The below clip
is of a speech delivered by the founder of the Foundation
for Economic Education, Leonard Read. I once heard Read give
this speech at FEE. I have no idea if the recording below was done
when I attended or some other time. It seems to be a Read "stump
In this taping,
Read says that he had a way to get people who sat next to him
on airplanes to ask him what he did. He then suggests that it
would be something he would explain in more detail during the
Q&A, if anyone wanted to hear more. He did the same thing
at the speech I heard. Someone asked him about it after the speech
I attended and he explained his technique was a type of name dropping.
He knew, as he mentions in this tape, Walt Disney, and also I
believe, Arnold Palmer, among many other well known people. He
would throw these names out around short stories of his interaction
with these men until finally the seatmate passenger would say,
"What do you do?"
something of a stage performer this way. I recall waiting in a
room before a FEE conference was to get started and he walked
in, made a bit of a commotion about just getting back into town
and said to his secretary in a sort of stage whisper, "I
think he is going to buy the entire library." Someone then
asked him about this and he explained that FEE had for sale copies
of all its publications in one set as a library.
very important to the early development of the libertarian movement
in the United States. He was a big supporter of Ludwig von Mises.
After Read's death Hans Sennohlz and Richard Ebeling served as
presidents of FEE. They played important roles in maintaining
the spirit of FEE that Read created. Ebeling was instrumental
in bringing FEE into the internet age. There have also been not
so happy other episodes with FEE presidents that included Rudy
Giuliani being invited to speak at the foundation. Now, FEE has
fallen into orbit around the Koch brothers and I follow the foundation
so little that I don't even know who is president.
of the libertarian movement is now located at the Mises
Institute and LewRockwell.com.
Mises and LRC bring a much deeper consistent freedom message than
Read did, though Read was no slouch. It is a reflection on how much
Mises and LRC have advanced things rather than a poor reflection
on Read. They not only promote the thinking of Mises, but the advancements
on the thinking of Mises about the dangers of all government activities,
thinking developed by Murray Rothbard.
All that said,
here is Read delivering his speech on how to advance liberty. You
can tell he gave the subject a lot of thought and he makes some
very important points.