Liberty Heroes

Harry Browne

Harry Browne

Harry Browne:

Browne ran for President twice on the Libertarian Party ticket, once in 1996 and again in 2000. Sadly, he passed away in 2006 and was paid tribute by Ron Paul. No doubt Harry Browne is looking down on America shaking his head saying, “I told you so.”

His biography on his website describes him perfectly: Harry Browne was an American free-market Libertarian writer and the Libertarian Party’s 1996 & 2000 candidate for President of the United States. He was also a well-known investment advisor for over thirty years, author of “Harry Browne’s Special Report” — a financial newsletter published from 1974-1997, author of 19 books and thousands of articles, Co-founder and Director of Public Policy of the libertarian Downsize DC Foundation, host of two weekly network radio shows — one a political and the other a financial show, host of an ETV (internet-based television) show called “This Week in Liberty with Harry Browne” on the Internet based Free Market News Network, a consultant to the Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds, and a popular inspirational public speaker.

Harry Browne’s campaign book, “Why Government Doesn’t Work“, is right up there alongside Ron Paul’s manifesto as the two best campaign books of all time.

For my money, he had a way of speaking that made you understand libertarian principles better than anyone. Lew Rockwell summed up the essence of Harry Browne’s abilities in an article following Browne’s death.

He was exceptional as a public speaker during the campaigns. No matter whether the topic was taxes, education, states rights, war and foreign policy, or the drug war, he took the right position and explained it in a way that allowed anyone to see his point of view. He changed minds, and stuck to principle the whole time. Harry was not tempted to sell out his message for the sake of more votes. He didn’t trim or compromise. His energies were spent trying to think of ways to make the core message more marketable and understandable.

Below are a few quotes from Harry Browne

“I am running for president because it is obvious that no Democrat or Republican is ever going to stop the relentless growth of the federal government. …only a Libertarian is going to set you free.”

“The government’s War on Poverty has transformed poverty from a short-term misfortune into a career choice.”

“The Bill of Rights is a literal and absolute document. The First Amendment doesn’t say you have a right to speak out unless the government has a ‘compelling interest’ in censoring the Internet. The Second Amendment doesn’t say you have the right to keep and bear arms until some madman plants a bomb. The Fourth Amendment doesn’t say you have the right to be secure from search and seizure unless some FBI agent thinks you fit the profile of a terrorist. The government has no right to interfere with any of these freedoms under any circumstances.”

And finally a quote that encompasses the economic disaster of 2008/2009:

The free market punishes irresponsibility. Government rewards it.

Amen Harry. We miss you, but your message carries on.

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Austrian economist Thomas J. DiLorenzo:  Born 1954, DiLorenzo teaches American Economics at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland, a senior faculty member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and author/co-author of several books, most notably:

Well known for shunning the typical politically-correct line of thinking, his well-researched and masterfully eloquent works are eye opening to many whose only knowledge of political and economic topics resulted from the revisionist history often taught in government schools.

DiLorenzo is steadfast in his claim that the interventions of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt exacerbated the economic problems of the 1930s and prolonged the Great Depression.  As he wrote in the opening paragraph of The New Deal Debunked (again) (a followup to his earlier article A New, New Deal):

FDR’s New Deal made the Great Depression longer and deeper. It is a myth that Franklin D. Roosevelt “got us out of the Depression” and “saved capitalism from itself,” as generations of Americans have been taught by the state’s educational establishment.

In addition to his discussion on economics, DiLorenzo’s scathing reviews of often-revered Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton are noteworthy.  In his books as well as in essays such as Speaking Truth to the Lincoln Cult he points out that the popular “history” of Lincoln is more mythology than fact.

The gigantic collection of myths, lies, and distortions that comprise The Legend of Abraham Lincoln is the ideological cornerstone of the American warfare/welfare state.

DiLorenzo cites a litany of sources to paint a picture of Lincoln as a masterful politician who spent his entire political career to convert our republican form of government (one that was very limited in scope and highly decentralized, as the Founding Fathers intended) to a highly centralized, controlling state.  And despite the fact that our fifth grade schoolteachers told us that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to “free the slaves”, DiLorenzo shows us (often in Lincoln’s own words) that he was basically ambivalent on the subject of slavery.  Instead of taking one side or the other, he used it as a political football to achieve his real political goals, such as denying states the right to secede from the union and implementing the mercantilist policies of his hero, Henry Clay.  DiLorenzo details how Lincoln trampled on the Constitution, subverted state’s rights, and pushed our nation into a civil war that has changed us forever.

On Hamilton DiLorenzo says:

Hamilton was a compulsive statist who wanted to bring the corrupt British mercantilist system – the very system the American Revolution was fought to escape from – to America. He fought fiercely for his program of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, public debt, pervasive taxation, and a central bank run by politicians and their appointees out of the nation’s capital.

Building on Hamilton’s statement that our national debt is a “public blessing” and his overt disdain for “an excessive concern for liberty in public men” such as Thomas Jefferson, DiLorenzo unravels the romantic mythology surrounding this founding father, detailing how his policies are now revered by many a big-government politician.  Read his recent article highlighting his new book on this subject.

If you missed the most recent interview with Thomas DiLorenzo as reported on Liberty Maven, be sure to check it out.

Also recommended are his various writings available on LewRockwell.com.

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Barry Goldwater

Barry Goldwater

We continue our series of Liberty Maven’s Liberty Heroes list with Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was known as “Mr. Conservative”. He is credited with sparking the resurgence of the conservative political mindset in the 1960′s. He is also credited with having an impact on the libertarian movement. He is known for speaking his mind which reminds me of a certain doctor from Texas, Ron Paul. The best way to know Barry Goldwater is to read his book, “Conscience of a Conservative“, which is yesterday’s equivalent of Ron Paul’s excellent , “The Revolution: A Manifesto“.

The main area (and it’s an important one) where Goldwater could not be considered in line with Ron Paul’s view of liberty was with foreign policy. He was an interventionist and supported the cold war wholeheartedly. Indeed, this is the precise position Lyndon Johnson attacked with the now famous “Daisy” advertisement. Many point to this as the reason Johnson was able to defeat Goldwater in a landslide in the 1964 election.

Goldwater was quite libertarian on social issues. He supported legalizing medicinal marijuana, getting the federal government out of the abortion debate, and was quite vocal against the religious right in the early 1980′s. Below are a few choice quotes from our liberty hero Barry Goldwater.

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

“The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government.”

“I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?”

“The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they’re gay. You don’t have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. And that’s what brings me into it.”

“Hubert Humphrey talks so fast that listening to him is like trying to read Playboy magazine with your wife turning the pages.”

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Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew Napolitano is the Senior Judicial Analyst for the FOX News Channel, but he is not your usual FOX neo-conservative drone. He also co-hosts a FOX News talk radio show called “Brian and The Judge“. The Judge is a leading voice for strictly following the Constitution in all matters of law.

He called Ron Paul the “Thomas Jefferson of our day” at the Future of Freedom Foundation conference back in the summer of 2007. He has several wonderful liberty loving books including his most recent, “A Nation of Sheep” and his older one, “Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws“.

If you haven’t heard Judge Napolitano speak check out his radio show, read his books, and listen to this hour long interview he did with Kurt Wallace on Ron Paul Radio in November of 2007.

Also, highly recommended is his most recent (as of this writing) editorial in the Wall Street Journal, “Most Presidents Ignore the Constitution: The government we have today is something the Founders could never have imagined“.

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Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams is an economist and college professor at George Mason University. He is on the Liberty Maven Liberty Heroes list because of his dedication to free market economics and liberty. His syndicated column is always interesting and worth reading. He regularly fills in for Rush Limbaugh on Limbaugh’s national radio show. We don’t hold that against him though. He wrote the foreword to Thomas DiLorenzo’s excellent book, “The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War“. He is also an accomplished author of his own with works such as “More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well (Hoover Institution Press Publication ; No. 453)” and the recently released “Liberty versus the Tyranny of Socialism: Controversial Essays“. Below are a few choice quotes from Williams.

“The framers gave us the Second Amendment not so we could go deer or duck hunting but to give us a modicum of protection against congressional tyranny.”

“Democracy and liberty are not the same. Democracy is little more than mob rule, while liberty refers to the sovereignty of the individual.”

“There are people in need of help. Charity is one of the nobler human motivations. The act of reaching into one’s own pockets to help a fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else’s pocket is despicable and worthy of condemnation.”
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More Heroes To Come