Open Letter to All Freedom Lovers

From Mark Skousen, producer of FreedomFest

I woke up this morning thinking about “Why We Need to Get Together Once a Year.”  Over the years, I’ve been impressed with the proliferation of free-market think tanks and freedom organizations which are doing their part to make a difference:  publishing websites, special reports and books; holding meetings and conventions; influencing elected officials or using the court system to overturn bad legislation.

That’s where FreedomFest comes in. Our mission is simple: to bring together once a year all the freedom groups and provide a place to learn, network, socialize and celebrate liberty.  And we do it in the nation’s most libertarian city, Las Vegas. We are a for-profit organization, so we don’t compete for fundraising with all these good causes. We try not to promote one organization over another. We support them all. In Hayekian terms, it’s a spontaneous order, with every think tank and freedom organization deciding for themselves what to talk about. FreedomFest is not “my” conference, it’s “our” conference.

The idea came to me when I was president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the country’s oldest free-market organization. Why not have an annual reunion, I thought, and bring together all the think tanks and freedom organizations from around the world, to talk about philosophy, history, science & technology, healthy living, music & dance, investments, and geo-politics?  We would create an intellectual feast in a fun town, the entertainment capital of the world.

And then invite the general public, concerned citizens, business and political leaders, investors, and young people around the world to join us.  I imagined them walking into an exhibit hall full of booths of think tanks, publishers, film producers, and freedom organizations, highlighting their latest efforts.  I envisioned it as “one stop shopping for liberty.”

I was told, “It can’t be done. Libertarians are like a herd of cats.”

But the founders did it. At the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “It is a singular thing in the history of mankind that a great people have had the opportunity of forming a government for themselves. We are making experiment in politics. In these sentiments, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, if they are such. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. It therefore astonishes me to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does.”

Franklin also warned, “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

We all are doing our best to promote the principles of liberty and justice, but we must do more. We are losing the battle, slowly but surely. I’ve felt for some time that the enemies of liberty are better organized, and now more than ever, it is critical that all the movers and shakers in the freedom movement come together once a year if we are going to reverse the tide. There is strength in numbers.

Milton Friedman, before he died, wrote me a letter in which he caught the vision of this gathering: “FreedomFest is THE great place to talk, argue, listen, celebrate the triumphs of liberty, assess the dangers to liberty, and provide that eternal vigilance that is the price of liberty.” Steve Forbes and John Mackey are our co-ambassadors. They understand the importance of this “focal point” of liberty and set aside all four days in their busy schedule to attend. So do most of the other speakers.    As Steve Forbes says, “FreedomFest is where the best ideas and strategies are fleshed out.  I wouldn’t miss it.”

FreedomFest has been called many things: A Live Wikipedia for libertarians; a Renaissance gathering for free thinkers; the Trade Show for Liberty; the New Mecca for free minds; the Focal Point for freedom lovers; the Gathering of the Tribes; the Disneyland of the mind; the blow-out conference of libertarian gold bugs; the Libertarianism’s Church of What’s Happening Now; and the Greatest Libertarian Show on Earth. There’s something for everyone at FreedomFest.

And it’s catching on. We are growing every year.  Practically all the major think tanks and freedom organizations have caught the vision of FreedomFest and are making their way to Vegas every second week in July. Fox News is now coming and taping the Stossel show; other radio and TV stations are doing their shows there. Thousands of concerned citizens, investors, authors, professors, students and experts are joining us from around the world. Some even change their schedule to attend; they sacrifice to be there.

What do we have planned for this year? Check us out. For a list of all the great speakers, panels and debates, go to http://freedomfest.com/blog/2014/04/25/whattoexpect/ And don’t miss our ever-popular Anthem libertarian film festival going on all four days at FreedomFest. This time it includes a sneak preview of the new film “Atlas Shrugged 3″ hosted by John Stossel.

I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  If not us, then who?  If not now, then when?

Spread the word.  John Galt is calling….

FreedomFest is only a few weeks away. Now is the time to join us in Las Vegas.  Go to www.freedomfest.com to learn more and register.  Or call Tami Holland, our conference coordinator, at 1-866-266-5101.  It will change your life….and maybe even the world.

Yours for peace, prosperity and liberty, AEIOU,

Mark
Mark Skousen
Producer, FreedomFest
www.freedomfest.com
July 9-12, 2014, Las Vegas
Theme: “Is Big Brother Here?”
http://vimeo.com/70558676

Comments

  1. says

    There are errors about the Constitution here. One is treating it and its “founding fathers” as libertarian. The real libertarian document was the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution was railroaded through by a consortium of special interests headed by the monarchist Hamilton. It created a process that would consistently increase centralization of power and authority.

    Hamilton, unable to get us a hereditary monarch (after the deposed Bonny Prince Charlie of Scotland turned down his invitation to rule the US), Hamilton settled for an elected monarch. At his urging, Washington, by executive order, created “federal zones,” one overlaying each state, in order to unconstitutionally enforce the Whiskey Tax, and to haul people from Pittsburgh and Cannonsburg to distant Philadelphia, where they would not be tried by a jury of their peers. (They were acquitted anyhow, but not compensated for a year of crop losses.)

    Hamilton and Morris also succeeded in making our monetary system forever dependent on bank lending, got us away from land value tax as called for in the Articles of Confederation, embraced a system of import tariffs to protect favored industrialists, and so on.

    Franklin was extremely old at the time of the Con Con, and slept though almost all of the proceedings. He was mostly there to give it legitimacy.

    Moreover, the Continental Congress never authorized more than proposals for individual amendments to the Articles, and “We the People” never ratified the Constitution. The only state where it was put up for a popular vote was Rhode Island, which voted it down 91% to 9%. The new government threatened to blockade Rhode Island and South Carolina unless they acceded to the Constitution. (How libertarian is that?)

    In any case, the Constitutional Convention is a poor example of a libertarian gathering. As famed libertarian Albert Jay Nock noted,

    “One need only shift a switch in the New York Central’s yard some three inches to determine whether a train shall go to Boston or to Chicago. We shifted the switch a hundred and fifty years ago, and set the national train going toward the Chicago of hundred-per-cent Statism, with our old friend natural law furnishing abundant steam. The New Deal means merely that we are now somewhere near South Bend, Indiana, and going strong; and if anyone knows how to reverse that train and head it toward Boston without an awful catastrophe, he is just the man that a good many of us would like to see.”

    http://savingcommunities.org/docs/nock.albert/godslookout.html#newdeal

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