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!

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.

Powerline Contest: Win $100,000

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Do you want to advance the cause of liberty through art?

Do you also want to win $100,000?

Now, thanks to the good folks over at the Power Line blog, and the Freedom Club, you can do both!

John Hinderaker recently announced the Power Line contest: a $100,000 prize to the individual or group of individuals that can best dramatize the federal debt crisis.  According to the contest’s website anyone can enter (including corporations and advertising entities) and entries can be anything, from screenplays and videos, to Powerpoint presentations and essays.


The deadline is July 15, so get cracking!  We know here at AGL we will be working hard on an interpretive dance to illustrate the folly of our politicians and their inability to deal with the looming debt crisis.

More information about the contest can be had at the official contest page: http://www.powerlineprize.com/

Art for the Sake of Liberty

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A history teacher of mine once described culture as “the lens through which we see the world.”

A lens colors and alters how we see the world.  It can reveal to us previously hidden facets of reality, as microscopes do, or it can show us false vistas and unreal colors, as a pair of rose tinted glasses might.

And how we see the world defines how we act in it.  If I see the world as a dark, brooding place bereft of the hope for happiness I will act differently than if I see it as light, airy, and full of rainbows.

However, this is only one side of the lens metaphor.  Lenses are also created; they are not born fully formed, springing into existence like some optometric Athena.  Real lenses are made with a constant application of heat, pressure and friction.  So too with our cultural lenses, which are constantly formed and reshaped by the pressures and inspirations of voices and ideas in our wider society.

From the movies and TV we watch, to the books we read and the music we listen to, our worldviews are reinforced, challenged or changed.  These works of art and culture, then, are intensely important.  They have the capacity to influence everything we do, from where we live to what we eat and how we vote.

This blog is dedicated to influencing that culture, in however small a way, towards one accepting of political, individual and economic liberty.

For freedom and individual rights to flourish, they must be planted in a fertile soil of healthy respect and understanding for what they can accomplish.  This soil in a society is the culture, and no culture which does not cherish freedom and the power of the individual to achieve will ever allow either to thrive.

Over the coming months this blog will explore those matters of culture, providing commentary and reviews on existing works and current events.  It will also offer original works of art and literature which are grounded in the ideals and politics of liberty.

This blog does not mean to get into the arguments for and against free markets, small government and individual liberty.  Those are for the economists and political theorists, and they’ve done an admirable job showing why such things are necessary to human progress and flourishing.  Instead, this blog will deal with the emotional side of the argument, tapping directly into the inherent rightness of liberty.

We hope you enjoy it, and we welcome your contribution to the lens we look through.