This past year has been our most productive yet in terms of spreading ideas on liberty. It has also been one of our most difficult in terms of the financial resources that are necessary to sustain our endeavors. Thus, I hope you will give this letter your very careful consideration.
A few years ago, our supporters entrusted us with the funds to construct a first-class website that would enable us to spread the philosophy of freedom to people all over the world, especially here in the United States. That financial support and the website it brought into existence has paid off in ways that we could not even imagine when we began the project. Consider our website statistics in the last year alone:
September 2002 – 47,749 December 2003 – 9,365
Total website hits:
September 2002 – 5,354,561 December 2003 – 39,154,487 (Increase of 631%)
Average hits per day:
September 2002 – 12,688 December 2003 – 47,691 (Increase of 276%)
September 2002 – 135,920 December 2003 – 839,377 (Increase of 518%)
Attempting to harness as much of the power of the Internet as possible, one year ago we created what has turned out to be one of the libertarian movement’s most dynamic and popular online publications our FFF Email Update. Each and every morning six days a week, we carefully select articles, editorials, and editorial cartoons that apply libertarian principles to the burning issues of the day, with the objective of providing people with the highest-quality libertarian editorial page in the world. We not only post it on our website but also send it to our constantly growing list of email subscribers (41% increase in the past year).
Several months ago, we added a special Saturday Biography Bonus to our FFF Email Update, which features biographical sketches of such libertarian luminaries as Ludwig von Mises, Leonard E. Read, Friedrich von Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and Frdric Bastiat. We also added the FFF Blog, which has enabled us to provide rapid-fire daily capsule commentaries in response to the events of the day.
Most recently, we added a News Section to our FFF Email Update, which provides carefully culled breaking news on such important subjects as the economy, the drug war, law, immigration, and gun control to our subscribers.
And the articles and commentaries are all there in our website archives a giant libertarian resource bank for anyone to access anywhere in the world!
It seems like a lot, doesnt it? But it isnt! If your discovery of the freedom philosophy goes back a long way, think back to those first few years of your intellectual journey. You were hungry hungry for everything you could get your hands on to read! There werent enough articles or books to satiate your demand.
Thats the way it is with many people who are discovering the truth today the truth that our nation has strayed from its founding principles, with disastrous consequences. A man who recently discovered libertarianism wrote me, Theres no such thing as having too much information, is there, Mr. Hornberger? I couldnt help but smile because I remembered that same feeling when I discovered libertarianism some 25 years ago, voraciously reading Rand, Read, Mises, Bastiat, Hayek, and Rothbard, as well as the articles and commentaries that were being published by the growing number of libertarian foundations and think tanks.
For decades, we advocates of liberty have worked laboriously to advance our cause. Weve had up times and weve had down times. But our objective has never wavered: We want to change the world thats what were all about. We want to make it a better place a freer, more prosperous, peaceful, harmonious, compassionate, and charitable place.
We have never underestimated the magnitude of our task. While others have sought merely to reform the socialistic welfare state and the regulated society, our objective has been to persuade our fellow Americans to abandon the old, failed paternalistic paradigm in favor of one based on individual liberty, free markets, self-reliance, voluntary charity, and constitutionally limited government.
Given the political climate in the country today, especially with respect to the overarching and dominant role that the federal government now plays in our lives, it might be tempting to simply accept the new order that has settled upon our nation and resign ourselves to merely trying to reform it. We must resist that temptation with every fiber of our being! We are about liberty, not about reforming government control of our lives and fortunes. We must never lose sight of what we have dedicated our lives to for so long the restoration of American liberty!
Having taken control over our income and savings through the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve System, the federal government is now engaged in an uncontrolled spending binge that threatens the economic and monetary security of the American people. With its myriad of socialist welfare-state programs, all too many Americans unfortunately now live as dependents of the federal government, desperately fearful of losing their subsidy. With their regulated society, especially their immoral, deadly, destructive, and racist war on drugs, the feds continue to destroy lives and tear apart the fabric of our society. With their morally bankrupt foreign policy, they have made both Americans and the world less safe.
Our nation needs libertarian ideas more than ever because those ideas provide the way out of the morass into which the statists have led us. And thats why all too many of the feds would love nothing more than to shut down people such as us. Throughout history, public officials have understood that if they could suppress dissent and criticism of government, they could more easily cow people into falsely believing that tyranny and oppression are actually freedom.
As you may know, ever since September 11 The Future of Freedom Foundation has taken a leading role in the defense of civil liberties, not only in our publication Freedom Daily but especially in our FFF Email Update. In the early days, we were inundated with hate mail taking us to task for defending the rights of such accused terrorists as Zacarias Moussaoui, Jose Padilla, and Yaser Hamdi. But today, the situation is exactly the opposite: Every week, we receive emails of gratitude and support for our uncompromising stand in favor of civil liberties and constitutional guarantees of due process, because more and more people are coming to understand that if the feds can grab, incarcerate, and execute anyone they accuse of being a terrorist without due process of law, the exposition of truth and ideas becomes a dead letter.
It was the same prior to the invasion of Iraq. Wed never been so inundated with hate email from people questioning our patriotism. Today, the situation is the exact opposite virtually all the email we receive expresses gratitude for our speaking the truth about the adverse consequences that such an invasion would produce and has produced. The following comments are representative of the feedback we are now receiving on a regular basis:
You are doing marvelous work spreading the ideals of liberty around the world. I just recently found your blog on the FFF website and have enjoyed every entry, each one timely and lively. In all of your publications you make the discovery and understanding of a new freedom exciting and invigorating.
Since the beginning of this year, I have frequented your website and often passed along the commentaries posted there about the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the deteriorating condition of our domestic liberties. My thanks to you and other authors at your site for providing an intelligent alternative to the mindless jingoism that surrounds us.
Keep up the good work. I read quite a bit of most daily e-mails from FFF. They are very well done. I get more out of them than any of the other publications I receive. I often forward links to contacts. I am archiving the weekend biography profiles for that day, sometime in the distant future, when I can do some serious studying.
My 87th birthday is approaching, I still read Freedom Daily from cover to cover, and I appreciate very much the email messages FFF sends: both the ones written by your staff members and the ones you glean from the general media. I especially enjoy the biographical sketches on the outstanding writers of the past and present.
Today, there are more Americans than ever who are thinking about and reflecting on the proper role of government in our lives. An increasing number of them are discovering the deep moral foundations of libertarian principles and realizing that those principles hold the key to achieving the type of society for which they yearn prosperous, harmonious, peaceful, caring, and compassionate, a society that would once again be the envy of the world.
Unfortunately, however, all too many Americans fail to recognize the perilous times in which we live. These are not the ordinary times that advocates of liberty have enjoyed in the past. Another major terrorist attack or a severe economic crisis or a combination of the two could easily produce another massive assault on civil liberties, including the passage of a sedition law that suppresses criticism of government policies, such as the one enacted during World War I. If that were to happen, theres a good chance that organizations such as FFF wouldnt be around for very long.
Thus, weve redoubled our efforts not only to try to reverse the statist tide but also to provide people with a freedom insurance policy consisting of a bank of libertarian resources on which they could draw in the event the worst were to happen one that could help people extricate themselves from the crisis and then rebuild a society based on our heritage of liberty.
We also recently passed a milestone in advancing liberty with our op-ed program our op-eds have now been published more than 4,000 times in more than 800 newspapers and websites. Moreover, our three appearances on Fox News during the past year have enabled us to bring FFFs freedom ideas to millions more.
That brings me back to the Internet, the phenomenon that has enabled The Future of Freedom Foundation to spread ideas on liberty to people in ways unimaginable in pre-Internet days. If you needed even more proof that were achieving tremendous success doing this, heres a bit more:
The Future of Freedom Foundations website (www.fff.org) has just been selected as the outstanding freedom website on the Internet by Congressman Ron Pauls Media Awards for 2002!
Never in my wildest dreams when I founded FFF 14 years ago did I think that wed get an award from a member of Congress, but given the utmost respect that I have for Ron Paul and the courage and dedication to liberty he has exemplified in his life, this is the biggest and most meaningful award we have received in the 14-year history of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Our success is your success because your support made it happen!
We understand that times are tough for everyone, and we also understand that when it comes to supporting libertarian organizations, you have a lot of choices. All we ask is that when deciding on how to make your end-of-year charitable (and tax-deductible) contributions this year, you give The Future of Freedom Foundation your very careful consideration. Like many other nonprofit organizations, we have suffered a big shortfall in financial support this past year not only because of the economy but also because of the unpopular stands we have been taking. In order to continue building on the success that you have helped us achieve, we need your generous support this year more than we have in the past.
If you would like to support our work with a subscription to Freedom Daily ($25 per year for print version; $15 for email version) or a tax-deductible donation to The Future of Freedom Foundation, or both, you can do so online at our Subscribe and Support” section or by mailing or faxing your support to our offices.
Thank you for your consideration and your dedication to the principles of liberty.
Jacob G. Hornberger
P.S. During tough times, Im reminded of the story of the two frogs that fell into a big barrel of liquid and started to drown. They kicked and kicked until one of them finally said, Oh, whats the use? and gave up. The other frog, having a bit more faith that things would turn out for the good, just kept on kicking, until his kicking turned all that cream into butter, enabling him to jump out. So, when you see us here at FFF pumping out articles, commentaries, and analyses, just know that were still kicking, but in the hope that your generous financial support will make the barrel full of cream instead of water! Thanks again!