About the Festival
Libertopia is an annual festival of peace, freedom, music, community and ideas that will change the World.
It is a unique experience…a 3 day celebration of our individuality and diversity packed with renowned speakers, workshops, panels, parties, banquets, music, film, art, literature, commerce, exhibitors, themed camps, performers, social networking and much more!
It’s more than a conference…more than a festival…it’s our future! Why? It leaves behind the least attractive aspects of conference and festivals while encouraging a big participatory element. Libertopia also is more than “libertarian.” It’s voluntaryist to the core – bypassing and transcending politics completely. Finally, it’s kind of a model for us and a starting-point for a society of the future. It’s a kernel of something we’ll need more of very soon – especially as we watch coercive institutions begin to implode one by one. And that’s part of the reason we chose San Diego as our home this year. It’s in the belly of the beast. But in spite of that (or because of it?), San Diego has become a real hub of voluntaryism. So hold your calendars open for Libertopia on the weekend of October 11 through 14 at Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn and Suites.
Before winter rolls in, Libertopia will be a chance to see some great speeches, films, and music. There will be an awards banquet that recognizes three individuals for their lifetime achievements in advancing the ideas of peace, freedom, and a voluntary society. We all share a belief in free will, the value of reason, and the great power of love. So let’s share it! It’s going to be three days of lush surroundings, mental (and physical?) stimulation, and a chance to share with people who really get it – the whole voluntary thing. And it’s a chance to live our philosophy if only for a few days. And hey – we got a great room-rate at a four-star resort. It’s only $114 per night! We’re even having an early-bird special for people who want to become members of Libertopia. It’s only a fraction of the cost of similar events, and with all that’s going to happen here, make sure to reserve your place now!
Libertopia Is More Than a Conference
We like conferences. They’re great for showcasing the vast talent in our community. And Libertopia will have some of the leading advocates of freedom – Stefan Molyneux, Bill Buppert, Gary Chartier, David Friedman, Angela Keaton, Roderick Long, Sharon Presley, Sheldon Richman, Butler Shaffer, and many more. Take a look at our Speakers page. But after plenty of feedback, we decided to enhance that whole “conference” concept by keeping the presentations short and sweet and including more time for questions and answers and breakout groups to explore issues in greater depth, as well as more panels and more workshops.
Libertopia Is More than a Festival
The whole festival thing makes Libertopia more participatory, and it opens our event up to vendors and lifestyle exploration – much different than a conference. There will be performers on the great Humphrey’s stage. Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay has hosted some of the great musical acts like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Ringo Starr. And now it will play host to our “greats.” It’s a place for celebrating individual dignity that is free of coercion and state violence. And remember: it’s on private property, and the owners know exactly what we’re all about, and they want us there! And that does not mean we’re going to trash the place. We respect private property, and they know it! But it also means we have peaceful good hosts that respect us and our desire to share ideas, experiment, discover, innovate, trade, gift, and perform.
The weather is always great in San Diego, and that’s a big difference from the Burning Man thing, which is held in a state-controlled desert in the blistering heat of late summer, where you feel the heavy presence of para-military cops lurking in dark costumes with a mindset to match. You could fry an egg on a rock at Burning Man! In contrast, Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn and Suites is a stone’s-throw from the water, and it’s a garden of indoor-outdoor living. The nude beaches (Black’s Beach), parks, fabulous Mexican dining, and zoo are all close by. And the late-October weather is perfect in San Diego, with 70-degree-ish temperatures by day and nights in the 60s. When you add in the participatory art and free zones, where niche groups can gather, it’s going to be quite an experience!
Libertopia Is a Rejection of Politics…
Many of us began our libertarian journey by becoming activists in the Libertarian Party or related efforts to promote a free society. These were all “small-government” or minarchist groups. But many of us continued to evolve, and we often felt left out of mainstream gatherings. We took the ideas of Murray Rothbard to their logical conclusion – the non-aggression axiom and the concept that “it’s my life and no one can own me.” We stopped participating in politics. We became full-blown voluntaryists, agorists, and anarchists – and we mean anarchists in the etymological sense of “no rulers.” Maybe “private-property anarchists” is another way of looking at it. Either way, we respect the idea of property. That starts with our own bodies and extends to other things acquired through peaceful, voluntary means. In other words, we engage in activities that promote the kind of life we cannot find in statism or even minarchism. We are interested in hard-core agorism, but we welcome the political activists into our fold and hope that they, too, become inspired by the vision of ethical anarchism. Libertopia is a big tent, and we welcome everyone. That includes our brothers and sisters who have become cynical about politics, people who are looking for answers, even those who are politically active non-libertarians. After all, we all began our journey somewhere, and Libertopia will be a fine start for anyone!
Libertopia’s Choice of San Diego…
San Diego is in the belly of the beast, and it’s easy to count the ways: U.S. Customs, the Border Patrol, and tax-slurping agents from the DEA and FBI infesting everything. There’s a Marine base at Camp Pendleton and nuclear ships in the harbor. And the local media worship them. There are companies built from the ground up on surveillance and the military-industrial complex. But that’s just it. Even in the belly of the beast, there are close to 100 hard-core free-market anarchists in the San Diego area. They’ve had tax-ins and debates with socialists. They even monitor cops at driver checkpoints, hold 9/11 Government Blowback Day events, and anti-voting protests that play havoc with election night politics. A good portion of these voluntaryists were formerly in the employ of the military. There’s a lesson in that, and we think that Libertopia is the place to find out why it’s happening here of all places.
Libertopia Is the Kernel of a New Society…
We now have a critical mass of agorists out there – hard-core anarcho-voluntaryists who really get it. They reject the entire paradigm of political violence. They understand that initiatory coercion can only lead to bad results, and they don’t want to perpetuate it. They perceive a powerful link between respect for individuals and peace, prosperity, and freedom. Nobody knows how many of us there are, but maybe 20,000 in the United States. And 100,000 throughout the world. We share a vision, and it’s time we started to “live what we are” – as residents of Libertopia. Maybe it’s only a 3-day weekend at this point, but we want Libertopia to grow and evolve into a week-long event – and beyond. It’s time to practice what we preach.
Libertopia: The Time Is Now
Let’s face it: governments are beginning to implode at all levels. They have murdered and taxed and spent their way into fiscal and moral bankruptcy, and they are losing their legitimacy. The incipient free society of Libertopia is just a start, but it’s already available in how we communicate and gather news and opinions, especially on the Internet. The institutions of coercion are on the brink of failure, and there are now enough of us to step in and show people how to do it right – without politics and the violence that goes with it. And that’s why Libertopia is important. We’re the cure for this cancer of statism, and it’s time to feed the cure. The socialists and conservatives have created this giant, ugly, imploding monster of a black hole that can no longer function without stepping all over itself. It’s a mass of contradictions, and the cracks are showing – big time! Just as the U.S.S.R. was here one day and gone the next, the United States and its propped-up Bride-of-Frankenstein corporations and privileged unions are next in line. Institutions based on coercion are inherently self-destructive – whether they are the openly dictatorial kind or the polite dishonest kind that hide behind hypnotic words like “democracy” and “republic.” They’re collapsing of their own weight and insane laws and self-smothering inertia, and we need to replace them with something different. We need to start practicing what it’s like to live in a free society – even if it’s just for a weekend to begin with. We can build our Libertopia right next to the dystopia that surrounds us, and when the dystopia fails, we – not they – will be the organizing principle of the post-implosion society. We’ll step in, and if we can pull this off, there will be no more tired re-runs of statism. It’s up to the voluntaryists to show what the alternative looks like. Join us at Libertopia 2012. The time is now…