A New Democracy: Mongolia’s Path to Freedom

By Erika Hanes

Since high school, I’ve been obsessed with Mongolian history, so my recent two-week trip to the country was a long time in the making. While not the world’s most popular travel destination, Mongolia is rich in history and surprisingly tourist-friendly. Because of my nerdy obsession, I expected to come away from my trip dazzled by tales of military victories, ancient sieges and diplomatic intrigue. I didn’t expect the trip to make such an impact on my journey as a new Libertarian.

While most people know the classical figure Genghis Khan (the man responsible for creating the Mongol Empire), people don’t know much about modern Mongolia. I certainly didn’t. I was there to see the country’s distant past; I ended up discovering a present rooted in resilience and an inspiring vision for a liberated future.

Mongolia has only been an independent democracy since 1991. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Mongolians suffered under foreign rule, first from Imperial China and then Soviet Russia. Under the Chinese, Mongolia saw many of its monasteries destroyed, as religion competed with Chinese supremacy. Under the Russians, the government owned and operated all of the press and virtually eradicated independent media. It wasn’t until the fall of the Soviet Union that Mongolia was able to officially establish itself as an independent nation, no longer the satellite or subject of another power.

Again, I wasn’t expecting to have a “Libertarian moment” on my trip. But learning about Mongolia’s path to freedom had a profound effect on me, for two reasons. First, Mongolia couldn’t be a more obvious graveyard for imperialism and communism. It’s difficult to look at the abandoned factories and industrial wreckage scattered across the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and think “Yep, things were definitely better under communism.” To someone from the democratized First World, the city doesn’t exactly register as “metropolitan”. It lacks the architectural feats of Sydney or flourishing river walks of Dublin. That’s because Ulaanbaatar looks exactly like what it is: the capital city of a young democracy, shedding layers of oppression, emerging as an independent, free and capitalist nation. You can trace the journey from occupation to freedom through its infrastructure. Under capitalism and democracy, Ulaanbaatar is bustling with hundreds of new construction projects. It has a microbrewery and multiple four-star hotels. It has a large stadium with pyrotechnics. Morale is high and the youth are hopeful.

Second, Mongolia’s path to freedom led me to reflect on our own democracy. A few weeks ago, our nation celebrated over two hundred years of democracy, yet millions didn’t bother to vote in our last general election. During my trip, there was a special election to determine the next Mongolian president. Voter turnout was 68.27 percent, according to US News. It was fulfilling to see people take advantage of a right so few get to have, and so few who have it truly appreciate. (It should be noted that all of the candidates in this election were shrouded in scandal. See, kids? Mongolian politicians are just like ours.)

This experience fulfilled a teenage dream to nerd out over bloodlust and bludgeons, but it also confirmed ideas and principles I hold closer to my heart as I grow older. Mongolia is a beautiful country inhabited by a kind and charming people, and I continue to be inspired by her story.

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New Instagram Account

The DuPage Libertarians continue to grow and expand, not just in terms of membership and votes, but also in terms of our social media presence. Today, we proudly announce our brand new Instagram account! Together with our Facebook and Twitter accounts, we are reaching out to brand new audience. Follow us today!

#HappyIndependenceDay #July4 #USA

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Pride in Chicago

As Chicago prepares to celebrate gay pride, it’s important to remember that no political party has a longer or better record of supporting LGBT rights than the Libertarian Party. When the Libertarian Party was formed in 1971, gay rights was one of its founding principles. In fact, the Libertarian Party’s first presidential candidate, John Hospers was openly gay.

Back when Hillary Clinton was still insisting that “a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman“, the Libertarian Party already had 30 years of supporting gay rights. It’s no exaggeration to say that libertarians are literally decades ahead of the progressive left.

Indeed, the Libertarian Party is the most inclusive political party in the world. Why? Because equality is at the very heart of libertarianism.  If libertarianism can be summed up in one sentence, it is this:

“Everyone hast the right to live their lives as they choose as long as they don’t infringe upon the equal rights of others.”

What’s more, we treat people as individuals, not just indistinct members of a group.

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Libertarians Strongly Condemn Anti-Muslim Attack

In Portland, Oregon, three men were attacked, two of whom fatally, after they tried to defend two teenage girls who were being harassed by a man yelling anti-Muslim slurs. The man, who is being held without bail, stabbed two of the men to death, the third suffering serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Reportedly, the attacker, who has a criminal record which includes felony robbery and kidnapping, told the teenage girls to get out of “his country” and and that “that Muslims should die“.

Sadly, this attack is not an isolated incident. According to the Pew Research Center, anti-Muslim violence have reached levels not seen since the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Anti-Muslim assaults at highest level since 2001

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Why Is College Tuition So Expensive?

by Arvin Vohra

If I asked a bank for a loan to buy a 100 million dollar skyscraper for my business, they would probably say no. It’s not because they think I’m a wicked person. They just think it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to pay back the loan.

Americans owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, an average of $37,172 per student.

However, if a D student wants to borrow 200k to study art history at a tenth rate college, the bank will say yes. Why? Because the bank doesn’t care if the student is likely to pay back the loan. If the student does not, the government steals from you to pay it back.

The result is that teenagers with zero work or business experience are able to take out massive loans for impractical goals. People who are considered too young to drink, too high risk to rent a car for a day, can take out a massive loan, leading to decades of debt. Continue reading

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