All Commentary
Monday, December 1, 1986


To Our Readers

You care about freedom. That is one reason you read The Freeman. For thirty-five years it has been the most important first source for ideas on liberty. Beginning in this issue, those ideas are clothed in a new size and design.

This change in design is not the first in the The Freeman’s history, but it is the most extensive. We have enhanced the appearance of The Freeman to make it easier for you to use and read, and more inviting from cover to cover.

The new format will also help us to present our ideas more clearly and noticeably to new generations of business people, educators, students, and others who aren’t familiar with the freedom philosophy. This is one of our continuing goals and one we hope you share.

FEE’s Anniversary

Now is an auspicious moment for such a change. First of all, 1986 marks the 40th anniversary of The Foundation for Economic Education. The case for the free market economy was rarely heard in 1946. It is to the great credit and vision of the late Leonard E. Read and the other members of The Foundation staff that FEE and The Freeman have constantly and consistently explored the freedom philosophy when other organizations and publications have had erratic lives. Today, there is a much wider understanding of the principles which serve as the basis of our freedom and prosperity. This is due in no small part to the efforts of FEE and The Freeman.

January also begins The Freeman’s thirty-sixth year—another remarkable accomplishment. The Freeman’s heritage, however, reaches back even further. A very different Freeman began in 1920 through the efforts of a number of brilliant men and women under the tutelage of Albert Jay Nock. His enterprise lasted four years.

Efforts to resurrect it were particularly successful in 1950 when Henry Hazlitt, John Chamberlain, and Suzanne LaFollette launched the current Freeman. They did so, they wrote, to meet the “urgent need in America for a journal of opinion devoted to the cause of traditional liberalism and individual freedom.” (We are very pleased that both Henry Hazlitt and John Chamberlain still write regularly for us.)

The Freeman was first housed at FEE beginning in July 1954, under the editorship of Frank Chodorov. In January 1956, The Freeman changed format and became the primary outlet for FEE materials, with Paul Poirot as managing editor. It continues in that capacity today. During this time, The Freeman has presented and in terpreted the freedom philosophy with fairness, honesty, and skill. For many individuals, it has been the beginning of a lifelong dedication to liberty. The Freeman is indebted to hundreds of fine authors and thousands of readers and FEE supporters for its success.

A Rededication to Principle

As you and 70,000 other individuals read through this and subsequent issues, you will find the same dedication to freedom that has graced these pages since FEE began publishing The Freeman. Our job is to provide the principles and facts necessary for interested readers to develop their own understanding of freedom. In a very real sense, we are all students of liberty in the pursuit of those things that are peaceful and creative.

Attaining full liberty in America, and indeed throughout the world, is a complex and exciting challenge. Many people seek the answer in politics and policy studies. But unless there is a clear understanding of the root ideas of a free market society and the moral basis of individual liberty, there can be no lasting freedom. To that purpose The Freeman is dedicated.

Whether you view yourself as a conservative, libertarian, or classical liberal, there is a common ground we share as we strive to loosen those bonds which restrict human creativity, individuality, and self-fulfillment. Nobel Prize winner F. A. Hayek described “our common task” at FEE as “the defense of our civilization against intellectual error.” That remains the challenge before us.

A Note about Me

I have been working at FEE for over a year now, and I have been editing The Freeman for a number of months. To many of you I am a new name, so let me introduce myself.

My background includes extensive experience in foundation work and, for fifteen years, I have worked as a book and magazine editor and publisher. I have also devoted time to writing on various topics of libertarian history.

I first read The Freeman while in high school. Troubled by an article on monopoly, I wrote for an explanation. Within a week I received a letter from Leonard E. Read and then a packet of material from Bettina Bien Greaves. I was so impressed that I sent in a $12 donation. I had no idea then that, twenty-three years later, I would be part of a great FEE tradition! I’m hoping—after you read a few issues—that you will decide to keep me on.

      Charles H. Hamilton


      Editor:       Charles H. Hamilton

      Publisher:       Paul L. Poirot

      Managing Editor:       Beth A. Hoffman

      Book Review Editor:       Edmund A. Opitz

      Contributing Editors:       Robert G. Anderson

            Howard Baetjer Jr.

            Bettina Bien Greaves

            Gregory F. Rehmke

            Brian Summers

            Joan Kennedy Taylor

The Freeman is published monthly by The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc., Irvington-on-Hudson, New York 10533. FEE is a nonpolitical, nonprofit, educational champion of private property, the free market, and limited government.

The costs of Foundation projects and services are met through donations. Donations are invited in any amount. Subscriptions to The Freeman are available to any interested person in the United States for the asking. Single copies $1.00; 10 or more, 50 cents each. For foreign delivery, a donation of $10.00 is required to cover direct mailing costs.

Copyright © 1986 by The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. Printed in U.S.A. Permission is granted to reprint any article in this issue (provided appropriate credit is given and two copies of the reprinted material is sent to The Foundation).

Bound volumes of The Freeman are available from the Foundation for calendar years 1969 to date. Earlier volumes as well as current issues are available on microfilm from University Microfilms, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.

The Freeman considers unsolicited editorial submissions, but they must be accompanied by a stamped, self- addressed envelope. Our author’s guide is available on request.

Cover photo of the home of The Foundation for Economic Education by Perry Alan Werner.

Design by Beth Whitaker

  • The Foundation for Economic Education, founded 1946, works for a free and prosperous world.