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Author Topic: 2013-02-18 nationalreview.com - Moving the Liberty Movement  (Read 604 times)
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February 18, 2013, 12:07:23 PM
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Moving the Liberty Movement - A young GOP congressman appeals to young libertarian voters.

It’s 3:45 p.m. on a Saturday, and at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington, D.C., a conference room is packed with college students. It’s standing room only, and there’s barely enough of that for all the 18- to 25-year-olds who are trying to jam into the space, which is already noticeably warmer than the rest of the hotel and has begun to smell a little ripe. College students don’t care. In 15 minutes, Republican congressman Justin Amash is going to defend the existence of government to a room full of anarcho-capitalists.

Let’s backtrack. This weekend, about 1,500 college students and recent graduates descended on the Hyatt for the International Students for Liberty Conference. There are libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, would-be seasteaders, recalcitrant Republicans, Ayn Rand devotees, and just about every other possible iteration of the so-called liberty movement, a big-tent designation for activists galvanized by typically libertarian issues, including opposition to drone warfare, support for marijuana legalization, ending the Federal Reserve Bank, decreasing U.S. military presence overseas, and protecting individuals’ freedom to do just about anything they want. They run an ideological gamut, from Michael Malice, a writer fond of saying that you can’t vote your way out of tyranny (and who, as far as I can tell, thinks all government is immoral), to John Ramsey and Preston Bates, who run a super PAC dedicated to helping libertarian-leaning candidates win elections as Republicans.

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Or they could chat up two brothers, Zach and Josh Harvey, who just started a bitcoin-consultation business. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer, all-online currency that’s particularly appealing to libertarians because of the obvious absence of central banking (as well as the invulnerability to inflationary monetary policy). It’s most famously used to buy drugs, since exchanges are, besides instantaneous, untrackable, at least according to the Harveys. About $300 million worth of bitcoin is floating around, and there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins. (One bitcoin is currently worth about $26.40.) It’s not just getting spent on designer painkillers, though. WordPress and Reddit both just started accepting payment in bitcoin, and there are a number of small businesses that take it as payment, including a new website that lets you order pizza online using the currency. Apparently if you can’t end the Fed, you can just ignore it.

Another group that accepts bitcoin was also exhibiting: the Free State Project, a group of “liberty-minded” people who are trying to recruit 20,000 people to move to New Hampshire and vote to make the state a libertarian paradise. You can use your bitcoin to pay for admission to the Free Staters’ annual festival. But if you’re old-fashioned, you can just use gold or silver, too.

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Source: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/340898/moving-liberty-movement-betsy-woodruff?pg=1

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