Third Annual Libertas Institute Essay Contest Submissions

Below are the submissions to this year's essay contest, with the most recent submissions at the top. Would you like to submit your own and try to win the $1,500 prize? Click here for details.

Faith, Fear, and Freedom: Thoreau-ing Down the Gauntlet by E K C Rose

Faith was the underpinning of society in nineteenth century America. Faith moved the first American pioneers to set sail for a new land, to cross the plains, and to fill the soil with seeds. Fear of the future and fear of the unknown took a backseat to courageous exploration. None of our ancestors would have […]

As from within to without. by Mike Bonham

“I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon law and upon courts. These are false hopes, believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, […]

Thoughts on Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience by Jonathan Clark

Thoughts on Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience In his essay Civil Disobedience, Thoreau provides us his thoughts on what kind of government would be best for a people, and claims that he “ask[s] for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. He then encourages us to “make known what kind of government would […]

Sedition’s Child by Brad Halverson

Sedition’s Child Duality is a universal constant. There are no rights without responsibilities. To exercise your Right is to accept the Obligations that accompany it; to do less is self-serving and immoral. We are the inheritors of a nation conceived, born and matured by acts of political and civic defiance. The seeds rebellious individualism germinated […]

Loyalty to Liberty by Dustin Phelps

Henry David Thoreau put it perfectly when he said, “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think we should be men first, and subjects afterward.” No words could more clearly articulate the principle upon which the […]

Give Me Liberty, or give me Death by Beverly Kingsford

We live in a world that puts us in between a rock and a hard place. The power of the State is showing itself all too often, and the question is asked, “What do we do now?” We have the option of going with the flow of things, or rebelling and letting the State know […]

How Long Will We Stay Our Hand by Macade Jensen

Subtly, quietly America is being bound, not with the heavy, chocking chains of slavery, but with the seemingly unobtrusive strings of complacency and disillusionment. The perpetrator, however, is not from without, but a child to whom we gave birth some 225 years ago. Though when the federal government of the United States came into existence […]

Essay on Civil Disobedience by Phil Lyman

Essay on Civil Disobedience By Phil Lyman, August 15, 2014 In a society where peace is valued as fragile community property, propriety of action is constantly being weighed in the balance. In her book, “Governing the Commons,” Elinor Ostrom talks about “common pool resources.” These resources are shared by the local community. When they are […]

Navigating the Civil Disobedience Minefield by Mancos MacLeod

Although engaging in civil disobedience can be complicated, the nuts and bolts of the philosophical basis are quite simple: What is right isn’t always legal and what is legal isn’t always right. Any and all legitimate man-made laws should be based on the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Our founding fathers understood this, […]

Civil Disobedience and The Change Makers by Dwight Kirby

Before the sun came up three intruders cut through a fence protecting a Minuteman III nuclear missile silo. Using hammers they pounded the 110-ton concrete cover and the tracks that would carry it if launched. With their own blood they painted crosses on the silo and the tracks. They prayed for world peace and sang […]