My final week at the Atlas Network is now complete and the time has flown by quicker than anticipated. The week started off with a couple of talks presented by Jason Kuznicki of Cato on Burke and de Tocqueville and the French Revolution. These were interesting talks that put into context the support the French provided the American colonies when fighting for their freedom from the British.
On Tuesday, Tait and I travelled to Alexandria, a Virginian city just ten kilometres south of DC. In this architecturally historic city we met with Gregory Copley and his wife Pamela. Greg was an extraordinarily interesting man to meet on this trip to say the least. A fellow Western Australian, Greg cofounded the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) in Alexandria in 1982. Currently the president of the ISSA and regarded as the foremost grand strategist of the 21st Century, he has advised leaders, prime ministers and shahs from countries across the globe. Tait and I were extremely lucky to have had this opportunity to meet with such an influential man. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to run into him and his wife back in Perth.
Friday marked the first day of the International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC) that brought together students from across the globe to hear prominent professors and public figures speak on a range of issues. They pertained to the ideas of freedom and liberty, or lack thereof in many parts of the world. It was incredible to see how important these ideas were to so many students. I’m hoping one day in the not too distant future there will grow a larger movement in Australia. Over the course of the three-day event, the highlight talks for myself were a panel discussion that included film director Oliver Stone (not exactly a consistent advocate for freedom) on the imperial overreach of the U.S. government in addition to the keynote on the failed war on drugs given by Ethan Nadelmann.
Unfortunately this brings me to the end of my time here in DC, which is a bittersweet feeling to say the least. I have met wonderful, passionate people within the liberty movement from young students to long time advocates. I am so grateful to Ron Manners and everyone at Mannkal who made this trip possible for me, as well as Kristina Crane and everyone at the Atlas Network who made my stay here so enjoyable. If I can in anyway help Mannkal or Atlas to further the cause of freedom, it would be the least I could do to show my gratitude. Most of all I will miss all the new friends I’ve made here in DC; the lads from the apartment I’ve been staying at, the staff and interns at Atlas and many others from the differant events and organisations I’ve been fortunate enough to attend. With that, I’ll end my final blog with a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it”.