Perhaps they’re not as salient to those of you who don’t spend your days on college campuses, but Students for Liberty is pretty freakin’ amazing. I’ve been watching small libertarian groups come and go on various college campuses for about the last 15 years now, and I have never seen (or read about?) a student libertarian organization that is this big, this passionate, this well-organized, and this knowledgeable. Their regional and international conferences, their webinar series, the symposia series they run with Liberty Fund, their books, everything they do is just terrific.
What’s really drawn my attention recently, however, is the way in which these students transcend so much of what has been objectionable about the libertarian movement in its past incarnations. Both in terms of its demographics and its substantive political and moral concerns, today’s movement seems broader, more inclusive, and more in keeping with the liberalism of classical liberalism than much of what we’ve seen before. For starters, there seem to be many more women and racial minorities involved than I’ve ever before seen. Not that the libertarian movement of the past set an exceptionally high hurdle. But progress is still good to see – even if it’s purely anecdotal or secondhand on my part. Anyone have any firm numbers?