Editor's Notes


– EDITORS' ACTIVITIES. Senior Editor Tibor Machan spoke on human rights in January at Valdosta State College in Georgia, where he also conducted some classes as guest instructor and participated in a meeting of the Philosophy/Economics/Political Science club. Machan debated Roy A. Childs, Jr., editor of Libertarian Review, on the subject of foreign policy at the annual convention of the California Libertarian Party in San Jose in February. On April 6 and 7 Machan appeared on a panel concerned with the social issues dividing libertarians and conservatives, at a meeting of the Philadelphia Society in Chicago. Other panelists included Williamson Evers of Inquiry, Joe Sobran of National Review, and William Kristol of the American Spectator. Robert Nisbet of the American Enterprise Institute was keynote speaker at the meeting, and Murray Rothbard of the Cato Institute and Walter Berns of AEI gave libertarian and conservative talks, respectively. Machan and a number of other philosophers and economists, including Contributing Editor Eric Mack, participated in the May 11-13 conference, "Social Theory and Praxis," of the American Association for the Philosophic Study of Society. Machan's "The International Human Rights Muddle" appears in the May issue of The Humanist. For the spring 1979 term, Machan was appointed visiting associate professor in the UC Santa Barbara Department of Political Science, where he is teaching a course on democratic theory.

Senior Editor Manuel Klausner has been busy of late lending his legal expertise to the drafting of ballot initiatives. He was actively involved with CAST'"the Committee to Abolish the Sales Tax'"whose ballot measure has just been approved for petition signature-gathering by California officialdom. Klausner is also working with a group that is preparing a ballot measure to provide state income tax credits for those paying for the education of students in private schools. The coalition includes the Libertarian Party, the National Taxpayers Union, and private-school organizations. He also continues to lead the Libertarian Law Council, a group of Southern California lawyers and paralegals. They hold regular luncheon meetings and publish Libertarian Law Notes, a newsletter.

Editor Robert Poole gave a workshop in February at the California Libertarian Party convention on the future of public and private space efforts, contrasting California governor Jerry Brown's abortive space program with blossoming private ventures. On March 31 he addressed the Northwest Libertarian Conference in Portland, speaking on municipal services without city hall and participating in a panel discussion of private solutions to urban housing problems. On May 7 in Detroit he addressed the annual convention of the National Association of Regional Councils on the impact of the tax revolt on local government.

– MEDIA WATCH. Freedom-oriented articles continue to turn up in unlikely places. A case in point is the April issue of Mother Jones, ostensibly a socialist magazine, published by the Foundation for National Progress. That issue features a solid article by Michael Harris questioning the idea of compulsory education and quoting extensively from deschooler John Holt. Also in the issue is a short piece by Barbara Ehrenreich questioning the need for prescription laws and physician licensing.

The New Republic, too, has been running some provocative pieces. Besides Steve Chapman's article on bus deregulation (see Trends, May), the January 20 issue carried a long, thoughtful lead article, "Liberals and Inflation," taking liberals to task for failing to come to grips with the seriousness of this issue and for leaving the initiative to conservatives and libertarians. The February 24 issue carried Fred Singer's masterful debunking of the current "oil crisis."

And reliable Harper's topped its previous achievements with its April cover story'"a reprinting of Andrew Dickinson White's classic recounting of the horrors of fiat money inflation during the French Revolution'"complete with brilliant marginal notes by the editors. Just consider: an all-out attack on paper money by the leading intellectual magazine in America! Times are changing.

– SCORE ONE! Remember FANS'"the attempt by Ralph Nader to protect "sports consumers" from the hazards of hot dogs and other perils? Mercilessly lampooned in these pages by Peter Fasolino (Apr. 1978) FANS has now all but given up the ghost. With only 1,400 dues-paying members nationwide, FANS couldn't pay the bills for its Washington office, which quietly shut down in March. Reportedly, a few die-hard volunteers will maintain an office in San Francisco.