Student Forum

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

Watch the Event

Join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoEvents. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute. If you have questions or need assistance registering for the event, please email our staff at events@​cato.​org.

Date and Time
July 10, 2013 6:30 - 7:30 PM EDT
1st floor/Wintergarden
Featuring Cato Institute Interns and Heritage Foundation Interns; with an introduction by Chip Bishop, Director of Student Programs, Cato Institute; moderated by Nicole Neily, Vice President, Dezenhall Resources.

Liberty and virtue are values that both conservatives and libertarians tout as components of their philosophies. Historically, disagreements about the definitions of and balance between liberty and virtue have taken a back seat to other more pressing conflicts, causing the distinct philosophies to often be lumped together. As times have changed, elements of the old “fusionism” alliance have dissolved, and new conflicts have emerged that impose a strain on the formerly functioning, though imperfect, ideological partnership.

Recent policy issues have highlighted disagreements in areas such as the War on Drugs, national defense, welfare, immigration, marriage, foreign policy, and many others. These topics represent important reasons to discuss the similarities and the differences between the two worldviews.

We invite you to a timely debate about the two philosophies and their associated policy applications, as interns from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute go head‐​to‐​head to answer the perennial question: Is libertarianism or conservatism the better political philosophy?