The FRMS Sevilla took place on April 7th, 2022, in conjunction with Círculo Liberal Bastiat. The event’s speakers were Fernando Nogales Lozano of Círculo Liberal Bastiat, Scott B. Nelson of the Austrian Economics Center, and independent scholar Carlos Puente Martín. Topics included environmental conservation and European Union conditionality and freedom.
Nogales opened the roadshow by discussing the excitement of conducting the FMRS in person after the past few years. A year after completing his masters in Austrian Economics, Nogales founded Círculo Liberal Bastiat in 2012.
After Nogales’ introduction, Nelson spoke of liberty. Nelson stated that the topic of liberalism has created two polarizing viewpoints amongst the left and right. Leftwing intellectuals have advocated for equality of results, rather than equality of law. The right on the other hand has embraced populists who advocate for nationalistic policies. Nelson argued that despite globalization, the world is not a global community, despite a common leftist belief in collectivism. A true liberal society embraces individualism and freedom of expression, not collectivism. Nelson also emphasized the FMRS’ importance in promoting liberty and liberal ideas.
Puente then spoke of environmentalism and free markets. Puente discussed the propensity for disasters when producing nuclear energy such as the Fukushima disaster in Japan. These concerns have motivated Germany to move away from nuclear energy. Puente discussed the Lisbon Energy Treaty, which restricts the autonomy of individuals to control environmental policy. Germany and some other EU nations have continued to purchase Russian oil, in spite of the nation’s attack on Ukraine. A few countries including the United States have banned the purchase of Russian oil, causing high gas prices and rampant inflation. Hypocritically, some nations have restricted the release of carbon while continuing to embrace oil.
Puente then spoke of EU conditionality and freedom, mentioning that Círculo Liberal Bastiat is a staunch supporter of economic freedom and the elimination of tariffs. Bastiat himself was a staunch defender of free trade. Puente then discussed the school of Salamanca’s influence on the Austrian school, and the relation between the two schools. In order to be admitted to the EU, a nation must meet political, economic, and legal criteria. In addition, a nation must be a democracy and respect human rights. However, this distinction can be difficult, as many non-democratic countries classify themselves as republics. Many countries in the EU embrace the Euro, an example of the EU restricting member nations’ sovereignty. Puente referred to the bureaucracy of the EU as problematic at times.
After Puente, Nogales spoke of the dangers of totalitarian ideologies. New ideologies that promote collectivism are dangerous for a liberal society. Nogales argued that stay-at-home-orders, social distancing requirements, and other COVID-19 lockdown policies have violated individual liberty and are examples of biopolitics. Nogales then concluded the FMRS Sevilla 2022 by stating “viva la libertad” and thanking Nelson and Puente for their participation.