REASON Profile: Sara Baase


By any standards Sara Baase's accomplishments as a libertarian activist are remarkable—she is chairman of the Libertarian Alternative in San Diego (which was formed to bring libertarian ideas to the general public via lectures, radio, and TV editorials, etc. and which holds monthly dinner meetings whereby libertarians can get together and socialize) and edits its monthly newsletter; a member of the executive committee of the Libertarian Party of California; secretary of the Libertarian Party in the San Diego area; a REASON author; and faculty advisor to the student libertarian group at San Diego State University. Her accomplishments are doubly impressive when one considers that two years ago she didn't even know a libertarian movement or libertarians existed (although she had been studying Ayn Rand's writings and free market economics for several years)!

A native of Brooklyn, Ms. Baase received her B.A. magna cum laude in mathematics from New York University in 1967 and then went to the University of California at Berkeley for her M.A. (1970) and Ph.D. (1972) in mathematics. She has been an assistant professor of computer science and mathematics at San Diego State since 1972 where she has been instrumental in developing new courses, and is currently working on a text on algorithms and computational complexity.

When not otherwise busy teaching mathematics or spreading libertarian ideas, Ms. Baase enjoys photography, reading (economics, political philosophy, psychology, and fiction) and going to movies. Her special love is New York City—a decidedly more exciting and cosmopolitan environment than San Diego, though "having grown up in New York, I never missed clean air, because I wasn't aware that it existed."

Ms. Baase's approach to libertarianism is eclectic: "I'll support almost all activities aimed at educating people about individual rights and laissez-faire, be it running political campaigns, arranging lectures, writing, leafletting, etc. I've especially enjoyed carrying on dialogues by mail with a few close friends and relatives whom I considered potential libertarians." Which is not to say her enthusiasm is unconditional: "I hope the Libertarian Party never becomes political—that is, focussed on getting its candidates elected at the expense of its unique position as an antipolitical party and 'the Party of Principle,' since I really detest the deception, people manipulation, and lack of candidness that permeates politics."