About the Author
Sean Malone is the Director of Media at the Foundation for Economic Education.
Malone studied music performance and composition for film and multimedia at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (BM) and New York University (MA), subsequently working in various creative and producing roles in New York and Los Angeles. In 2011, Sean relocated to Washington, DC to build a creative media capability at the Daily Caller. He later built a video production team at the Charles Koch Institute, where he created an award-winning series of documentary films, including “No Vans Land,” “Locked Out,” and “Farming in Fear.”
Malone’s films have been screened at the Manhattan Film Festival, Winter Film Awards (NYC), Tupelo Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival, Richmond International Film Festival, Anthem Film Festival, and the Nevada Film Festival. They have been featured in the mainstream media and throughout the free-market educational community.
What inspired you to start writing?
I've been writing short fiction stories since I was very young, but I think what really changed my perspective and allowed me to see myself as a "writer" were the habits I formed writing hundreds of blog posts in the late 2000s. Blogging was something that I did for myself, and to this day I've never been concerned too much with whether or not other people ever read those old essays, but they were a way for me to work through ideas and get them down in a form that I felt was sort of the definitive presentation of my thoughts. Even in those posts, I tried to hone my arguments, make sure the facts were well-sourced, and develop an engaging style that readers could easily identify with. The more I did that, the more I found that I had a knack for persuasive writing and the more I started to translate that into my professional work. I've now written articles for multiple websites including several for FEE, but I've also merged my persuasive writing with my career in film-making and media production. At this point, although I am officially a multimedia producer and creative director, I probably spend more hours of my working life writing than any other specific task, and I love it.
What are your hobbies / interests?
Apart from my professional work making videos, graphic designs, podcasts, music, and writing about doing those things, I like to draw and sculpt, I am slowly working on a few different fictional screenplays, I spend a lot of time at movie theaters with my wife, I read and/or listen to audiobooks (mostly non-fiction), I enjoy shooting (archery and firearms), I like to cook and have recently begun mastering the art of smoking meats, and on a rare occasion I've found time to play video games and at some point I will bring some friends together again for another round of D&D. My interests are film, music, entertainment, media and aesthetic theory, psychology, neuroscience, human behavior (which is what led me to economics), and moral philosophy.
Who are your personal heroes?
I admire so many people. If I had to pick anyone to be emblematic of what I find to be heroic, Norman Borlaug would be high on my list. Anyone who uses their mind to create innovations that make billions of people better off is worthy of our highest praise. Anyone who stands in the way of human creativity, ingenuity, and voluntary interaction is a villain.
How did you discover the freedom philosophy?
I reasoned my way into it at perhaps 15 years old, mostly by thinking about the nature of self-ownership. Working from a premise of individualism, everything else kind of fell into place and got more thoroughly developed over time.
Who are your favorite writers?
Expanding to include thinkers & artists of all kinds: F.A. Hayek, Frederick Douglass, Voltaire, Bastiat, James Madison, Charles Darwin, Daniel Levitin, Matt Ridley, Isaac Asimov, Ayn Rand, David Mamet, Blake Snyder, Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Edgar Rice Borroughs, Jim Henson, John Lasseter, Hayao Miyazaki, Brad Bird, Travis Knight (of Laika Studios), Edgar Wright, Guillermo del Toro, Errol Morris, Frank Frazetta, Richard Williams, Gary Burton, Milt Jackson, Tito Puente, Jerry Goldsmith, Erich Korngold, Ralph Vaughn-Williams, Gustav Holst, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Johannes Brahms, Franz List, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Yoko Kanno... This list could probably go on endlessly.