Martin van Staden is the Editor in Chief of the Being Libertarian LLC group of publications and a member of the Being Libertarian LLC Board of Directors. He joined the company in late 2015 and established its Editorial Board shortly thereafter.
Martin was introduced to libertarian ideas by reading Murray Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty, which he still regards today as a libertarian ‘bible’. Shortly thereafter, he joined African Students For Liberty as a Local Coordinator at the University of Pretoria in 2014, establishing South Africa’s first ever libertarian student group.
In mid-2015 he, along with other like-minded individuals, established South African Libertarian, which has grown to be South Africa’s largest online libertarian community. Around the same time he also became the Southern African Regional Director of Students For Liberty. In December 2015, Martin co-founded the Rational Standard (RS), a ‘logical alternative’ to the dominant leftist press in South Africa. RS is today one of the publications of the Being Libertarian group, the others being Think Liberty and Being Libertarian, and Being Libertarian LLC’s publishing arm, Champion Books. In October 2016 Martin was appointed Academic Programs Director for Students For Liberty in Southern Africa, a position he held until August 2018.
His work has been featured in various South African newspapers, such as The Witness, Rapport, Business Day, and The Star, as well as on the popular local political website Politicsweb.co.za. As of February 2019, Martin has authored various books:
- The Real Digital Divide: South Africa’s Information and Communication Technologies Policy – co-author with Neil Emerick, published by the Free Market Foundation, 2017
- Fallism: One Year of Rational Commentary – co-editor and co-author, published by the Rational Standard, 2017
- Igniting Liberty: Voices for Freedom Around the World – co-editor and co-author, published by Champion Books, 2019
- The Constitution and the Rule of Law: An Introduction – author, published by the Free Market Foundation, 2019
An avid minarchist, Martin regards the proper roles of government as limited to three institutions: the judiciary, the police, and the military. The legislature and its executive lapdog are fundamentally corrupt entities, as they rest on the premise that individual rights are debatable and modifiable.
As a lawyer, Martin is interested in the development of Libertarian Legal Theory, and more particularly, in writing a treatise on the libertarian theory of law.