Learn Liberty: First, when did you join the Learn Liberty team and what is your role?
Daniel Contreras: I came on board in June 2014, I am an Online Education Assistant working on the programs team.
LL: How did you find your way to the philosophy of liberty? Are there any thinkers in particular that got the ball rolling?
DC: When I started comparing the War on Drugs to alcohol prohibition I became more interested in literature regarding legalizing drugs. Much of that material came from libertarian sources so from there I got exposed to libertarian thoughts on different issues. I use to read Thomas Sowell’s articles quite a bit. I remember his article on minimum wage changed my view on the subject. From there Ayn Rand, Bastiat and Friedman were authors that I read a lot from.
LL: What’s your favorite Learn Liberty video and why?
DC: “War On Drugs: What You NEED To Know About Mandatory Prison Sentences” It does a great job of highlighting stories of people who have had their lives destroyed by the war on drugs just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.
DC: Thomas Jefferson to clarify every debate on the constitution and get the answer to his quote on society needing a revolution every generation. Ayn Rand because I like being yelled at and Milton Friedman because he is the most eloquent advocate of classical liberalism. Ever.
LL: What music have you been listening to lately?
DC: I am usually listening to music of shows I will be going to or have recently been to, but according to my recent listening activity the top 5 are: All Time Low, Odesza, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, The Menzingers and The Wonder Years. I would add Sam Feldt to that list as well.
Oh and now that Christmas is just around the corner this has been on repeat.
LL: What about video games? Anything eating up your free time?
DC: Just finished Killzone Mercenary on Vita yesterday. Currently suffering through Assassin’s Creed Revelations, because I have to finish every game that I start, not matter how much I hate it. And Star Wars Battlefront, which I am liking much more than I thought I would.
LL: If you were in charge of government and had the power to unilaterally change one government policy permanently which one would you change and why?
DC: End the War on Drugs. First, it has destroyed millions of lives unnecessarily, creates violence not only here but around the world, and would save a good amount of money and hopefully restore some civil liberties. I really think it’s the single worst policy this country has had for the past 40 years.
LL: What does liberty mean to you in one sentence?
DC: It’s going to sound super cliché/cheesy but it’s the ability to live your life as you see fit with the expectation that you’ll do the same for others. It really comes down to that, of course as long as you don’t initiate violence or commit fraud etc.
LL: What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?
DC: I really don’t watch movies that much anymore. I’ve watched maybe 3 this year. But it would be Interstellar. It’s about space and covers time travel (sort of). What’s not to love?
LL: Do you have a favorite pro-liberty quote?
DC: “The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else,” by Frederic Bastiat. Didn’t even have to look that one up on Google.