Sonntagberg, Austria

by Bernhard Adamec

In September 2005 the first Toward a Free and Virtuous Society Conference took place in Austria. About 30 students from Austria, its eastern neighbour-states and several other European countries met in the beautiful hostel of Sonntagberg, a pilgrimage-place in the Lower-Austrian Mostviertel. Having an outlook through the panorama-window of our discussion room over one of the most magnificent sceneries I know in Austria we listened to lectures that were a kind of a wake-up call.

Growing up in Austria is like being imprisoned in the Matrix - the Matrix where social justice can only be provided by the state and jobs are made by governmental interference. You learn about this fairy tales in schools and universities. All political parties have accepted this socialistic dogmas and act in this very long socialistic tradition.

But I was on the search. In February 2005 I asked my self the first time: “If I believe in Jesus and in the creation of man and his ability of free choice, what means liberty to me? Can there be a separation between immaterial values and material values?” I knew that the answers provided by European politicians did not satisfy me. Then I heard about the Toward a Free and Virtuous Society Conference and – like Neo following the white rabbit in the movie - I applied for the conference, because I thought that some questions may get an answer there.

Apparently God wanted me to go there, because I got the scholarship and spent a weekend that should change my life. I had the choice between the red and the blue pill. The red pill signified the end of my search, going back home from Sonntagberg without any changing in thinking about economical and political theories, getting fully involved in the Matrix of socialism and bondage of state.

But I decided to take the blue pill. During this weekend I was finally freed of my Matrix. I listened to the lectures on the theories of limited government, the responsibility of the single person. With all my openness I tried to internalize every single word that Fr. Robert Sirico told us about the Entrepreneurial Vocation.

With all this new impressions and thoughts I went back home. At home I saw that the world was still the same – I was back again in the Matrix. But I looked at the Matrix with different eyes. I am now able to see the bad agents of Socialism who pursue everyone who wants to free other people. And I am able to fight against them. This is my new agenda: Free Austria from overregulation and bureaucracy. Give the power back to the people and establish a new understanding of liberty. Bring back the Austrian School of Economics to its home country. And finally make a free and virtuous society possible.

I can’t do this alone – so I’m looking forward to more Toward a Free and Virtuous Society Conferences in Austria to free more young people out of this prison and make them able to challenge the knights of bureaucracy and governmental interference.