The Vancouver Libertarian Book Club

David — May 21, 2011

The Vancouver Libertarian Book Club logo over a map of Vancouver with a map push pin in the center.

My girlfriend recently took a job in Vancouver and thus I will be going over to visit her every second weekend starting in June. While pondering what I would do on weekend visits I decided that spending a few hours with liberty minded people would be a wise use of time. So a few days ago I created the Vancouver Libertarian Book Club through Meetup.com. No changes will be made to the book club in Victoria: same time, place and good conversation.

There are a couple of things which make a book club work and there are some things which don’t work. When trying to get libertarians together it can be difficult. As my prolific co-blogger Dave says, “organising libertarians is like trying to herd cats.”

After pondering what it is that makes a book club successful I have come up with at least part of the formula. Below is a list of recommendations:

  1. Have a set meeting time and place. Thanks to Todd Kuipers of the Calgary Libertarian Meetup Group for suggesting this.
  2. Find the right meeting place. Currently the Victoria Libertarian Book Club meets in the best space in downtown Victoria for this kind of thing: QVs Cafe & Bakery. The staff are friendly and there is a ton of options for food and drink. They also have the space to accommodate us when we need it.
  3. Stay focused: Groups need a focal point to engage in meaningful discussion. Without it people lose interest and discussion strays off topic. That is why from its inception the Victoria Libertarian Book Club was named as such and focuses on classic libertarian literature. There are a lot of liberty clubs who just get together to talk about current events and there is nothing wrong with this, but what I have noticed is that when groups read and discuss books together it has a transformative effect. Hearts and minds are changed. Deeper realisations occur and the conversation that ensues is more intelligent.
  4. Stick to a schedule: Well, we don’t always do this, but we try. Having a meeting start and finish time is good. Our group enjoys discussing both the book we’re reading and current events.
  5. Mix it up a bit: Too much repetition and things get stale. From time to time do a topic night that is of particular interest to libertarians and try to get everyone to bring essays and do research on the topic. If you really want to make things fun then have a debate night. Give everyone the opportunity to play devils advocate on a topic that libertarians are often chided for.

The recommendations above apply to almost any type of book club. Below are five categories that I think every libertarian group should focus on:

  • Foreign policy: end the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan and promote peace & non-interventionism.
  • Money & banking: abolish central banks and encourage sound money.
  • Substances: end drug prohibition.
  • Size of government: reduce taxation and regulation.
  • Self defense: end gun registration and allow people to defend themselves.

I am looking forward to meeting like minded individuals in Vancouver. For those interested in joining this newly formed group here is the URL: http://www.meetup.com/vancouver-libertarian-bookclub/

 

Comments

Todd Kuipers says

Nicely done! I’ll make sure to come by when I’m in the area!

— May 23, 2011

Gabriel Scheare says

Come out for debates, presentations, and Libertarian socializing in downtown Vancouver. Monthly events. LibertyMingle.com

— February 5, 2013

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Disclaimer: The articles and opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Libertarian Book Club.