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Best-selling author speaks to local Libertarians

Are Libertarians a growing political force? As Heard from the Hill attended the political event to give you the story.

By: Alexandria Freeze

Dr. Tom Woods, senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and national best-selling author, spoke to a gathering of Libertarians on Thursday evening in Topeka, Kan., reminding all in attendance of the important relationship between economic freedom and social liberty.

Dr. Woods’s talk focused on the changing political climate, in response to the growing instability of the economy. He believes this is a political environment in which the Libertarian Party, which hosted the event, can prosper, due to their focus on small government.  Furthermore, he challenged the current state of government, and is a proponent of a self-regulating economy.

“You can’t have social freedom without economic liberty,” Woods said. “You can’t have economic liberty without social freedom — they’re dependent on each other.”

Dr. Tom Woods

Woods told those in attendance Libertarians are the excluded middle due to having a message most people are not prepared to hear.

”We are basically saying a free society can more or less function and arrange its own affairs” Woods said. “It can direct itself.”

Dr. Woods went on to say, “the state itself has interests of its own. It actually is more interested in perpetuating itself than it is in bringing about our common good.”

In light of the current economic and political situation, Woods’s words were greeted with applause.  In his national best-selling novel “Meltdown” he addressed the reasons why we were headed to economic collapse in 2008 and why the free-market system is the best way to rectify our current economic strain, but also said despite the current economic and political trials happening in this country, there is a silver lining.

“Things seem to be getting so bad, day by day, you think this is the worst time to be alive, but on the other hand, the good guy and previously excluded opinion are making such strides,” Woods said. “But, we live in an exciting time for people who believe in ideas.”

Woods went on to discuss the importance of social media and, due to being an excluded middle, the importance of using the available resources—such as YouTube and blogging— as a medium for a message and sharing those ideas. Woods stated though he is excluded from the mainstream due to the fact he is not a member of the Democratic or Republican parties, he still has a voice because of the outlets the internet has to offer.

He ended his speech with a quote from Ludwig von Mises, the namesake of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, saying, “no one is exempt from carrying the burden of society.”

Al Terwelp, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Kansas said listening to Tom Woods speak was inspiring, and it was refreshing to listen to someone speak who doesn’t equate emotion for knowledge.

“He is serving the purpose of liberty,” Terwelp said.

Approximately 100 people attended the event.  Libertarian city councilman of Topeka, Andrew Gray, said, “Tom Woods is proof that the Libertarian involvement is growing”.

*Be sure to tune in to 90.7 KJHK’s As Heard from the Hill for more on the story.