The Liberty Seminars 2011: Impressions by Alumni
17 Jan 2012

"Last fall a group of young, eager to learn individuals from all over the world gathered for a week-long seminar in the middle of beautiful Slovenian landscape with blue-colored lake Bohinj and Alpine mountains reaching to the sky.

The Liberty Seminar 2011 was a unique experience, giving me a quick though clear insight into political philosophy I have never encountered before. For many years I have been told and thought that individual's civil or economic activities/relations have to be somewhat regulated, no matter that such action infringes on individual's freedom. The Liberty Seminar introduced me to a true liberal (classical liberal or libertarian) thought, which primarily argues for individual liberty and responsibility. I am astonished that until attending the Liberty Seminar I have never encountered the liberal school of thought.

During the seminar I started asking myself whether it would be better to leave the economy alone (as liberals argue) and not impose "precautionary" government regulation on it. At the same time, I realized that there are other schools of thought about the economy and the role of the government in the society beside the one we were thought in school and which is blindly accepted by our government officials, media, etc. As such, I started seriously doubting that state regulation and interference with the economic activities of the individuals leads to the economic growth and prosperity.

The Liberty Seminars was a great springboard for how I am going to see things and relationships in the future. From now on I will definitely distinguish between a true liberal idea and the one pretending to be liberal.

Žiga Beton, Slovenia, participant of the 2011 Liberty Camp Seminar

"Society is not a collective entity, it is a unique heterogeneous combination of different individuals, with different ideas, different wishes, different values, but with the same rights. Liberty Seminar was an excellent opportunity to explore the importance of individual rights and to celebrate freedom."

Katerina Sapkova, Macedonia, participant of the 2011Liberty Camp Seminar

"The Liberty Seminar provided me with legitimate arguments as to why individual liberty and free markets need defense in the age of public-led economic crisis. It significantly contributed to my understanding of the importance of a minimal governmental interference - even regarding "hard-core" sectors such as education, health, and environment - as a way to eventually bring sustainable economic, social, and cultural development. Lastly, it had been a unique opportunity for getting familiar with associations, think tanks, and analysts that promote the principles of libertarianism."

George Zifkos, United Kingtdom, participant of the 2011 Liberty Camp Seminar

"I decided to attend the Liberty Seminar primarily due to the topics that were scheduled to be discussed. Also, it would be a big shame to miss on an event attended by peers from so many different countries. The debates at the seminar guided me to learn how to clearly express my arguments and views, while the lectures helped me define political and economic ideas, as well as ways in which these ideas can be applied to a daily life. During the seminar, I gained a more constructively critical attitude towards the environment in which we live in. As such, at the seminar I was persuaded that changes are possible towards a society where the government’s sole role and power is to protect individuals’ rights. The most valuable experience from the seminar was certainly the possibility to discuss at ease and length various topics with Slovenian and foreign experts of various fields. Relaxed atmosphere at the seminar created the opportunity to meet lecturers on both professional and personal level."

Vid Greganovič, Slovenia, participant of the 2011 Freedom and Transition Seminar

"I decided to take part in the Liberty Seminars in order to explore how libertarianism deals with various issues of individual rights and free markets and put my own ideas to the test. Moreover, I wanted to become more active and involved, by associating myself with an international network of proponents of liberty, assisting the cause with my personal contribution. The seminars made me realize that libertarian ideals regarding the moral and economic spheres of the individual have great value, having been built on solid theoretical foundations that carry a long intellectual history. I was happy to meet like-minded people from all over the globe who can, in the course of time, become a nucleus which will help the world become a place where liberty is celebrated and prosperity encouraged."

Paris Aslanidis, Greece, participant of the 2011 Liberty Camp Seminar

"Prior to attending the seminar, I was undecided about my political/ideological views. The seminar was exactly what I needed to find myself philosophically. Now I know I am a believer and defendant of the libertarian beliefs and principles. The lectures and discussions at the seminar were intertwined and had a common goal--to understand how the society functions when people are free. Further, the seminar was extremely valuable because I have learned so many useful things (how the banking system works, causes of the financial crisis, importance of media, etc.) and I have made a lot of friends. Lastly, the seminar encouraged me to become both more active as an advocate of free society and learn more about economics, individual rights and libertarianism, so that I can make a difference in the world."

Iulia Davidoiu, Romania, participant of the 2011 Liberty Camp Seminar

"I applied to the Liberty Seminars 2011 because of a) the topic of the seminar--the role and powers of the government in a transitional country and b) an international aspect of the seminar. The most valuable experience obtained at the seminar was a unique perspective of American lecturers on various tax and banking systems. The most memorable lecturer from Slovenia was Mišo Alkalaj, who presented an alternative view on climate change, which questioned the credibility of "green" organizations and the information which they release to the media. The seminar presented alternatives to the public policies currently in place. Slovenia is in an economic-political situation where such alternatives should be seriously considered. Otherwise, the Slovenians will never get back to economic progress and wellbeing."

Dominik Weber, Slovenia, participant of the 2011 Freedom and Transition Seminar

"The Liberty Seminars are a unique opportunity for young people to learn about the topics of rule of law, liberty and economy. Attending the Freedom and Transition Seminars 2011, the time spent on learning and networking with people who think in a very similar way than you, only boosts your learning and experience curve. The panel of well-chosen speakers, starting from members of the Cato Institute to the members of Slovenian academic environment guides you during the learning process and tries to lead you correct reasoning and backing up opinion. I highly recommend attending The Liberty Seminars, it's a great event organized in the nature of beautiful Slovenian Alps, and I wish future success to the Liberty Seminars in the following years."

Matus Straznicky, Slovakia, participant of the 2011 Freedom and Transition Seminar

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