Both here in America and worldwide, one of the biggest threats to freedom and democracy today is the resurgence of socialism.
In fact, poll after polls shows that more young people are openly embracing socialist policies than ever before. Not only that, socialist Bernie Sanders consistently ranks in the top three of Democrat presidential candidates and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the darling of the progressive news media.
The good news is that there is still hope. There are still young people who understand the importance of individual freedom, free-market economics, honorable leadership, and personal responsibility.
Take 2008/09 TFAS alumnus, Jacek Spendel, for example.
If you speak to Jacek even for a moment, his passion for liberty and to build a bridge between his home nation of Poland and America bleed through.
As a student at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, in 2005, Spendel became involved in the KoLiber association, a Polish nonpartisan youth group dedicated to classical liberal ideas, free-market economics, and traditional values. Soon he was serving as the president of one of the association’s 25 chapters in Poland. The ideas of classical liberalism and free-market economics so inspired him, he knew he wanted to increase and deepen his involvement. So, he began searching for opportunities beyond Poland and stumbled upon TFAS’ American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) in Prague:
“AIPES was very international and exposed me to the freedom movement beyond Poland,” Spendel said. “What I encountered and saw in Prague was even better than I predicted or expected. We had an amazing crew. It was a very, very high-quality education and quite demanding, but that’s good. I learned things I did not learn in Poland that were connected to the American political system, like the Federalist Papers, the important Supreme Court cases – all the things that make the U.S. unique.”
After going on to spend time in Washington, D.C., with our Capitol Semester program, he returned home and took a full-time job as a project manager at the Globalization Institute, a think tank in Poland.
There, he rounded out the experiences he needed to eventually strike off on his own and found the nonprofit Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (FEF). Established in 2012, FEF is dedicated to advancing free markets, individual liberty, limited government and entrepreneurship by cultivating liberty-oriented leaders.
In the years since, Jacek has gone on to open his own pizza restaurant to better understand the entrepreneurial experience and started “Project Arizona” to bring European students to Arizona to teach them how to be better leaders for freedom within their own countries. This summer, he was named president of Liberty International, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing world liberty through international education and networking.
Defend your values today!
This is just one of thousands of examples of students and educators becoming an amplifying affect to the preservation of America’s founding principles here and abroad.
Jacek Spendel is proof that it’s not too late. We can still turn the tide against socialism by proactively reaching and teaching the next generation with the bedrock principles that have made America a beacon of freedom in the world.
But we can’t do it alone. The mission of The Fund for American Studies is only as successful as the willingness of men and women like you to partner with us financially.
We do not take any government money, so the only thing stopping us from doing more great work like this to defend American values for generations to come is the support we get from donors like you.
There are more young people just like Jacek who need your help. Will you do your part to preserve American values with your gift of support today?
Your gift of any amount today will help us continue to transform the lives of students like Jacek Spendel and others who go on to transform the world with the message of individual liberty and economic freedom that they learn here.