Interview with Ken Schoolland (3/3): International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL)
(see video at the bottom of the article)
transcript of part 3
Jadranko Brkic: And finally let's talk a little bit about the International Society for Individual Liberty, ISIL for short. What would you like people to know about it?
Ken Schoolland: It's an organization that started in the 1970's, Vince Miller and Bruce Evoy and later Jim Elwood were ones who thought, well there is a lot of libertarian foment here in the United States, but it's not getting to other countries very much. And they were interested in translating free market work and making it available in other countries, and then to develop a network of people by having conferences every year in various countries, especially in Europe, but elsewhere too, New Zealand, and Latin America and elsewhere. And Africa.
So I joined, because I was interested to help with this sort of thing. Little did I know that this book would be one of their major projects in their network, one of the major ways for me to reach out and meet the people in other countries that are enthused about publishing all these editions of the book. And we still have a number of conferences, one is coming up in Shanghai this July (2012), my wife (Li Zhao Schoolland) is organizing. We have a lineup of, right now we've already got 16 committed speakers for our 3 day conference in Shanghai. It's going to be all about Austrian Economics in the biggest economy and country in the World, I mean and by economy I not yet, second in number to United States, but it's getting there and growing very very strong, growing very fast. And it's still a communist country, so it's really quite a remarkable thing to get in and start preaching. Actually there are a lot of free market libertarian people in China, they just have been muzzled to some extent and this is an opportunity to try and approach more free market ideas there. … This last summer we did it in Sicily and we had a group from all around Asia and Europe and Africa, they came.
Jadranko Brkic: You know, that kind of work, that kind of event would really spark interest from libertarian groups of people in western Balkans, only if it were held closer to home, so what do you think about having some future events …
Ken Schoolland: Actually this last summer my wife also organized a week long Austrian Economics seminars in Romania and we had talks in Bulgaria, close to, but hopefully yea, and there was one organization that held these liberty camps for students in Albania just this last summer. And more is going to be done and so we reach out, we invite people to talk to us about starting up these liberty camps throughout Eastern Europe. And hopefully it will be right next door. We like to have these camps in the summer, where students can get away and faculties and students can mingle up in the mountains or the seaside and nice friendly environment, and they talk in open and get to know each others really well. So we are doing a lot of that.
Jadranko Brkic: And that reminds me to really give you the praise for the International Society for Individual Liberty website because it has been influential on our own project, Campaign for Freedom and Prosperity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also our new project Freedom and Prosperity TV that we are creating right now. It's been very influential because it contains the blueprint of how to create organizations, how to start liberty movements around the world. And we have actually taken it from your ... there's a section on intellectual resources and tools for action, so we basically looked that up and used it.
Ken Schoolland: That's excellent to hear. And actually we need more representatives in that part of the World, I hope that you'll be in regular contact with us, posting update stories of what's happening in your area, and this could be kind of a clearing house for ideas from all around the World. So that's great.
Jadranko Brkic: We heard that you've already been in western Balkans, the Bosnia stepping … (laughs)
Ken Schoolland: Ah yea, haha. Well, my wife and family, that's my wife and daughter, we went to Belgrade to visit our good friends Tomislav Krsmanovic and Miso Ognjanovic, and Richard Danicek, they were former students of mine here in Hawaii, actually I got a lot of students here who were from Serbia. Alex and Nada and others. When we were there Miso took us into the countryside, and then Tomislav took us to the Drina river, and we spent a couple of nights there.
Jadranko Brkic: Right on the border.
Ken Schoolland: Right on the border, and so we got into a boat, a fishing boat, and went out on the water, and they wouldn't let us have a visa over to Bosnia at that time. So I, boldly we went to the shoreline and I took my shoe off and I put my foot on Bosnia and I was there. My friend who was in the boat at the time took my passport and marked with a little designation that I've been to Bosnia now, at least I put my foot in Bosnia. Some day I'm gonna come back and do it properly, yeah. (laughs)
Jadranko Brkic Awesome. Anybody took a picture?
Ken Schoolland: Oh, no, no!
Jadranko Brkic: So we can detain you … (laughs)
Ken Schoollald: That's right, I'll make it formal next time. I've wanted to go to Macedonia, I have friends there, Slovenia. Well, I'd like to go visit there with my family again some time and then just spend a lot of time visiting throughout the countryside. And to visit you, maybe we could all tour together (laughs)
Jadranko Brkic: Absolutely! Well we definitely need to work together on getting some events going.
Ken Schoollad: Great, great, yeah.
Jadranko Brkic: Well, this has surely been fun, professor Schoolland thank you for your time.
Ken Schoolland: Thank you very much, I really appreciate this. This is so great, we met on the Great Wall of China, and now we ran across each other here again, that's fantastic. ...