Douglas B. Rogers Essay Competition


First Place - Holden Diethorn - St. Vincent College
Second Place - Nikita Chirkob - Trinity University
Third Place - Danielle Charette - Swarthmore College
Honorable Mention - Jonathan Miller - Carnegie Mellon University

First Place - Daniel Strunk - Duke University
Second Place - Sarah Stites - Grove City College
Third Place - Ashley Wright - Hillsdale College
Honorable Mention
Danielle Charette - Swarthmore College
Nikita Chirkob - Trinity University

First Place - Henry Thompson - Clemson University
Second Place - Josiah Lippincott - Hillsdale College
Third Place - Ryan Shinkel - University of Michigan
Honorable Mention
Kevin Hawickhorst - University of Kentucky
Dylan Steiner - McGill University
Ashley Wright - Hillsdale College
Ben Slomski - St. Vincent College


First Place - Joshua Freed - University of Houston (Honors College)
Second Place - Oliver Ha - Baylor University
Third Place - Noah Keys - St. Vincent College
Honorable Mention
James Latta - Virginia Military Institute
Josiah Lippincott - Hillsdale College

First Place - Dennis Clark - Ashland University
Second Place - Claire Anderson - Trinity College
Third Place - Helena Fahey - Thomas Moore College

First Place - Julia Snyder - St. Vincent College
Second Place - Jamie Sherry - St. Vincent College
Third Place - Bryon Richardson - Salve Regina University

First Place - Wein Li Teng - University of Chicago
Second Place - Tegan Truitt - Grove City College
Third Place - Paul Weisser - St. Vincent College
Honorable Mention
Marcus Shera - George Mason University
Stephen Bork - Princeton

First Place - Christian Torsell - Notre Dame
Second Place - Jonathan Meilaender - Saint Vincent College
Third Place - Paul Weisser - St. Vincent College
Honorable Mention
Myron Highsmith - Auburn University
Davis Smith - Gutenberg College
Michael Sparks - Christopher Newport University

Annual Quotes

"Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

Frédéric Bastiat, "The Law"
Speaker: John Taylor, Stanford University


". . . but to manipulate men . . . to propel them towards goals which you, the social reformer see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence; to treat them as objects, without wills of their own, and therefore, to degrade them."

Isaiah Berlin, 1958 essay "Two Concepts of Liberty"
Speaker: Peter Sweitzer, NY Times Best Selling Author



"the accumulation of all powers; legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective may justly be pronounced, the very definition of tyranny."

James Madison, "Federalist Papers, No. 47"
Speaker: John Larivee, St. Olaf University


George Washington's "September 19, 1796 Farewell Address"
Speaker: William Beech, George Mason, Mercatus Center


". . . the preservation of the Federal Constitution according to it’s obvious principles & those on which it was known to be recieved, attached equally to the preservation to the states of those rights unquestionably remaining with them . . ."

Thomas Jefferson's "August 13, 1800 Letter to Gideon Granger"
Speaker: Phillip Levy, Northwestern University


"The Rationalist has rejected in advance the only external inspiration capable of correcting his error; he does not merely neglect the kinds of knowledge which would save him, he begins by destroying it. First he turns out the light and then complains he cannot see . . . In short, the Rationalist is essentially ineducable; and he could be educated out of his Rationalism only by an inspiration which he regards as the great enemy of mankind. All the rationalist can do when left to himself is to replace one rationalist project in which he has failed by another in which he hopes to succeed."

Michael Oakeschott, "Rationalism in Politics"
Speaker: Jonathan Tomasi, Brown University


"A society that puts equality - in the sense of equality of outcome - ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests. On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first, will as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality. Though a by-product of freedom, greater equality is not an accident. A free society releases the energies and abilities of people from arbitrarily suppressing others. It does not prevent some people from achieving positions of privilege, but so long as freedom is maintained, it prevents those positions of privilege from becoming institutionalized; they are subject to continued attack by other able, ambitious people. Freedom means diversity but also mobility. It preserves the opportunity for today's disadvantaged to become tomorrow's privileged and in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller richer life."

Milton Friedman, "Free to Choose"
Speaker: David Friedman, Author of "The Machinery of Freedom"


"The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it... He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it."

Adam Smith, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments"; Part IV, section II, chapter 2. pp 380-381
Speaker: James Stacey Taylor, College of New Jersey


"“…But the root of the opposition to liberalism cannot be reached by resort to the method of reason. This opposition does not stem from the reason, but from a pathological mental attitude — from resentment and from a neurasthenic condition that one might call a Fourier complex, after the French socialist of that name. Concerning resentment and envious malevolence little need be said. Resentment is at work when one so hates somebody for his more favorable circumstances that one is prepared to bear heavy losses if only the hated one might also come to harm. Many of those who attack capitalism know very well that their situation under any other economic system will be less favorable. Nevertheless, with full knowledge of this fact, they advocate a reform, e.g. socialism, because they hope that the rich, whom they envy, will also suffer under it. Time and again one hears socialists say that even material want will be easier to bear in a socialist society because people will realize that no one is better off than his neighbor."

Ludwig Von Mises, "Liberalism, The Classical Tradition"


"“… America, gentlemen say is a noble object – it is an object well worth fighting for. Certainly it is, if fighting a people be the best way of gaining them. Gentlemen in this respect will be led to their choice of means by their complexions and their habits. Those who understand the military art will of course have some predilection for it. Those who wield the thunder of the state may have more confidence in the efficacy of arms. But I confess, possibly for want of this knowledge, my opinion is much more in favor of prudent management than of force; considering force not as an odious, but a feeble instrument for preserving a people so numerous, so active, so growing, so spirited as this, in a profitable and subordinate connection with us. My next objection is its uncertainty. Terror is not always the effect of force, and armament is not a victory. If you do not succeed, you are without resource: for, conciliation failing, force remains; but force failing, no further hope of reconciliation is left. Power and authority are sometimes bought by kindness; but they can never be begged as alms by an impoverished and defeated violence. A further objection to force is that you impair the object by your very endeavors to preserve it. The thing you fought for is not the thing which you recover, but depreciated, sunk, wasted, and consumed in the contest. Nothing less will content me than whole America….."

Edmund Burke, Excerpt from his March 22, 1775 Speech "Moving Resolutions for Conciliation with the Colonies"