While at the International Students For Liberty Conference in DC last weekend, I sat down for an interview with the famous Jan Helfeld, notorious for tripping up famous politicians and media figures with difficult ideological questions. He employs a type of Socratic questioning to get their fundamental principles, which always exposes their contradictions and humiliates them on camera for being inconsistent at best, or hypocritical and lacking integrity at worst. Press secretaries usually pull the plug and motion to abruptly end the interview. His major media figure guests are not expecting his line of questioning, most of the time they get violently hostile when they end the interview, and I’m amazed that Jan is still able to successfully get these interviews with major figures after over 2 decades of this.
So when Jan asked to interview me, I told him to do his worst, dial it up to 10, and find a chink in my armor. I think I was the first person he’s ever interviewed to come out unscathed! I don’t know what all the other interviewees are a complaining so much about. Next time he needs to ramp it up a bit and try harder! I guess my background in philosophy paid off. To be honest, after the fact I realize I could definitely answer the questions more succinctly and articulately, but considering that I was completely put on the spot and I had no talking points ready at all, I think I did ok.
[Another Jan Helfeld interview with me, and more hilarious interviews with Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and others after the break!]
A Behind The Scenes Exposé of the Personalities behind the Liberty Movement
(There is A LOT here, so take your time. Each day of the conference easily warrants its own separate blog article, but I hate splitting these things up. Each person here is significant and warrants his or her own blog article, so this is actually concise. Consider this a crash course in many of the leading figures of the current liberty movement, with photos and links.)
I’ve never been secretive about my thoughts and outlook. I’ve actively been a part of the pro-liberty movement since high school, when I first discovered Ayn Rand, the world’s most controversial philosopher. Before I got to college I read everything I could find that she ever wrote. My mind was racing then, her material got me thinking about everything in new ways. I started to train my mind to approach every situation by searching for the fundamentals. I tried to find the core of every issue, and I’d consider its philosophical implications. In time this in-depth philosophical background became so damn powerful for me. I could analyze and understand issues with more clarity. I began writing more confidently. I even began making bolder serious life and business decisions much more quickly. The world is more intelligible the better you understand its matrix.
Phenomenal! I’ve never heard a stronger case made for Libertarianism and Free Trade from an Anthropological point of view. The opening statement subtly helps put Global Warming Alarmism in perspective. He even quoted the famous libertiarian piece I Pencil. Matt Ridley just gave this presentation several days ago at TED. This is up there with the quality of Richard Dawkins’ Growing Up in the Universe.
Good Intentions without Good Incentives always lead to Bad Results — Judd Weiss