Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Faith in Liberty, Hope for the Future

It has been some time since I have written a piece for this blog, but as a creative soul who often has a distracted mind when it comes to sitting down and forcing myself to write - I only write when truly inspired. One  weekend this past April came to mine, and provided inspiration for this blog post, and much more than that.

My three peers from Lindenwood University and I embarked on a journey to Washington D.C. on a Thursday through Sunday in April for a conference on Markets and Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. I must say, before visiting our nation's capital I could never picture myself falling in love with a city - but I fell head over heels. Aside from my major of religion, and my minor of anthropology - one of my passions is history. Before the History Channel turned over to being all about aliens and conspiracy theories - and when it actually had decent documentaries about historical figures, that is all I watched. As our small group of four students including myself, and our professor (Dr. Douchant), walked around D.C. it was clear to me that I could spend weeks here exploring all of the museums, monuments, and streets. We arrived Thursday morning and toured the rest of the day as well as Friday (up until 5 p.m. when the conference started). At the conference we listened to the authors - whose works we had read in preparation for the conference - speak, and also had the chance to sit in groups with students from a few different colleges across the United States and discuss what we had read, what we had learned from reading, and what our thoughts and perspective were all this information.

The conference left me in awe. That is the best word for what I was feeling, and am still feeling after that weekend. As a millennial, a label I despise from the negative connotation that is often behind it - I often find myself discouraged with my generation's seemingly ambivalent nature when it comes to social change and intellectual topics. As I sat and listened to everyone in my group discuss the topics at hand - it was clear to me that my generation has great minds (LIBERTY minded ones), and that tyranny better watch out, because we are coming. I left D.C. with such incredible hope for the future of the liberty movement. As a Young Americans for Liberty chapter president, and now a State Chair for Missouri - I am always looking for possible people to recruit - and I suspect many students at the conference were more liberty minded than they thought, or would ever identify themselves as, unless they become familiar with the philosophy of liberty.

As I walked around the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in D.C., thinking about how I could see myself sitting for hours on those steps in the sun reading books about the philosophy of liberty, toured Koch Institute and learned about internship opportunities with liberty minded organizations, sat at a table with members of Institute for Human Studies and learned about summer seminars available for students on various liberty related topics, and as I read my free book I received at the end of the conference ("Why Liberty" edited by Tom G. Palmer) which turned out to be a collection of writings from libertarian authors  - I could only think one thing... the liberty movement is alive and well, and I have never been more passionate (and sure of something being a necessity in our society) in my entire life.

I cannot wait until my next opportunity to experience something like that weekend. And I cannot wait to spread the philosophy of liberty, even if that means exercising my right to free speech on a corner with flyers in hand. I am so excited for YALCON, our national convention for Young Americans for Liberty one week from now. Events like this give me hope for the future, and instill the passion I have for liberty.

That being said, if you have any questions about how YOU can get involved with the liberty movement in your state, on your campus, or if you'd like to learn more via book recommendations I have -  don't hesitate to contact me at mackenzie.vieth@yaliberty.org 

For Liberty,
Mackenzie Vieth

"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and have the courage to defend it." - Jaoquim Nabuco