CIS Liberty & Society Conference

March 24th, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

cis

I know dozens of people who have attended a Liberty & Society conference and all bar one of them have raved about it. The sole dissenter was Cactus Kate who complained that the hosts () are too left wing :-)

If you are a undergraduate, postgraduate or recent graduate, and broadly identify as classical liberal then consider applying. It is a great experience.

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19 Responses to “CIS Liberty & Society Conference”

  1. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Heh – well when I went they did have the Aussie labour party president as a speaker.

    Though he did say that the answer to aboriginal issues was private property rights ;-)

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  2. The Stig (33 comments) says:

    This conferece should be compulsory for anyone seeking elected office in the National Party.

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  3. Michael M Wilson (55 comments) says:

    Nothing says liberal politics like stock photos of Americans!

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  4. Crampton (215 comments) says:

    I attended the one run by the Institute for Humane Studies in the US, summer of 1997. Best I’m aware, the CIS sessions are modeled on the IHS ones. I probably wouldn’t have gone to grad school in economics if I hadn’t attended that IHS seminar; if the CIS one is anywhere near as good, it’s well worth attending.

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  5. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    Had to Google to find out exactly what this means.
    Doesn’t sound like me…
    In fact, it maybe sounds kind of dangerous?

    A common synonym for ‘classical liberal’ which is more commonly used in the US is libertarian.

    Libertarianism is a political philosophy that tends to oppose the rules established by traditional marriage and religious values. A libertarian believes in minimizing or entirely eliminating government interventionism in all aspects of life; including economic, personal and in foreign policy matters. The French term of Laissez-Faire, or let us do, is a term that describes some aspects of the libertarian belief. [1] Libertarianism tends to emphasize an amoral form of individual liberty, and tends to support rights of private property.

    Libertarianism is best summed up in the so-called Non-Aggression Principle, which states that government (or “private police agencies” in the anarcho-capitalist variant) should only exist to protect life, liberty, and property from force and fraud.

    Libertarianism is closely related to liberalism, if this word is interpreted according to its original meaning of classical liberalism. Libertarians in America tend to be liberal on social issues but conservative on economic issues. Libertarians generally oppose government regulation of drugs, prostitution, marriage (including bans of same-sex marriage or polygamy), euthanasia. The Libertarian Party officially supports legalized abortion, however, libertarians themselves are divided on the issue, since government protection from force depends on the personhood of the unborn baby (or fetus). They oppose restrictions on pornography. However, they also oppose universal health care, taxes and the welfare state. They are strong supporters of school choice, and oppose continuing the public school system. Some libertarians support school vouchers, while others are skeptical due to the issue of government influence over private education.

    Libertarians support an expansive view of liberty as the proper basis for organizing civil society. They tend to define liberty as the freedom to do whatever one wishes up to the point that one’s behavior begins to interfere with another’s person or property through coercive means. At the point of interference, each party would become subject to certain principled rules for adjudicating disputes, generally accepting that one who has demonstrated a proven lack of respect for the rights of others should be subject to sanctions, including possible constraints on their freedom. They believe that liberty is the right of every individual.

    Libertarians generally defend the ideal of freedom from the perspective of how little one is constrained by authority, i.e., how much one is allowed to do (also referred to as negative liberty). This ideal is distinguished from a view of freedom focused on how much one is able to do (also called positive liberty).

    Libertarians tend to use the word “libertarian” (small “l”) to refer to the philosophy, and “Libertarian” (capital “L”) to refer to the party. Thus, more libertarians exist than members of the Libertarian Party. Two general factions exist in the libertarian movement. The first are those libertarians who apply the principles of right to person and property to an absolute. They believe that no person, group, or government is above the right to violate these two things. They thus believe that government itself is illegitimate because it violates person and property. These libertarians subscribe to anarcho-capitalism, as first named by Murray N. Rothbard. They believe that law and security can be handled by private means in the free market. The other faction believes in a very limited government. They are often referred to as minarchists. Libertarian minarchists want the state to only enforce law and order but generally nothing else. Ayn Rand was a minarchist.

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  6. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Pah!… an execise in mind molestation by rightwing flunkys indulging in robbery and oppression of the poor and Maori by the neo Liberal fat cats whom have gotten rich on the backs of the dispossed prolitariat!

    (Im trying that “walk a day in another mans shoes” thing…today Im being a committed marxist…can you tell?)

    ;-)

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  7. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Had to Google to find out exactly what this means.
    Doesn’t sound like me…”

    No…..more like Redbaiter….that darn permissive liberal!

    ;-)

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  8. baxter (893 comments) says:

    Sounds like Woodstock revisited.

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  9. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Fletch…..a better definition of Libertarianism is to be found here…

    http://pc.blogspot.com/2007/02/cue-card-libertarianism-libertarianism.html

    The writer of the piece you posted seems not to have gotten the finer points of Liberty …

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  10. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Those two Stepford Wives turn my stomach. Do they reflect the kind of thinking on offer? Best to stay well away!

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  11. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Those two Stepford Wives turn my stomach. Do they reflect the kind of thinking on offer? Best to stay well away!”

    Yeah….like you were going anyway fly strike….;-) Best stick to the earthy,ugly boilers the Left seems to have in abundance.

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  12. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Surely they’re American…. no NZers look that plastic I would hope.

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  13. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    Not sure I agree with Fletch. The words “classical liberal” I understand to mean a doctrine of individual liberty, free-market and limited government. All ideas which I think many on this blog would share.

    Libertarianism on the other hand takes things to the maximum by making freedom of the individual almost absolute. I think libertarian and “libertine” are actually fairly close cousins. Libertarians seem to recognise no moral restraint in my view.

    Classical liberalism today is probably closest to the Conservative movement. By this I mean Conservative or right of centre government’s are keen to stress individual liberty, free-market as opposed to socialism, and limited government as opposed to ‘the nanny state’. Therefore I would imagine that the current national government, although labelled Conservative, are probably fairly close to the definition of classical liberal.

    Having checked the website I think the conference looks pretty good.

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  14. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    Scott, the article I looked at from which I got my description recommends the same books as on the conference site though [http://www.cis.org.au/L&S/HTML/classiclib.htm], such as ‘What it means to be a Libertarian by Charles Murray’ (Broadway Books, 1997), so I’m pretty sure ‘classical liberal’ and libertarian are interchangeable. It means the same thing.

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  15. Cactus Kate (551 comments) says:

    Yeah welcome to CIS, it is like some of you attended the way this thread is panning out………

    Endless discussion (verbal masturbation) about the definition of liberal, liberalism, liberty, libertarianism and the quest to see who can win the award for the most liberal attendee.

    I was ready to walk out when the attendees present decided that there had to be a rate of income tax above 0%.

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  16. wikiriwhis business (4,016 comments) says:

    “I was ready to walk out when the attendees present decided that there had to be a rate of income tax above 0%.”

    How much did you have to pay to listen to this crap?

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  17. William Fussey (45 comments) says:

    Wikiriwhis business: It is free. Everything is paid for including a reasonable amount of alcohol! Obviously you have to qualify to go, so it’s only a free lunch if they deem you worthy!

    It’s a good weekend, I would recommend it as worth going to. You usually get some good speakers and some interesting debates going.

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  18. racer (257 comments) says:

    Do they take filthy lefty liberals too?

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  19. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Scott: “Not sure I agree with Fletch. The words “classical liberal” I understand to mean a doctrine of individual liberty, free-market and limited government. All ideas which I think many on this blog would share.”

    Yes….for some great reading on Classical Liberalism go here…

    http://www.liberalvalues.org.nz/index.php?action=view_journals&author_id=8

    “Libertarianism on the other hand takes things to the maximum by making freedom of the individual almost absolute. I think libertarian and “libertine” are actually fairly close cousins. Libertarians seem to recognise no moral restraint in my view.”

    Quite wrong…indeed of all the political positions out there Libs would be the most morally observant of all….the whole position is centred on mans individual rights,life liberty,property etc…..the launguage through which liberty is spoken.A libertine is a person of loose sexual morals and restraint…..Libs stand for upholding individual rights for themselves and others….with personal responsibilty.

    “Classical liberalism today is probably closest to the Conservative movement. By this I mean Conservative or right of centre government’s are keen to stress individual liberty, free-market as opposed to socialism, and limited government as opposed to ‘the nanny state’. Therefore I would imagine that the current national government, although labelled Conservative, are probably fairly close to the definition of classical liberal.”

    Not in ten lifetimes Scott! They are quasi socialists wishing they had the guts to just become consistent conservatives…Classical liberalism IS Libertarianism…there is no difference.But don’t confuse Libertarians with “Libertarianz”
    …the political party….the former doesn’t automatically mean membership of the latter….usual the latter has turned off the former! (Long Story)

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