The Institute for Humane Studies visits Troy University




The Institute for Humane, a libertarian organization from George Mason University, hosted a two day educational seminar called “Does Freedom Matter?” at Troy University this passed weekend.

Four speakers lead lectures and discussion on several topics such as the nature of rights, politics and government.

The discussions were often framed by providing the listener with brief philosophical history lessons about such thinkers as Aristotle and Adam Smith. Other presentations confronted issues differently.

One presentation titled “The Bourgeois Era: Why Some People are Rich While Others Are Poor,” tried to make sense of economic disparities by comparing overall wealth distribution to the past, while deriding government, as well as some private, attempts at remedying problems for the third world as being disastrous and counterproductive.

Another presentation titled “How to be Ruled by Eccentric Rich Guys: Campaign Finance “Reform and the Future of Free Speech” tackled the topic of campaign finance reform and asserted that limitations on an individuals ability to promote an idea with their money is the same as limiting how much they are allowed to say, and is thus a violation of free speech.

Attendees were treated to breakfast, lunch, and dinner in exchange for attending the event. And in an note-worthy display of libertarianism, attendees were invited to a social event at the end of each day where free beer was provided to those over 21.

The narrative of the event was decidedly one sided, but questions were welcome from the audience and exchanges were all cordial. 

ImageImageBibb Graves Hall, where the event was held.Image
Attendees before the lectures began. There were approximately 80 in attendance the first day, and around 40 by the end of the event.
Daniel J. D’Amico, assistant professor of ecnomics at Loyola University in New Orleans giving presentation, about how humans naturally create functioning societies, called “Spontaneous Order.”

Trevor Burrus, research fellow from the CATO institute, giving his presentation about campaign financing.

A fitting way wash down two days worth of lectures on maverick ideals? Perhaps.

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