Thursday, December 29, 2016

How to Be a Light of Liberty in the New Year

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article out on, “How to Be a Light of Liberty in the New Year.”

What might a friend of freedom make as a New Year’s resolution? May I suggest that it is to become a more knowledgeable, articulate and persuasive voice for liberty, and by doing so helping to win more people over to the cause of freedom, one person at a time.

For five years (2003-2008), I served as the president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). A primary reason I accepted that position was due to the influence FEE had played in my own discovery and appreciation of human liberty and what FEE’s founder, Leonard E. Read called the “freedom philosophy.”

Over forty years ago, now, I once heard Leonard Read speak about winning liberty at a FEE summer seminar. He reminded us that if we want to change the world for the better the place to start is with that person over whom we have the most influence: ourselves. If we succeed in our own self-improvement in understanding and learning to effectively explain the principles of liberty and their free market applications, we will be positioned to try to awaken an interest in freedom in others.

What are the “first principles” of liberty? Individual rights, private property, freedom of association and freedom of trade in all interpersonal relationships, respect for the peaceful and non-coercive choices and actions of others, and a constitutionally limited government that secures liberty rather than infringes upon it.

If each of us makes a New Year’s resolution to successfully persuade one person during 2017, by the end of the year the friends of freedom will have doubled in number. And if we, again, do the same in 2018, and 2019, and 2020 . . . If we do, we may very well succeed in seeing the triumph of freedom over collectivism in our own lifetime. It only takes enough of who are willing to try.


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