and many inspiring young leaders from the UK and Ireland. What a combination!
The result was a set of talks, panels and workshops that were at once thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, eye-opening. Ideas were flying around, sparkling discussion between the attendees. I will give you a taste of it:
“Poverty doesn’t have causes, it is the default state. Wealth is what requires explanation.”
Let that sink in.
“When it comes to journalism, people want to hear you, libertarian ideas give us the advantage of freshness, of novelty.”
Fringe movement? Not anymore.
“The War on Drugs is over, and prohibition has lost.”
A new approach to a policy that has failed.
“Give people freedom and they’ll have the keys for the kingdom. Liberty rights are the recipe for human flourishing.”
Feel empowered yet?
Moreover, it did not end after the closure address. In yet another display of its liveliness, Students for Liberty increased the network with three more signups for its Local Coordinator programme, which supports and empowers young leaders like myself in our advocacy for a freer society. They call it #GenerationFree and, after the weekend, I start to believe that we really are the Generation Free.
In short, my experience at the Belfast regional conference was frankly fantastic. Without any doubt, this was one of those events that make you realize that a bright future awaits and that, believe it or not, you are part of it. We are making it happen.
By Rafael Crespo Molina, Local Coordinator at European Students For Liberty
This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions. If you’re a student interested in presenting your perspective on this blog, visit our guest submissions page. Like what you read here? You can sign up for a weekly digest of the SFL blog and subscribe for a weekly update on SFL’s events, leadership programs, and resources.