Ever since 1969 a series of conferences has brought diverse advocates of liberty to Southern California. Now known as Future of Freedom conferences, the first one took place in May 1969 and featured, among others, the late Ludwig von Mises, dean of the Austrian school of economics. Other speakers at that landmark event, the first gathering of what became today's libertarian movement, included REASON's Tibor Machan and Rampart College's Robert LeFevre. Over the next several years the conferences were held annually, with attendance at one topping 700. Thomas Szasz, Nathaniel Branden, Paul Goodman, Murray Rothbard, John Hospers, and other leading libertarian figures have been among the featured speakers.
This year's conference will take place May 8-10 at California State University in Long Beach. Among the luminaries scheduled to speak are former Goldwater speechwriter Karl Hess, Robert LeFevre, economist David Friedman, tax rebel Irwin Schiff, Dr. Timothy Leary, inventor Carl Nicolai (see "Data Privacy: What Washington Doesn't Want You to Know," REASON, Jan.), and your editor. The Friday night banquet will be a tribute to the early years of the libertarian movement, honoring philosopher John Hospers, author of Libertarianism.
Events of this type, and the Future of Freedom series in particular, are not only intellectually stimulating; they're a hell of a lot of fun, as well. REASON will be among the organizations with a booth, and I hope to see many of you there. You can get all the information by writing Future of Freedom Conference '81, Box 4, Fullerton, CA 92632.
More of REASON's friends are getting jobs in the new administration. Reason Foundation trustee Bill Niskanen has been appointed to the Council of Economic Advisors. Kevin Hopkins, Doug Bandow's coauthor on "The Registration Placebo" (Aug. 1980), is joining Doug as an assistant for policy development on Martin Anderson's White House staff. Anderson's wife Annelise is going to work for Office of Management and Budget director David Stockman. Danny Boggs, a free-market energy expert (and author of the GOP platform plank on energy) is working on environmental and energy matters on Martin Anderson's staff. And my long-time friend Dana Rohrabacher is on the White House staff as a speechwriter. Congratulations to all!
Senior editor and resident scholar Tibor Machan has been hard at work, as usual. He contributed a chapter to the newly published book Philosophy of Human Rights (Greenwood, 1981) titled "On Human Rights, Feudalism, and Political Change." Besides sketching the history of human rights, Machan's chapter deals with the ethical problems faced by freedom-seekers in countries where human rights are ignored—such as his native Hungary. At the first of the year Machan attended the annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association, at which he was a commentator on a paper. While in Boston, he was a guest on contributing editor David Brudnoy's popular radio talk show. He also attended a Liberty Fund conference in New York on economics and efficiency and another in Florida on libertarian/conservative fusionism, sponsored by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. And his provocative Los Angeles Times op-ed piece on last year's "Big Business Day" has been reprinted in the Media Institute's Television Business-Economic News Index. Machan's latest Los Angeles Times piece, "What the Moral Majority Understands, Intellectuals Have Forgotten," appeared on March 1.
More news on the Love Canal front emerged in February. Science News reported (Feb. 7) the findings of a task force appointed by the New York State Assembly concerning the allegation that the Defense Department and its contractors dumped toxic waste into the Love Canal and at other sites during World War II. The task force found eyewitness evidence establishing "conclusively that Army personnel openly, concertedly, and repeatedly disposed of drummed materials at Love Canal" in the 1940s and early 1950s. And private defense contractors also dumped "substantial quantities of chemical and hazardous wastes" in the Canal during that time. All of which lends further support to our investigative report's own finding that Hooker Chemical was not the primary culprit in the Love Canal tragedy (see "Love Canal: The Truth Seeps Out," Feb.).