Pavol Fukatsch
Slovakia

Pavol Fukatsch’s

Libertarian Journey


Name: Pavol Fukatsch

Country: Slovakia

Occupation: Regional Director for Central Europe, Masters Student

He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them.”

― Ludwig von Mises

 

What’s your perfect holiday: Swimming in the sea, reading some books and doing nothing for the whole day

What’s your dream country to visit: India, Nepal or Tibet

Favorite book: Roadside Picnic by Strugatsky brothers

What was your journey before your first encounter with SFL?

I was just an ordinary high school student with some unordinary interests. My life revolved pretty much about video games, reading sci-fi and Viennese liberals such as Hayek, Popper or Mises. One day, I went to CEQLS (conference) when I was already doing my bachelors degree in Bratislava and SFL had a table there. Šimon Harant gave me the Local Coordinator program leaflet and it interested me because at that time, I wanted to join some libertarian organization but there was none in Slovakia. I knew about ESFL before that from both a Seminar of Austrian Economics  and the Liberty Camp but that was the day when I decided to apply to SFL. Then I did my exchange in Netherlands (autumn 2015), went to Amsterdam Regional Conference which was a lot of fun and when I returned back I was really lucky to meet Adam, Marianna, Natalia along with David Stancel who helped me establish Slovak SFL in March 2016. Later on David Borovsky and Mario Havel joined who are basically running the show now.

How were you introduced to SFL and to libertarian ideas?

I was always a pro-freedom person, although, not consistent in my ideas. I remember how I used to watch TV debates between Slovak right-wing liberals back when I was 11 years old and they were in power. I was always asking my dad questions about how the politics and markets function and he tried to explain everything which I think he succeeded in doing. It was a really interesting era because all they were talking about was privatization, liberalization and market reforms as opposed to populistic social democracy. That influenced me a lot, since one of the first lessons I remember is that “what belongs to the government doesn’t work”. My mum also influenced me, since she was always there for when I was interested in how life was experienced under communism. What I remember is that she was always speaking about how grey life was. How everyone wore the same clothes so she was creating her own clothes based on designs from Austrian magazines. Or how shops were always empty and how shocking it was for her to see supermarkets in the west. She was also telling me how the atmosphere in her school changed from being suffocating because no one was openly allowed to say anything critical about the system and then moving towards being free after the Velvet Revolution. Then when I was in high school I stumbled upon Free to Choose videos so I binge watched them and luckily for me my dad also had a lot of Hayek’s books in his library so I just picked Road to Serfdom because I liked the name of it when I was 16. It was natural for me because in civics classes I always had those ideas but I couldn’t prove them so I wanted to read more to improve my arguments.

What are the top 3 favorite things about SFL?

People, events and freedom to realize your goals while failing sometimes. People because you can meet individuals who are on the same wavelength as you are, like similar things and are also extremely well-read with interesting activities. SFL being one of them. I have learnt so much from fellow SFLers in the past few years and made a lot of good friends which is also practical, if you like travelling around just exploring new cities. Then I would say the events such as Regional Conferences or Libertycon because of the speakers who have always something interesting to say. Except for the fact that these events fulfill my intellectual curiosity I have also learnt how to work in groups, be more responsible and have the growth mindset. Meaning you can learn pretty much everything with enough effort. I also had the opportunity to realize my goals within Slovak SFL such as organizing conferences (Decentralized Liberty, Bitcoin je Retro) or lectures for the public which I enjoyed and gave me the opportunity to learn more about how to work on projects, plan, work with others to reach a set goal and solve problems when they occur (and they almost always occur).

How did SFL’s programs add value to your professional and personal life?

It changed my life drastically in a positive way. I have practiced my soft-skills such as networking, working in a team, being the leader of an organization, managing projects, presenting ideas and plans before a crowd. It has enriched me intellectually since I had the opportunity to travel to various conferences around Europe. ESFL also gave me the opportunity to hone my English and made me worry less about my future since now I have at least some experience of actually working on something. ESFL also gives more meaning to my life, which I am really grateful for since I see how plenty of my peers are just swimming around in a gulf of meaninglessness.

How has the political situation in your country influenced your views?

If it was a libertarian paradise I wouldn’t have to spread the ideas of liberty

Tell us one Gummersbach story you’ll remember for life?

Well, there are some noteworthy stories, but what happens in Gummersbach stays in Gummersbach.

What was the profession you dreamt about in your childhood and how did it impact your career choice?

I have always wanted to be a rally driver when I was a kid but I don’t how it has impacted my career choice. Maybe it has just reflected some of my traits like not being a risk-averse person and being a bit crazy.

If any, who is your role model?

I don’t have a true role model, but I have always admired Václav Havel and how he was willing to face the communist regime and fight for freedom as the right thing to do even though it cost him a lot personally. But he’s the most well-known from Czechoslovak dissidents. All of the people who fought against totalitarianism are inspiring and deserve respect.

Any binge-watching tv-shows you’d recommend?

I don’t watch as many TV shows as I used to, but my favorites are Breaking Bad, Rick and Morty or The Wire.

How does the perfect SFL event look like?

Interesting speakers who can make controversial arguments which are well-backed by evidence, good food, humor and an epic social.

What is a freer future in your vision?

A future in which people will realize that politics is a reality show they are forced to pay for an enormous amount of money and will seek alternatives and ways how to leave the Leviathan. For example through cryptoanarchy or higher mobility to vote with their feet.

Top 3 advice to our readers

Challenge yourself, embrace discomfort and accelerate!

What are your future goals in life?

I don’t like setting goals a few years in advance because it reminds of central planning. I have one overarching goal which is to keep contributing to the cause of liberty even when I graduate. Then I want to go step by step. The first step is to finish my masters next year, then find an interesting job. After that, I would like to work for a few years, save some money and eventually start my own company. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs and I think I have a similar mentality as they do. Kanye would say I don’t have a manager, I can’t be managed. Then, later on, I would love to try and run for office in order to swing the policy into more libertarian direction or at least advertise the ideas to the broader public like Ron Paul did.

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