Libertopia cartoons recently had the privilege to talk with the creative and talented Caryn Ann Harlos, the Region 1 Representative of the Libertarian National Committee (amongst many other things, which can be read about in more detail below). As well as a unique and influential voice within the libertarian community as a whole, Caryn has also been known to visit our growing community here at Libertopia on more than one occasion. She was also recently a guest on the Tom Woods Show (Ep. 844), in which she discussed where the Libertarian Party is today, and where it might be going in the future. So we hope you’ll enjoy this exclusive interview, and find out how people just like you are out there making a positive difference in a wide variety of ways!
Thanks for talking with us Caryn! To start with, could you tell us a little bit about your involvement as a libertarian?
I am the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee representing Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming as well the Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado and Colorado State Coordinator for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus. What motivates me? A deep and abiding conviction that this is the right solution for humanity that honours each person’s inherent rights and will lead to the greatest human potential and prosperity. I have come to earnestly believe that the initiation of force and abandonment of natural rights is inherently wrong and wish to see it eliminated as much as can be achieved. I most enjoy speaking with other people and seeing the light bulb go off as it did to me, and in assisting other libertarians in spreading the word.
Have there ever been any particular writers, speakers, books, movies etc. that helped raise awareness of libertarian issues in your life? Would you mind describing this process?
No writers or persons “brought” me to libertarianism. I think like many libertarians, I can point to that spark throughout my life, but my realization came more through huge life changes and self-examination. I don’t particularly like bringing this up because we all have agency, and I don’t think we can always lay the blame for past experiences totally on other people (some exceptions of course), but I was previously in a very bad and controlling marriage and involved in a pretty fundamentalistic Christian church that did not equip me to deal with getting out of such a situation. But when I started to break free of that, it really opened the flood-gate for libertarian and liberal ideas without me realizing that is what they were, and my views started changing out of that more rigid mindset and ideas. During that time I became much more “liberalized” in my faith and views and disillusioned with nationalism and the mixing of politics and religion, so by the time I was exposed to the Libertarian Party I was ready, and I made the jump literally over a lunchbreak simply by reading the Libertarian Party platform—and at that time I had completely abandoned the political sphere. The me of today is, dare I say, radically different from the me of yesterday, but more in line with what I think I have always intuitively known about the nature of rights and freedom. The one strand that has been consistent is an abiding love for the absolute right to freedom of speech. I participated in anti-censorship events in my youth and am now in a lawsuit with the State of Colorado over political free speech in the form of “ballot selfies.”
Do you have any unique experiences so far through working in the libertarian community? (fun memories, unusual stories, interesting people you’ve met, etc)
I don’t know that any experiences were unique, but I think that meeting so many different people with different lives and stories and wants and needs has made me a much richer and certainly a much better person. I often joke that if you asked the me of ten years ago what scenario was more likely to be true today:
- a. dead
- b. have ten children
- c. founded a nudist camp
- d. become an anarchist on the governing board of a political party
I would have laughed my ass off at option d. I don’t even like politics.
What might your goal be for the future working in this area?
I have learned now not to anticipate. I honestly don’t know.
Any recommendations on how liberty-minded people could get involved in their community, and be a positive ambassador for libertarianism?
I love the expression I heard lately, “Find what you love, and let it kill you.” Find your niche and passion in liberty. For me, right now, it is the Libertarian Party. If that can be yours too, the field is wide open, and there is plenty to do in every interest and skill to pour yourself out to the extent you wish to for liberty. There are state and county affiliates hungry for your help.
Where can readers find out more about what you do?
I am prolific on Facebook, and of course, very active in the Libertarian Party-so that is where to find me. Within the internal specifics of the policy, I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, and we can be found at lpradicalcaucus.org and our FB group (link here) – I hope to see you there.
And last of all – do you have a favorite piece of libertarian art that you’ve created or relates to you in a personal way? (Note: we always think it’s fun to end our interviews by asking those individuals we’ve chatted with if they’d mind sharing a cool piece of artwork. This can be anything from a simple sketch to a piece of music or poetry that they’ve created, or even a favorite graphic that relates to them personally in some way.) Caryn notes that the “abolish all the things” image at left “is a meme someone made of my activities at the National Convention as I walked around with Radical Caucus thumbs up/thumbs down signs and a light saber for proposals.” Enjoy!
Also, don’t forget to take a look at our libertarian artists page for more great artist interviews and artwork from a variety of different artists in our community! You can also check out Libertopia’s own artwork page here, or download our 60 page art ebook at Libertopia: Collection One!