I am honored to be returning as a speaker to the second annual Future of Freedom Foundation conference on foreign policy and civil liberties, which takes place June 6 through June 8 at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Reston, Virginia, and, as last year, features a fantastic array of speakers.
Last year’s conference was tied for my favorite libertarian event of all time. This year’s gathering promises to be just as good, if not better. Libertarians, conservatives, and liberals alike will address empire, surveillance, torture, constitutional civil liberties, and all the other preeminent issues relating to U.S. war policy. The content will be timely but also timeless, as these issues cut right to the heart of what type of society we live in. I can hardly wait to hear another three days’ worth of stimulating talks on the history, economics, law, philosophy, and politics of American foreign policy and its implications for freedom, prosperity, and international peace.
At a time like this, when the very basis of civilization is at stake, it is crucial that we get together, listen to each other, and help to build a big-tent movement dedicated to restoring the fundamental precepts of our constitutional structure and reversing America’s century-old and accelerating course toward despotism and global hegemony. The stakes are unspeakably high.
When so much of American political life is caught up in meaningless distractions and petty diversions — just witness the presidential campaign for an infinite barrage of examples — and a disastrous imperial consensus continues to dominate both parties and much of the mainstream media, we need nothing more than patriotic and moral leadership focused on the true issues of the day and the current policies’ dire consequences for Americans and foreigners alike. Just as much, we need authoritative and mindful voices to show there is another way.
It is beyond encouraging, then, that FFF has once again managed to put together such a prestigious lineup of journalists, economists, historians, and attorneys on the front lines of the struggle for liberty and against the depredations of the war on terror and imperial executive.
Returning this year will be James Bovard, Karen Kwiatkowski, Joseph Margulies, Justin Raimondo, Sheldon Richman, Lew Rockwell, Robert Higgs, Joanne Mariner, Bart Frazier, Jacob Hornberger, Ron Paul, and Laurence Vance. Marguiles and Mariner are two of the greatest voices and legal minds on civil liberties, and their experience in attempting to restore humanity and the rule of law to the federal government’s anti-terrorist detention policies will surely make for excellent and emotionally stirring talks, as was the case last year. As for the rest, I’m sure most readers recognize their names from their important writings, and perhaps from their outstanding talks last year. They continue to be among my great heroes of the libertarian movement, but I will not go into the very long process here of explaining the details. Suffice it to say if you were to look at my bookcase of favorites, you would see titles by Bovard, Richman, Raimondo, Rockwell, Higgs, Vance, and Paul, and I always make sure to read their articles, along with Kwiatkowski’s, Hornberger’s, and Frazier’s, whenever I see them.
Joining us this year for the first time, from the left, will be the brilliant civil liberties expert Glenn Greenwald, the wonderful anti-imperialist writer Stephen Kinzer, and the indispensable and iconoclastic journalist Alexander Cockburn. The venerable professors Andrew Bacevich and Jonathan Turley, and constitutional expert Bruce Fein, will surely bring the crucial conservative perspective of prudence and moral clarity to the questions of America’s decadent and neo-Wilsonian empire. To round out the panel, the sagacious economist and libertarian writer David Henderson will provide some much-needed economic sense to the questions of war and peace, at this time when so many Americans still don’t see the connection between militarism and wealth destruction. I have found the work of all of these people’s invaluable in my research and efforts to keep up with the news.
I expect my talk will be decent, too, and yet it’s difficult to pitch my credentials when put beside such an overwhelming list of heroes and intellects.
This is not a conference you want to miss. The intellectual sophistication (including that of the attendees!), the friendly atmosphere, the whiff of revolution in the air — this will be an amazing opportunity to share ideas, reflect honestly and thoughtfully on the great national crisis before us, and contemplate the future restoration of liberty and peace to the United States. It will be an incredible time of serious discourse, ecumenical solidarity, and great food. The Hyatt was a beautiful location last year, and I am delighted we will be returning there this year.
If you want to know what’s ailing our fading republic and also want an unforgettable experience of hopefulness and elucidation, you should certainly plan to be there.
Anthony Gregory [send him mail] is a writer and musician who lives in Berkeley, California. He is a research analyst at the Independent Institute. See his webpage for more articles and personal information.