For a libertarian one of the pleasures of living in Southern California is being able to listen to television or radio editorials and occasionally agreeing with them! The organization responsible for introducing millions of people to the term "libertarian" and for presenting these people with a free-market viewpoint on such matters as private postal and fire departments, the draft, and welfare is Libertarian Alternative, one of those "responsible groups" stations invite replies from. An extremely successful and rapidly growing organization, Libertarian Alternative has expanded from its original purpose of only obtaining media time for airing libertarian views and now also serves as a libertarian social organization and forum. Libertarian Alternative is the brainchild of Charles Barr, who has been chairman of the Los Angeles group since its inception.
Born 30 years ago in New York, Mr. Barr received his B.A. degree in history from the University of Georgia. He worked as a newspaper reporter and photographer during college and after coming to California he worked as a computer operator for I.B.M. He is currently a computer programmer for Metromedia in Los Angeles.
Mr. Barr got turned on to libertarianism by reading ATLAS SHRUGGED in 1962 and he continues to be an advocate of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. From 1969 to 1971 he published FOCUS, a newsletter listing libertarian activities in the Southern California area. He helped found Libertarian Alternative in 1971, is a Charter Member of the Libertarian Party of California, and an Associate Director of the National Committee to Legalize Gold (last Fall, at a press conference, he publicly displayed a 1967 $20 Canadian gold coin he owns in the hopes of being arrested and thus forcing a court case on the right of U.S. citizens to own gold. Treasury agents were present but failed to rise to the bait). Mr. Barr has contributed articles to INVICTUS, THE INDIVIDUALIST, and REASON, and is currently REASON's movie columnist.
A bachelor, Mr. Barr's interests and hobbies include movies, the theater (he is a member of a local theater workshop), and chess. He hates exercise and enjoys writing, and is currently learning to write for television.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "REASON Profile: Charles Barr".