Libertarian Short Story Contest: Win $300!

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Yours truly (as a member of the Libertarian Fiction Authors Association) is teaming up with Students for Liberty (a massive libertarian student organization) to run the first ever (that I am aware of) Libertarian Short Story Contest.

That’s right!

We’re putting our money where our mouth is, and you can win it! (the money, not the mouth).

1st prize is $300, sponsored membership in the LFA (worth a $60 value) and publication in a special edition of SFL’s arts and culture mag, Ama-Gi.  2nd prize is $125 plus all that, and 3rd prize is $75 plus all that.  All prize money can be paid out in dollars, Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Shire Silver, according to your preferences.

The contest is open to all, entry is free, and the deadline is March 4th.

The contest website can be found here: http://studentsforliberty.org/fictioncontest/

And the prompt is:

Write a short story that illustrates the positive role of freedom in human life.

Whether it’s a galaxy-spanning space epic or an introspective contemporary character piece, we want to see stories that paint the benefits and possibilities of human freedom in sharply compelling brush-strokes.

So get writing!

The Top 5 Libertarian Christmas Gifts

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It’s every capitalist’s favorite time of year; a time of Black Friday sales,  commerce, and cookies!

Ah!  But what should you buy for your lovable libertarian this year?  You’ve already lavished them with some of the best libertarian holiday gifts you can find, but now you’re fresh out of ideas!

Fear not!  AGL is here, like a bright-red-nosed ungulate on a stormy December 24th evening, to save the day.

Below we’ve compiled the very tippy-top 5 best libertarian Christmas gifts, so you can stop freaking out and go back to celebrating the beauty of voluntary exchange in a (kind of) free market!

Interview with J. Neil Schulman

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J. Neil Schulman is one of the giants of the libertarian novelists active today. His 1979 novel, Alongside Night, is a libertarian classic, with endorsements from Milton Friedman, Ron Paul and others. It has helped to almost single-handedly jump-start the Agorist movement, and is currently being turned into a movie starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda).

Schulman agreed to sit down with AGL and answer some of our questions.

1. Why did you start [your film company] Jesulu Productions and how did you realize there was a market need?

Jesulu Productions is my one-man personal production company. I initially started Jesulu Productions to produce a film adaptation of my 2002 novel, Escape From Heaven, and that production is still in the pipeline for a tentative release toward the end of 2014. But since it was slow getting that production going I first produced Lady Magdalene’s and am now in pre-production on Alongside Night. Additional productions in the pipeline are listed on the website.

Liberty in visual art?

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Jon McNaughton is not afraid to inject some politics into his beautifully rendered paintings. That those politics are distinctly Tea Party is what makes his paintings so contentious amongst the snooty leftist sorts.

From a CBS Las Vegas piece on the Utah artist:

“For a long time I didn’t know if I wanted to paint this picture, because I worried it might be too controversial,” McNaughton explains in a voice over. “(T)his man (on the park bench) represents every man, woman, and child who is an American… he hopes to find the American dream of happiness and prosperity.

“But now because of unconstitutional acts imposed on the American people by our government we stand on the precipice of disaster”

The painting he is referring to is the first of a pair, and it is called “The Forgotten Man” (alluding, perhaps, to the Amity Schlaes book of the same name, a free market history of the Great Depression).  You can see it below, or in more detail at McNaughton’s website.

Interview with Big Head Press’s Scott Bieser

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If you have a passing familiarity with the cultural wing of the liberty movement, odds are you’ve heard of Scott Bieser. The prolific artist and writer has helped to put Big Head Press on the map as a great source for high quality, thoughtful graphic novels with a decidedly libertarian bent. AGL spoke with Scott about his work, Big Head Press, and libertarianism in the arts.

1. Why did you start Big Head Press and how did you realize there was a market need?

Big Head Press was started in order to publish The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel, which was the GN-adaptation of L. Neil Smith’s first novel, which has sold something close to 60,000 copies since it was published, in three editions.

The market need — or more directly, the cultural need — we saw was for more stories promoting individualism and rationality versus statism and mysticism, and after The Probability Broach we sought more stories from various writers along these lines.

2. Describe the company and what you do a little.  How do you get the word out? Is it your primary job or do you do other work?

Big Head Press is my brother Frank, who handles the money and contracts and runs the website, and I, who get graphic stories created and formatted for print or e-publication. So I write, draw, edit (the other artists and writers), letter, and generally manage all aspects of production. And of course, there are our free-lancers, most of whom are also creator-owners of the works.

The 5 Best Libertarian Holiday Gifts

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It’s that time of year again, and you’ve been tasked with braving the cold, the crowds, and the shopping mall Santas, and returning with the perfect gift for that Ayn Rand quoting, Gadsden Militia flag waving friend/relative/lover/frenemy of yours.

But what do you get someone who already has 3 copies of The Fountainhead, a Colt 1911 and gold coins with Thomas Paine’s face on them?

You’re about to find out!

Because below is AGL’s Libertarian Holiday Gift Guide: a random smattering of some of the best free-market schwag out there.  Put one of these under the tree, and you’re sure to bring a smile of joy to even the grinchiest Milton Friedman fan.

The 5 Best Free Libertarian Novels

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Let’s face it, novels celebrating the free market and individual rights are pretty hard to come by. Most everything in the fiction section of your local bookstore is some paean to collectivism, or diatribe against the evils of capitalism and the “soul killing” nature of consumerism.

But you don’t believe that stuff.

You know capitalism, mixed with a political system that protects individual rights, has been the single greatest force for good on the planet, lifting billions out of crushing poverty. You don’t want to read all that bilge about how you’re a bad, bad person for supporting it.

So what is a wayward libertarian to do? Especially when so much of your money is stolen by the government each year that you have very little left over to buy books?

Why, turn to the free stuff on the Internet of course!

Luckily I’ve taken the time to compile a list of the 5 best libertarian novels (in no particular order) that also happen to be free. Gratis. Sin dinero. The low, low cost of nothing. Just for you.

I’ve even included links to where you can download them.

I know, right?

Interview with Liberty Maniacs Founder Dan McCall

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There are tons of pro-liberty creatives out there, already spreading the message of freedom through art.  Today AGL brings you Dan McCall, founder and artist behind Liberty Maniacs, the foremost online store for liberty-focused clothing and merchandise.

Dan agreed to answer our questions over email, and the transcript follows below.

1. Why did you start LibertyManiacs and how did you realize there was a market need?

I got into this line of work in a way that’s probably really familiar to anyone who’s started a business. I was basically looking for products with my sense of humor that also represented my philosophy on things years ago and simply didn’t see anything that really spoke to me.

It took some time between simply making stuff for my friends and myself before I really decided to jump fully in and take the project seriously, but I figured there were others like me out there. I was right.

Robert Peters: “It’s the Culture, Stupid!”

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Over at the blog for Libertopia 2011, Robert Anthony Peters, an actor and libertarian activist, has an excellent piece up on the importance of art and movies to the freedom movement entitled, “It’s the Cuture, Stupid!”

It’s a great piece, with some rather trenchant observations, so I will wait here until you have gone over and read it.

Done?

Ok, good.

Yes. This.

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Here at AGL we argue ceaselessly for the importance of popular culture in spreading the idea of liberty and individual rights.  J. Neil Schulman, author of libertarian novel Alongside Night, makes the case far more compellingly in the following video.

This is a speech Mr. Schulman gave at Libertopia in 2010 and, though long, is worth every minute.

Excerpt:

The Achilles heel of the libertarian movement, is that all of you understand the ideas of freedom, but the general public does not.  The ideas that Jay Snelson was talking about, the win/win theory as opposed to the win/lose theory; they’re learning the win/lose theory from Gordon Gecko in [the movie] Wall Street.