Asia Liberty Forum 2014
The international stalwarts of the libertarian movement descended to New Delhi at the Lalit Hotel on the 8th and 9th of January for the Asia Liberty Forum 2014. Only the second edition of the conference, it has seen massive growth since last year. Delegates from over 50 countries enthusiastically attended the conference that was organised by the Asia Centre for Enterprise and the Centre for Civil Society, in association with the Atlas Network, a network of libertarian think-tanks from across the globe.
Libertarianism is a political and economic school of thought that seeks to decrease the role of the state in the lives of citizens through lower economic regulation and restriction. Espousing the principles of economists and thinkers such as Milton Friedman and Fredreich Hayek, libertarian philosophy has been gaining ground recently with politicians in the United States such as Ron Paul and Rand Paul bringing it to the forefront. In general, economic freedom has correlated strongly to prosperity, and it is building on this fact that the libertarian movement seeks to advocate increased economic freedom for citizens of nations across the world.
The Asia Liberty Forum also witnessed the active participation of renowned international authors Tom Palmer and John Tomasi. "It was a real honour meeting real life campaigners for liberty who have been working for this cause for decades now. Everywhere, everyday we see the government enroaching on the lives of citizens, creating red - tape, bureaucracy and corruption. It is important for the citizens to protest against this and keep a check on these activities", says Sahil, a delegate to the conference.
The highlight of the Asia Liberty Forum was Casey Lartigue and Changyang's inspirational talk. Casey Lartigue is an American staying in South Korea, dedicated to the rehabilitation efforts of North Korean refugees. Changyang is a refugee from North Korea who managed to escape with great difficulty. Casey Lartigue does great work - he ensures that the victims are properly rehabilitated in South Korean society and ensures that they get jobs and requisite skills. Moreover, he teaches English to some of the refugees and makes their stories public for the entire world so that the plight of the people of North Korea is known to all. Changyang's story received a standing ovation from the audience who appreciated the bravery and courage of the young girl who escaped the atrocities of the North Korean dictatorship and was now bravely telling the outside world about the horrors of the regime.
The other highlights of the conference were the panel discussions that featured leaders of think-tanks from countries such as Pakistan, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and many more countries. The aim of the conference was to bring together individuals from across the world fighting for the cause of liberty.
"Liberty is a serious issue. These men are fighting despotic regimes, corrupt governments and dominance by the government in the economy. Economic value is not created by governments, but by individuals that bring together factors of production. Government tends to restrict value creation in the name of regulations. There is a need to fight that", says a Sri Lankan attendee to the conference.
In India also it is important for us to fight bureaucracy, corruption and regulations that strangle economic activity and don't allow businesses to run in a unhindered manner.