Freeman

BOOK REVIEW

In Defense of Freedom and Related Essays

A Small but Controversial Tract

MAY 01, 1996 by WILLIAM C. DENNIS

Filed Under : Liberty

Dr. Dennis is Senior Program Officer at Liberty Fund, Inc., in Indianapolis.

In 1962, Frank S. Meyer, then Senior Editor at National Review, published his small, but controversial tract, In Defense of Freedom: A Conservative Credo (Henry Regnery). Here Meyer argued that what American conservatives had to conserve was largely an Anglo-American tradition of liberty. The purpose of the political order was to preserve individual liberty, Meyer maintained. Questions of virtue were to be left to the institutions of the great civil society. But only individually free-willed acts could produce virtue; so freedom and virtue were necessarily allies not enemies.

In this day of continued conservative factionalism, it would still profit people of good will on the right, particularly the younger conservative, to consider the implications of Meyer’s thesis.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

May 1996

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required

CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

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.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

Essential Works from FEE

Economics in One Lesson (full text)

By HENRY HAZLITT

The full text of Hazlitt's famed primer on economic principles: read this first!


By FREDERIC BASTIAT

Frederic Bastiat's timeless defense of liberty for all. Once read and understood, nothing ever looks the same.


By F. A. HAYEK

There can be little doubt that man owes some of his greatest suc­cesses in the past to the fact that he has not been able to control so­cial life.


By JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Leonard Read took the lessons of entrepreneurship with him when he started his ideological venture.


By LEONARD E. READ

No one knows how to make a pencil: Leonard Read's classic (Audio, HTML, and PDF)