1971 Shaping the Future Libertarian Conference

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The Shaping the Future Libertarian Conference took place on March 13-14, 1971 at Columbia University, New York, NY and November 13-14, 1971 at an unknown location in New York, NY.

Speaker Gallery



Columbia University, New York, NY, March 13-14, 1971 Agenda

Saturday 13 March 1971

Don Ernsberger, Introductory Remarks and Announcements

Jerome Tuccille, The Psychology and Politics of Libertarians

Jerome Tuccille, Question and Answer

Jeffrey St. John/Roy Childs debate, not recorded, transcript available online at: http://ronmanners.com/1971/03/anarcho-capitalism-or-limited-government-roy-childs-debates-jeffery-st-john

John J. Pierce, The Present State of Science Fiction

Robert Baker, (starts into the presentation), Revolutions and Rational Methods for Conducting Them (audio not uploaded)

Robert Baker, Question and Answers (audio not uploaded)

Lanny Friedlander, reading Robert Poole's Leverage Points Essay

Lanny Friedlander, Futurism

Jarret B. Wollstein, The Myth of Democracy

Jarret B. Wollstein, The Myth of Democracy, Question and Answer

Sunday 14 March 1971

Robert Baker, Common Law of a Free Society

Robert Baker, Common Law of a Free Society, Question and Answer

Dr. Herbert Berger, Drugs

Murray Rothbard, Strategies for Achieving Liberty

Murray Rothbard, Question and Answer

Jim Fawley, Media and Libertarianism

Jim Fawley, Question and Answer

Walter Block, Urban Economics for the Libertarian

Walter Block, Question and Answer

Roy Childs, Domestic Revisionism, not recorded.

Location Unknown, New York, NY, November 13-14, 1971 Agenda

Saturday 13 November 1971

Robert Baker, Problems with B.F. Skinner-The Resurgence of American Fascism

Robert Baker, Question and Answer

Sharron Presley (sic), The Psychology of Laissez Faire and the Question and Answer

Milton Friedman, Q&A session

Murray Rothbard, Anarchism in the Colonies

Leonard Liggio, American Isolationism

Walter Grinder, Role of Corporate Foundations

Sunday 14 November 1971

David Friedman, Population and Laissez Faire

Robert Baker, Kid Live - Part One and Questions and Answers

Murray Rothbard, Nixon and the Net-AnarchoNixionism

Unknown (Jim Davidson?), What is Wrong With Libertarianism

June Grem, The FED, not recorded.


The fall conference did not include Houston; they couldn't get organized. In NY (the one I taped - note that the identity of the recorder is unknown), Robert Baker opened (dissecting BF Skinner); Sharon Presley. Several awards were announced, and a letter from Rand was read in which she "wished it to be known" that she would not accept the 1971 Phoenix Award voted to her by the SIL membership. Then there was Friedman's talk, with Q&A from LA audience members; Rothbard (anarchism in the early colonies), Ralph Fucetola on arbitration, and Lenoard Liggio on American isolationism, and Walter Grinder on corporate liberal foundations. Sunday started with Sharon Presley, then David Friedman, Jim Davidson, Robert Baker, Rothbard, and finally Mrs. June Grem (author of The Money Manipulators) on the FED.


Columbia University Spectator

300 Libertarians Convene To Debate Individual Rights

By Scott Gordon

Over three hundred libertarians from all over the country met at the Law School Saturday and Sunday to discuss anarchy, Ayn Rand’s objectivism and other issues of the philosophy of individual rights.

The conference, titled “Shaping the Future,” was sponsored by the Society for Individual Liberty and the New York Libertarian Association, and hosted by the Columbia University Freedom Conspiracy.

Libertarian journalist, Jeffrey St. John and Roy Child (sic), contributing editor to “The Individualist,” a prominent libertarian journal, opened the meeting on Saturday with a debate on “Limited Government vs. Anarch-Capitalism.” Mr. St. John advocated a limited government whose sole purpose would be the use of retaliatory force on those who violate individual rights.

“The anarcho-capitalists seem to think that the form and structure of the state is the real enemy, and not its ideas,” he claimed. “They should be trying to overthrow not the sate but communalism. Anarchism cannot validate the concept of individual rights,” he concluded.

Mr. Childs disagreed, saying, the state has caused more bloodshed, murder and robbery than any other institution known to man.”

He suggested that a number of “defense agencies” could be established as a system of checks and balances on each other.

He also alleged that, “To forbid the sale of arms to independent defense agencies by a single ‘limited’ government would be the use of initiatory force.” Other speakers included authors Murray Rothbard and Jerome Tuccille.

The diversity of the group attending the conclave was indicated by lapel buttons supporting Angela Davis, Laissez-faire capitalism, revolutionary anarchism and Students for a Democratic Society.


Jeffrey St. John is a news commentator and journalist. He’s a columnist also. He does commentary for the CBS Spectrum series, he’s also the host of his own radio show on Sunday afternoons from 12 to 3, WMCA 570, which is Sunday with St. John.

Roy Childs is a freelance writer, frequent contributor to a number of libertarian publications, the author of some very controversial works, such as “Objectivism and the State” and articles of that nature.