“One night we asked people to blink their lights if they believed in freedom for Poland. We went to the window, and for hours, all of Warsaw was blinking.”
Over the last 25 years, leaders in the free market movement have stressed the need for sound public-policy research and basic economic education. Though important, they are proving to be insufficient to overcome trends that are eroding our liberties. Why?
The missing focus is on personal character.
The Blinking Lights Project is a new effort at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) designed to highlight and emphasize the vital link between personal character and a free society.
In America’s first century, strong personal character kept our liberties substantially intact without the need for think tanks, policy research, and economic education. Americans from all walks of life generally opposed the expansion of government power not because they read policy studies or earned degrees in economics, but because they placed a high priority on character. Using government to get something at somebody else’s expense, or mortgaging the future for near-term gain, seemed dishonest and cynical to them, if not downright wrong.
A free society is impossible without character because bad character leads to bad economics, which is bad for liberty. Ultimately, whether we live free or stumble in the dark thrall of serfdom is a matter of our individual character.
The Blinking Lights Project at FEE connects character, liberty and economics. On this webpage you will find resources designed to explain that connection. We are launching this project by offering the inspirational movie Amazing Grace, numerous written articles, videos and recorded webinars.
If you find these resources helpful, please share them with your family and friends. Our future depends on it.
Created by Stanley Varner of Provo, Utah
Without Character, A Free Society Is Not Just Unlikely . . . It’s Impossible.
Nelson Nash Wins the 2018 Blinking Lights Award
With great pleasure at the closing banquet of FEEcon on June 9, FEE bestowed its 2018 Blinking Lights Award upon a dear friend and one of our most longstanding and faithful supporters, Nelson Nash of Birmingham, Alabama.
Nelson is the developer of the Infinite Banking Concept, explained here by economist Robert Murphy. For decades, Nelson has been an activist and spokesperson for liberty, free markets, sound money and the Austrian School of Economics. He came to know our founder, Leonard Read, when he attended a FEE seminar more than half a century ago. His beautiful wife Mary has been at his side, supporting his championship of all the right ideas for over 65 years, and was present on stage as Nelson received the award. A native of Georgia, Nelson has extensive experience in both forestry and life insurance and earned Master Aviator Wings during his 30 years of service in the Army National Guard.
Toshio Murata Wins the 2017 Blinking Lights Award
Seven thousand miles from the Atlanta headquarters of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) blinks a light that never quits. Its name is Toshio Murata, a master teacher (or “sensei” in Japanese) if ever there was one! To recognize his singular contributions in introducing to his native Japan an understanding of free markets in general and the principles of “Austrian” economics in particular, FEE is proud to present him with an early birthday gift: our 2017 “Blinking Lights” Award.
Bob Chitester Wins 2016 Blinking Lights Award
FEE is pleased to announce the recipient of its 2016 “Blinking Lights” Award: Bob Chitester, chairman, president, and CEO of Free To Choose Network. The award was presented to Chitester by FEE president Lawrence Reed at FEE's Annual Retreat in Bonita Springs, Florida .
To learn more about Linda and the award, click here.
“Most inspiring movie! I’ll carry this passion with me for a long time. It will be my work to pass this on to my students.” -5th grade teacher
One initiative that we’re pleased to announce as part of this project is our Amazing Grace initiative. Thanks to Walden Media, we were able to offer free copies of this film, along with a brief pamphlet including discussion questions. Our hope is that this film will help promote discussion of the importance of individual character in a free society.
Lawrence Reed on Liberty and Character: