Who Are the Most Influential Libertarians? FreedomFest Wants To Know!

World's largest annual gathering of libertarians is choosing the "50 Most Influential Libertarians" in eight categories. Vote now, get $100 off registration.



The 10th year of FreedomFest, the world's largest annual gathering of libertarian and free-market thinkers, activists, and policymakers takes place in Las Vegas between July 19 to July 22 at Bally's Paris resort.

Confirmed speakers include Star Trek's William Shatner talking about space exploration and the cultural staying power of Star Trek. Newscasting legend John Stossel will be there and there will be a celebration of the life and ideas of Steve Forbes, longtime FreedomFest "co-ambassador." There will also be a slate of special "Reason Day" sessions that deliver cutting-edge views on "Free Minds and Free Markets." You want to "boldly go where no man, woman, or child has gone before?" Then come to Reason Day, where we will be talking about rockets, hyperloops, radical self-evolution, and the next stages of disruptive—and libertating—change.

To add to the excitement, FreedomFest impresario Mark Skousen has teamed up with Newsmax magazine to produce a list of "the 50 Most Influential Libertarians" in each of eight different categories such as business and finance, entertainment and the news, freedom-movement organizations, media, politics, and academia.

Among the Reasoners in the hunt are Ronald Bailey, Brian Doherty, and Virginia Postrel (authors); John Stossel, Matt Welch, and myself (media); and Katherine Mangu-Ward, David Nott, and Robert W. Poole (think tanks and educational institutions).

You can vote for up to five candidates in each category and the survey is open until March 15.

Go here now to cast your ballot and get $100 off your FreedomFest registration fee.

Over the past years, Reason TV has interviewed dozens of libertarians ranging from P.J. O'Rourke to Penn Jillette to John Mackey to Crossfit creator Greg Glassman to LP presidential ticket Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Go here for a complete list.

And click below to watch last year's raucous debate among Matt Welch, Jeffrey Tucker, Dan Magru, Wayne Allyn Root and me over whether libertarians should vote for Donald Trump. Called the most controversial and intense panel ever at FreedomFest, it's something to behold.

NEXT: Gender-Reversed Presidential Debate Reveals Trump's Allure to Clinton Voters

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  1. #Woodchippers4WayneAllynRoot

    1. Woodchippers would be wise to be for Wayne Allen Root – at least insofar as recognizing that he is far more intelligent and accomplished than Obama.

  2. I believe Michael Hihm has a list. Someone should ask him.

  3. Bill Weld, hands down

    1. Johnson, for getting Weld on the ticket over the objection of almost everyone.

  4. Trick question, there are no influential libertarians.

    1. Sure there are, but all negatively. So the question becomes, who is the least disfluential libertarian?

  5. I’ve always wanted to go, but Las Vegas in July… Ain’t that crazy!

    1. Central AC and Topless Pools. They got you covered.

      1. Topless pools filled with… tourists!

          1. Ain’t clicking that. Momma dun raise no idddits!

  6. So hey, Loretta Lynch literally advocated for Terrorism in the streets. The ex Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States. Shouldn’t we have an article on that?

    1. Except she didn’t even come close to doing that. I just watched the video of her statement. She’s clearly referring the civil rights movement of the 60s, where people actually did bleed and die standing up for rights. It is a huge stretch to see it as promoting violence.

      1. She’s not advocating for terrorism in the streets, but her quote isn’t quite as totally benign as you’re trying to make it out to be either. She’s clearly spouting the standard-issue modern democratic party racially divisive fearmongering, implying that the bad old days of segregation and no voting rights are on the verge of coming back.

        Of course it’s complete and utter bullcrap, it’s nothing especially new, but it’s still pretty pathetic.

        1. I’m not trying to portray it as anything.

          You are quite right that it’s just more hysterical bullcrap. I didn’t mean to suggest otherwise.

  7. Donald Trump.

    *Runs away laughing*

  8. Bill Shatner, accomplished actor and noted pussyhound, is the most influential anything you know.

    1. I am influenced.

  9. Anyone competent enough to comment on a hyperloop question? I don’t know how low the air pressure is supposed to be inside the tube, but I’d think it would have to be dramatically lower than atmospheric just to be worthwhile — 10%? 20%? and that leaves a differential pressure of 10 psi on a tube 15-20 feet in diameter. Even if it’s circular, that seems like an enormous strain to stretch for hundreds of miles. Seems like even a slight wrinkle would tend to extend, and considering how much road signs get shot up and how many kids throw rocks at regular trains, these things have got to be bullet magnets, even if only one or two a day.

    What happens if a leak develops and the tube pressure starts rising? Even if it’s like a bullet in an airliner and doesn’t explosively decompress, the extra air inside has to play havoc with a pod traveling at the speed of sound. Is there any planning for graceful failure so the pod doesn’t slam to a stop?

    1. It’s supposed to be far lower than 10-20%, something more like .1%.

      1. Seriously? As someone that has worked with vacuum systems before, that sounds like a boondoggle. I spent about 3/4 of my time plugging leaks every time I had to open the system up to make an adjustment. I can’t even imagine how much down time this hyperloop is going to have each time they have to service something.

      2. The extra pressure differential doesn’t change that much after you get to 80-90%, but the work required seems like a lot more, and maintaining that sounds impossible.

        But that sounds far scarier than I had thought for a pod traveling at the speed of sound. To go from 1/1000 air to 1/100 or 1/10 in a leak sounds like it would stop the pod so fast that it would really suck(!) to be inside. Traveling at the speed of sound and all that air piling up ahead of the pod and not being able to out run it just doesn’t sound good at all.

    2. I really hope you are not doing some DYI tinkering at home with some Habitrail tubes and your pet hamster.

      1. Wait, is scarecrow Richard Gere? Oh wait again… that was gerbils…

        Never mind.

  10. Penn Jillette. His show BULLSHIT was probably what introduced me to Libertarianism

  11. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law wiz like actually making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twenty months and at present cleared the dept on there apartment and bout a great new Citroen CV . look here…..
    _________________+_+_+_+_+… ..

  12. Here is my list:
    Authors: Wendy McElroy, Brian Doherty, Robert Higgs
    Business: Jimmy Wales (slim pickings in this category)
    Celebrities: Edward Snowden, Trey and Matt, Joe Rogan (I have a love-hate thing for Rogan)
    Freedom orgs: Jeff Tucker
    Media: Julian Assange, Adam Kokesh, Matt Welch, The Judge, Ben Swann
    Politics: Ron Paul, Justin Amash
    Professors: David Friedman or GTFO
    Think Tanks: no one (I don’t know most of these and the ones I know suck)

    A lot of these categories seem artificial and aimed at pleasing the most number of people.

    Aaaaaand, the survey doesn’t work. Brilliant.

    1. South Park may be the most influential Libertarian show ever. So many good lessons over the years

    2. It didn’t work for me either after wasting my time filling it out.

    3. Lew Rockwell?

      Tom Woods?

      Thomas DiLorenzo?

      Walter Block?


      Ron Paul?

      1. I included Ron Paul on my list. Kenedy is all right as well. Tom Woods seems like a nice guy. I don’t consider Rockwell a libertarian, and Block has jumped the shark with his support for Trump.

  13. “Radical self-evolution”

    I thought Wikipedia had an entry for pretty much everything, but not even those guys have any information on this shit, whatever the fuck it is.

  14. So, is Shatner a libertarian, or just playing one on TV?

    1. How can one be a libertarian if one is employed by The Federation?

      1. I think he quit that gig a while ago.

  15. Isn’t “shat” the past tense of shit?

  16. Vote now, get $100 off registration.

    The fact that you’re offering a 100 dollaf discount created a frightening picture in my mind of how much the registration really costs.

  17. I nominate Nick and Dalmia. Those two have managed to influence a number of libertarians to go seek their news elsewhere. Not a positive influence on libertarianism, but an influence nonetheless.

  18. Over the past years, Reason TV has interviewed dozens of libertarians ranging from P.J. O’Rourke to Penn Jillette to John Mackey to Crossfit creator Greg Glassman to LP presidential ticket Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

    All of whom voted for Hitlery Kkklinton last November.

    1. I actually wouldn’t be that surprised if even GayJay himself did vote for Hildog.

  19. Lou Dobbs.

  20. When a school district official quotes himself in the third person in support of a referendum in the school district paper of which he is the Editor, he can be very influential in fostering libertarian notions in some of his readers.

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