REASON Profile: Marvin H. Edwards


At a time when many American citizens and politicians consider the implementation of a nationalized health care system a matter of the highest priority, it is refreshing to see some voices raised in protest. One leader in the fight against socialized medicine is thirty-six year old Marvin ("Mickey") Edwards. For the past five years Mr. Edwards has edited PRIVATE PRACTICE, a socio-economic journal (current circulation: 170,000) for the medical profession, in the process earning three Freedoms Foundation awards for editorials and the high quality of the magazine. His free-market views on medical care have been further propounded in his book HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH (published by Arlington House in 1972; reviewed in the December 1972 issue of REASON) and in numerous essays, pamphlets and articles. Mr. Edwards is currently employed in Washington D.C. as a special consultant to Republican members of Congress on health care legislation.

Mr. Edwards came upon his libertarianism early—even as a teenager he realized that "regardless of any noble purposes that might be served by coercion, nobody has the right to perform good by coercing somebody else." Edwards states, "I've always been a libertarian; Ayn Rand gave me the intellectual ammunition to support my personal philosophy, and others have added to it since." His view of libertarianism is an activist one: "There is something to be said for participation in the political process through the organized parties, and much to be said for participation on an issue-to-issue basis. John Citizen is not thinking of the consequences of political activism and proposed legislation, and is certainly not thinking of abstract philosophical consequences. The libertarian must actively point out the results likely to flow, and to make a few favorable results flow as well."

Mr. Edwards' career reflects this active involvement in spreading free-market ideals. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a doctorate in law, and has been a reporter and assistant city editor of the Oklahoma City Times as well as a publicist and advertising man. He is an attorney and has been active politically, currently serving as a member of the state executive committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party. In addition, he is a former national vice chairman of the Young Republicans and is on the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union.

Mr. Edwards' special interests include psychology, mass motivation research, politics, Russian literature, and poetry. He enjoys playing chess and tennis and his tastes in music and literature are wide-ranging with Mencken and Twain being favorites. "To coexist with an increasingly unfree world and to effectively resist its trends, requires a combination of furious indignation and the ability not to take the world all that seriously. We Jews have a toast: 'L'Chaim'—to Life—it's my motto."