Freeman

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Acres of Diamonds

JULY 01, 1963 by CLARENCE MANION

From the Prologue to The Key to Peace by Clarence Manion.

More than fifty years ago, the Reverend Russell Conwell of Philadelphia delivered more than five thousand times a lecture which was titled "Acres of Diamonds."

The lecture was built around the fabulous story of a Persian farmer named Hafed. To Hafed’s home one day came a mystical wise man of the East who fascinated the farmer with a long and thrilling story about the value and beauty of diamonds. With a handful of diamonds, the visitor explained, Hafed could buy the whole county and with a diamond mine he would be rich enough to rule the world.

The eloquent visitor assured Hafed that great quanti­ties of diamonds were located in various parts of the world merely waiting to be discovered—all one had to do was to find them. Hafed was enchanted. He forthwith sold his farm and sallied forth visiting many faraway countries in his search. He found no diamonds.

Years later, long after the weary and penniless Hafed had died tragically in a strange land, another Persian while digging in Hafed’s deserted garden discovered the diamond mines of Golconda, the richest ever uncovered in the ancient world.

This classic on Americanism, first published in 1950 by The Heritage Foundation, Chicago, is now available as a paperback for $¹.00 and may be ordered from The Foundation for Economic Education. Also available are a few copies of the earlier cloth edition at $2.00.

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July 1963

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Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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