Milton Keynes, UK – The October Libertarian Party Conference welcomed both party members and the public to hear speeches and take part in debates on a range of topics from currency and national debt to healthcare. One of those speaking was Harley Dalton, National Young Libertarians Coordinator. Dalton took to the stage to call for student party activists to get involved in Young Libertarians, the party’s youth-wing, and join the push back against left-wing bias on campus.
Overwhelming Left-Wing Bias
Harley Dalton identified what he saw as part of the problem. “We’ve all heard and read about the overwhelming progressive and left-wing bias in our education system; the reported statistics that 70% of Key Stage 3 teachers vote Labour, or that 80% of university lecturers supported Remain, or even that 1 in 5 faculty members in the social sciences identifies as a Marxist.”
Reflecting on his own experience Dalton expressed a wish that the statistics and what they implied might be wrong but had to concede that his “fears are very much being realised.”
“Over the last few years, with the rise of self-proclaimed social justice activists, Antifa and the Cult of Old Man Red over in the Labour party, such ideas have manifested in a much more prominent and aggressive way,” he said.
And the problem is not merely limited to fringe groups of extremists either.
Students Trapped In Echo Chambers
“Britain’s campuses have de facto announced their unquestioned fealty to the progressive Marxist doctrines of diversity, inclusivity and equity” said Dalton.
“Students attend these institutions having been taught nothing whatsoever about economics, not knowing what took place in the Soviet Union, thinking Nazi Germany was a capitalist state. And when they get there, they’re given trigger warnings about racism in anti-slavery poems, that being offended is the measure of whether something is right or wrong, and they’re trapped in algorithmic echo chambers of their own making on social media, protected from opposing views and any challenge to their beliefs.”
In his speech Dalton praised the separate Students for Liberty organisation for their ‘Speak Freely’ campaign in the UK, which encourages students to challenge progressive orthodoxy and bring true intellectual inquiry back to campuses. He also highlighted the Boycott NUS campaign for its vital work in “exposing what a joke that allegedly representative body truly is.”
The highlight of Dalton’s speech was to bring focus on the work he has been doing with Dan Liddicott, Midlands Coordinator for the Libertarian Party, in setting up Young Libertarians as the party’s very own youth-wing. “Young Libertarians will soon be a thriving network of student groups representing libertarian and classical liberal philosophy and political belief on campuses” he said.
“While every other party has abandoned the cause, we’ll make a strong case for personal and economic freedom, while speaking out about knee-jerk authoritarianism in public policy, advocating instead for more localism and personal action. Instead of lying to our students with populist non-solutions to serious problems in our country, we’ll take on those discussions around housing and healthcare by providing a better vision of change based on freedom and choice, and facts over fantasy.”
Taking a moment to explain the rationale behind Young Libertarians, Harley Dalton said “too few people know about the moral underpinnings of individual liberty or its British origin. Free speech is dismissed as an ideological excuse to be abusive towards others, rather than as an important bulwark against tyranny. Students are taught to believe that they don’t own what they earn and have no idea how integral to Western prosperity such institutions as property rights are. Rather than seeing the state as an instrument of violence and taxation as a symptom of that power, we tell ourselves that ‘something must be done’, asking always what government can do, rather than what government should do.”
Call For Young Activists
Dalton finished his speech by calling for young activists to get involved in the Young Libertarians movement. “We’re setting up groups around the country, with affiliated branches currently in Manchester and Aberystwyth, and more to come in York, Birmingham, Leicester, Winchester, Exeter, and as many other places as we can get” he said. Budding activists are invited to contact Harley Dalton about becoming involved in this “exciting new chapter for the Libertarian Party.”
For more information and to get involved in Young Libertarians, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.