Report: Liberty Seminars Slovenia 2015

Date: October 16, 2015  

The 8th annual Liberty Seminars Slovenia were held between September 23-28, 2015 at Lake Bohinj, Slovenia, and brought together a widely diverse group of attendees and lecturers from all over the world, seeking an opportunity to discuss, present, and debate current economic and political topics, human rights, and legal systems through the comparative lens. This year’s participants and speakers came from Nepal, Bulgaria, Germany, India, Switzerland, USA, Montenegro, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Pakistan, and Slovenia.

Organizing the seminars in 2015, Svetilnik from Slovenia partnered with the Cato Institute from the United States and the Institute for Economic Analysis from the United Kingdom. Additionally, Ayn Rand Institute, Centre for Research into Post-Communist Economies, and Foundation for Economic Education supported the program with free publications.

After opening remarks by Tanja Porcnik and Katja Kos, the Liberty Seminars’ first session delved into the topic of “Human Rights vs. Government Powers”. We continued with another session lead by Tanja Porcnik, which focused on the Human Freedom Index. The final lecturer of the day was David Greenwald, who led a thought-provocative session “Why We Love State & How We Can Talk About It”.

The second day started with a discussion on liberalism ran by Tanja Porcnik, and it was continued with David Greenwald’s workshops, titled “Beyond Supply and Demand: How Prices Produce Altruistic Outcomes” and “The Anarchy and the Law”. The afternoon was devoted to the presentations of our participants, which included their evaluation of civil, personal, and economic freedom in their own countries. Day two ended with a session on “Debating the Ideas”, during which the participants made initial preparations for the debate that took place on the last day of the seminars.

We embarked on the third day with “A Student’s Essay That Changed the World” by Zoltan Kesz. Later, Chris Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs explained why inequality matters. Furthermore, the participants engaged in a discussion about the solutions to poverty and inequality, and a discussion about a guaranteed national income ran by Cato Institute‘s Michael Tanner. The academic program in evening hours was devoted to sessions on lifestyle regulation and its consequences, and to a case of crony capitalism in Hungary.

The fourth day of seminars started with very interesting discussion on “Popular Myths about Capitalism” led by IEA’s Christopher Snowdon. Afterwards, the attendees and visitors enjoyed in two highly informative sessions about private savings programs and comparison between work and welfare state held by Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute. A week in Bohinj would not be complete without some downtime on Saturday afternoon that we spent at Lake Bohinj, where we enjoyed canoeing, hiking, and sightseeing of Waterfall Savica.

On the last full day of the Liberty Seminars Slovenia 2015 we started with two great sessions by Mateja Rek on “Political participation: Influence and Power” and ”Constructing Reality: Creating Shared Meanings Through Communication”. After lunch, we welcomed Vit Jedlicka who founded the self-declared libertarian micronation Free Republic of Liberland. We continued with eagerly awaited debate between participants, who had another opportunity to shine while arguing whether homeschooling shall be considered civil liberty or not. The final point on the agenda was the announcement of the winners of the debates and the week ended with a graduation ceremony.

See you at the 9th annual Liberty Seminars Slovenia, scheduled to be held August 31-September 4, 2016!

The article appeared at on October 8, 2015.