This article was published in the Winter 1999-2000 issue of Formulations
by the Free Nation Foundation

– Report –

ISIL '99 in Costa Rica

by Bobby Yates Emory

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The International Society for Individual Liberty held its 1999 conference in Costa Rica. The setting was a resort on the outskirts of San José (the capital). Three Directors of FNF attended: Rich Hammer (a featured speaker), Wayne Dawson, and Bobby Emory (Suzanne Sullivan accompanied Bobby).

The main conference ran four days. Afterward there was a post-conference sightseeing tour. The tour had to be slightly revised because of an outbreak of dengue fever, but it went on. There were also two smaller conferences in San José, before the ISIL conference (as mentioned in the Foundation News Note on page 21).

For us the most important news was Rigoberto Stewart's book, Limón REAL, which advocates his project for Limón, being published just before the conference. It was available in Spanish—the English edition is promised soon.

The status of libertarian movements in many parts of the world was discussed. Many of the speakers were from Latin America.

The highlight of the conference was a television hookup that allowed Milton Friedman to address us. We were able to ask questions. Someone asked him if he started income tax withholding and he acknowledged that he had played a part. The main part of his speech was fairly libertarian and he will remain a rich resource to use when addressing non-libertarians. For our work, his son has more to teach us.

The entertainment the last night was great with a salsa band and dancing into the night. The surprise was finding out that Jarret Wollstein loves to dance, including Latin American dances.

This conference was enjoyable and it was a delight to meet people who were so different and yet were dedicated to the same ideals. The lectures were interesting, the people were wonderful, the setting was gorgeous—but the cost was high. For the future, if you are looking for an excuse to go to the place where an I.S.I.L. conference will be held, then go for it. But if you are looking for the most cost-effective way to advance the movement, or to learn more about libertarian ideas, I am not sure this is it. D

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