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ARI Makes Big Impact with Latin America Conferences

Hundreds craving a rational philosophy came to hear ARI speakers at conferences in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

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Latin America is in dire need of an alternative to the destructive collectivism of both the left and the right that has prevented the continent, as a whole, from becoming freer. That alternative is Objectivism.

Over the last few years, the Ayn Rand Institute has expanded its influence in the region by bringing this new philosophy to Latin Americans. The latest of these efforts was the Latin American tour, organized by the Ayn Rand Center Latin America, that ARI speakers, including myself, embarked on in the fall of 2022.

One reason we undertake these speaking tours is to establish connections with aspiring Objectivist intellectuals in Latin America. Due to ARI’s Latin American outreach of the past few years, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of Latin American students signing up for the Ayn Rand University (ARI’s newest and biggest educational initiative) and becoming seriously interested in Ayn Rand’s ideas. The more people in the region know and apply Rand’s philosophy, the more hope there is for a freer Latin America, and the greater will be the number of serious students attracted to the worldwide Objectivist movement.

In September, October and November, ARI speakers visited São Paulo and Porto Alegre, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; San José, Costa Rica; and Mexico City, Mexico. Speakers included Tal Tsfany, Yaron Brook, Tara Smith, Ben Bayer and Aaron Smith.

Part of the problem in Latin America, as I’ve observed in my years living there, is that people (especially young people) don’t understand the causes of the problems that plague their countries. In our talks, we pointed people to the deep, fundamental philosophical causes of the misery and regress in Latin America, and we showed them the philosophical alternative. We explained to attendees that their lives matter, that their happiness matters, and that adopting a philosophy based on their rational self-interest will lead them to happier lives and, ultimately, to freer societies in the long term.

'We explained to attendees that their lives matter, that their happiness matters, and that adopting a philosophy based on their rational self-interest will lead them to happier lives and, ultimately, to freer societies in the long term.' Click To Tweet

During this tour, I was pleased to see first-hand that the level of interest in Rand’s ideas remains strong in Latin America and is growing. In Brazil and Argentina, we had more than two hundred attendees throughout our two-day conference in both countries. That’s even in the midst of the controversial presidential elections in Brazil that were sapping people’s attention and time, and Argentina’s usual problems (including a massive protest blocking Buenos Aires’ main streets). In Costa Rica, a small country of barely over five million people, sixty attendees joined us in a one-day conference. Finally, in Mexico, we had more than three hundred students from Tecnológico Universitario Naucalpan join us on our single-day event.

In between events, some of our speakers traveled to Santiago, Chile, and to Porto Alegre, Brazil, to make further appearances. In Chile, Tal Tsfany and Aaron Smith gave interviews to two pro-liberty organizations and spoke to a think tank, and in Porto Alegre, Yaron Brook spoke before more than two hundred attendees.

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We keep growing our influence in Latin America with the help of our partner organization, the Ayn Rand Center Latin America. Stay tuned for more events and activities in the region later this year.

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Agustina Vergara Cid

Agustina Vergara Cid, LLB and LLM, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and an opinion columnist at the Orange County Register.

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