Chapter president Ben Unger, State Chair Jaret Scharnhorst, and I took to outside the Missouri S&T student center to show the government’s lack of ability to manage our money. We displayed the national debt (or what it was for about a millisecond) on the student center lawn. Our goals included getting a few people to sign up for more information, educating people about the debt, and getting in some great conversations with interesting, ideologically opposed students.
State Chair Jaret Scharnhorst was holding the flag for peace while debating a student defending the Iraq War. Things were kept civil, but heated, as Jaret tried to explain the differences between us getting involved in World War 2 and how that was totally different when compared to the Iraq War. While the student remained unconvinced, some students were able to watch the discussion and learn both points of view, which is always something we advocate for.
I, on the other hand, spoke with an Anarcho-Communist who stayed at our event for about an hour. He continued to trail on about “those who own means-of-production” and tried to divide the world into the “Bourgeois” and the “Proletariat”. I explained that the economy was complex and could not be divided simply into these two classes. In addition, the core concept of taking things by force violates basic human rights of life, liberty, and property. Again, while this student remained unconvinced, it was great to have a detailed conversation with an ideologically opposed person, without resorting to calling people names.
After our event, with only 18 sign ups, I viewed the event as a failure. Thankfully, clearer, unbiased minds were there to say “success isn’t defined just by the number of people you sign up.” It’s about the impact you make on the people you talk to, the presence you have on your campus, and the desire to keep fighting, despite what any commie or neo-con will tell you. Without us fighting for limited government, capitalism, non-interventionism, and personal liberty, our freedoms will die at the hand of authoritarians. But if we stand strong and fight for those freedoms, the ideas of liberty can, and will, never die.
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