This past weekend, I was at the 4th Annual Estudantes Pela Liberdade Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The conference attracted over 600 attendees this year, far more than the 200 I remember at the first EPL Conference in 2012. There is an incredible movement for liberty growing down there, led by students like Kim Kataguiri and many others, involving millions of Brazilians calling for market liberalization and liberty. It was an exciting and inspiring weekend.
During the first European Students For Liberty Leadership Retreat in 2011, I remember sitting around a table with European libertarians and hearing them all say that we would never operate in France or Greece, the environment was too antithetical to our views. Now, Students For Liberty in France has organized 3 Regional Conferences over the past 3 years and has more groups than anyone could have ever expected. Students For Liberty in Greece won SFL’s Event of the Year Award.
Even in the United States, SFL has consistently organized conferences and supported students at schools most people would claim are entirely antithetical to liberty, like Berkeley, Harvard, and Columbia.
One take-away from this is the conditional statement: Some of the strongest advocates of liberty come from some of the most hostile environments.
The more important take-away, though, is a universal statement: There are advocates of liberty everywhere.
More people support liberty than we tend to give them credit for.
There is great reason for hope everywhere.