Student Forum

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

July 23, 2015 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM EDT

Hayek Auditorium

Featuring Cato Institute Interns; and Heritage Foundation Interns; with an introduction by Mark Houser, Student Programs Coordinator, Cato Institute; moderated by Christopher Bedford, Senior Editor, Daily Caller.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch it live online at www​.cato​.org/live and join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoEvents. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.

Online registration for this event is now closed. If you are interested in registering for this event, please email events@​cato.​org or call (202) 789‑5229.

Libertarians and conservatives both claim to be advocates of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. Sometimes these shared values lead libertarians and conservatives to similar conclusions about public policy. As a result, American political discourse often conflates libertarianism with conservatism, and proponents of “fusionism” see libertarians and conservatives as natural political allies.

However, the differences between the two political philosophies are at least as significant as the similarities. On matters such as national security and foreign policy, immigration, drugs, marriage, and the role of religion and morality in public policy, libertarians and conservatives clash with one another.

With the recent ascendance of many longstanding libertarian concerns—such as the surveillance state and militarized policing—into mainstream political discourse, we invite you to a timely debate about the two philosophies and their associated policy implications. Interns from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute will go head‐​to‐​head to answer the question: Is libertarianism or conservatism the superior political philosophy?

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #LvCdebate.