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Leonard Read, Libertarian Movement Founding Father, Gets Digitized


The Mises Institute is beginning to place online the complete works of Leonard Read, founder of the first modern American libertarian educational institute, the Foundation for Economic Education. Read had a winning and peculiar homiletic style in his attempts to convince us all to live in a world in which "Anything That's Peaceful" can flourish--one of my favorite three word explanations of libertarianism.

Read is gone, but his foundation is still going strong.

I wrote a short piece about Read's role in creating a distinctively libertarian movement in the 1940s and '50s for TechCentralStation. Read's full story is told in my book Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement.

NEXT: "As the one person who's never smoked marijuana, let's stop putting people in jail for drugs!"

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  1. Okay, I'm all for preserving the ravings of even the most obscure political fanatics, but why post news about it here. I mean, what the fuck can anybody say about this news that's of the slightest interest?

  2. I mean, what the fuck can anybody say about this news that's of the slightest interest?

    Leonard Read was a great philosopher for liberty and a gentleman - founded one of the most important organizations dedicated to spreading knowledge in economics and freedom-friendly policy. His essays are some of the most exquisitely written you can find about economics, personal freedom, the role of government, et cetera.

    You may not think this is news, because you simply have chosen to revel in the Statist muck like a happy swine, but it is good news for anybody who has grown to admire such a person as Leonard.

  3. Lefiti, when did you become concerned about the perceived less-than-compelling content on this site?

  4. It is news that Reason is mentioning the actions of the Mises Institute in a positive light. I did see Lew Rockwell link to Reason in a positive light last week. It is always good to see the cosmos and paleos wack each other with the olive branch.

  5. And why is Doherty almost the only reporter here at reason willing to write about the positive developments coming out of the Mises/Ron Paul movement?

    Federal Reserve Transparency Act, anyone? Did you know that it has over 20 congressional sponsors? Oh, wait you wouldn't: it doesn't contain racist newsletters or cooky 911 truthisms, so it's not worth applauding.

  6. Gabe, you JUST beat me to the punch 🙂

  7. Read's "I, Pencil" is a fantastic eye-opener to the economically uninclined. It is one of the few pieces of writing I read that provided a genuinely new perspective on a subject.

  8. I was one of the ones groaning about Lew Rockwell the other day. Let me clarify - I do give him and his posse credit for raising the profile of the Mises Institute and Austrian economics, and for making all those texts available. It's a great contribution.

    I also give props to Brian Doherty for his blog posts covering that part of the libertarian movement. I definitely enjoy reading them, and hope there will be more to follow.

  9. In this spirit...Lew Rocwell and reason should have articles about HR 1207 The Federal Reserve Transparency act....Even if you are 100% in favor of the Federal Reserve and think all austrians and or goldbugs are idiots. There is no reason that congress(our elected Representatives) should not be allowed to audit the Federal Reserve Bank. The very fact that this stuff is hidden from the even Congress should give even the most naive government fellatiator some suspicion.

  10. Read had a winning and peculiar homilectic style

    "Homilectic" -- what is that? Hegel for gays? (NTTAWWT)

  11. Fellatiator seems related to that.

  12. "There is a fact still more astounding: the absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found...Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make me."

    A little contradictory.

  13. Good things coming out of the Ron Paul movement? Ron Paul is a racist old fuck who could counteract the effects of caffeine on an inveterate insomniac.

  14. Read is gone, but his foundation is still going strong.

    Too bad some folks in the Fever Swamp won't admit it. If you read LRC long enough you start to get the impression that the LvMI is a lone voice in the wilderness, when in fact it's a chorus of folks on the outskirts of town.

  15. 'I mean, what the fuck can anybody say about this news that's of the slightest interest?'

    Obviously, *your* response to this news is of potential interest - or are you copping to making a post which has no value?

    And if *your* responses to the news can be of interest, consider the possibility that others' comments might be of interest, as well.

    Bless your heart!

  16. 'on Paul is a racist old fuck who could counteract the effects of caffeine on an inveterate insomniac.'

    Perhaps you should let him work his soporific magic on you, giving yourself and others some rest.

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