Richard Ebeling emails:
The Foundation for Economic Education is having a series on the theme of “My Story,” about how a variety of people came to have an interest and belief in the importance of individual liberty and the free society.
So I recount how I came to classical liberalism through reading Ayn Rand and developed my interest in Austrian Economics.
The entrants have been asked to keep their accounts relatively brief; so one detail not included in my story is that in 1968 I had the good fortune to meet Ayn Rand.
I was visiting family in New York City and took the opportunity to go the Nathaniel Brandon Institute several times, then headquartered in the lower level of the Empire State Building. One evening during a “social” night, Ayn Rand was there and very kindly took about a half an hour to talk informally with a small group of us.
All the stories about her are true. She had dark eyes that never left looking right at you while she was both hearing your question and giving her answer. She spoke with a calm certitude and deliberate clarity that made her comments reasonable and in no way “dogmatic.” It was truly a memorable interaction for me.
I might add that for that social evening, Ayn Rand was dressed in a red denim railway man’s-like outfit with a train conductor’s cap, and her husband, Frank O’Conner was in a Nehru suit with beads. I have no idea of the meaning or reason for either one.
“My Story” on how I became a libertarian and an Austrian Economist has now been posted on the FEE website.