As I pointed out in last weeks conference update, we have received a donation that enables us to give 5 free student admissions to our June 1-4 conference Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy and Civil Liberties.
If you are a student and would like to attend the conference, please send us an essay on any aspect of foreign policy and civil liberties by March 12. Or if you know of a student who would like to attend, please forward this email to him or her.
This weeks speaker spotlight is on Robert Scheer and Richard Ebeling.
Following six libertarian speakers on Friday, Scheer will be our first liberal speaker of the conference, which might provide some good intellectual grist for everyone at the conference, especially libertarians and conservatives. Ever since 9/11 what has struck me most strongly about Scheer is his obviously deep sense of moral outrage and indignation over the direction that U.S. foreign policy has taken, especially with respect to the invasion of Iraq. While libertarians would obviously take issue with him on economic issues (as they would with any liberal), virtually every article that Scheer has written on the Iraq War and Americas imperial, interventionist foreign policy could have been written by libertarians. He might have paid a high price for such articles because after 12 years writing for the Los Angeles Times, he was fired without explanation. In response to his firing, he wrote: My only regret is that my pen was not sharper and my words tougher. He now writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and has launched a new online magazine at Truthdig.com.
I sometimes tell people that I have taught Richard Ebeling everything he knows, especially since he was vice president of academic affairs for The Future of Freedom Foundation before becoming president of The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). But if truth be told, its actually the exact opposite. I met Richard some 20 years ago when I was an attorney in Dallas and he was teaching economics at the University of Dallas. I immediately retained him to tutor me in Austrian economics, which entailed a weekly session covering Ludwig von Mises’s magnum opus Human Action. After that, we continued to remain friends when I went to FEE to be program director and he went to Hillsdale to teach economics. From FFF’s inception, Richards regular monthly articles in Freedom Daily, including those on both economics and foreign policy, were one of the biggest reasons for FFF’s success. He is the co-editor of FFF’s book The Failure of Americas Foreign Wars, which includes an excellent bibliography that Richard prepared.
Why should everyone attend this conference? The two reasons are embodied in the words of John Henry Cardinal Newman and Ludwig von Mises:
The general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the colour, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us, you must catch all these from those in whom it lives already.
John Henry Cardinal Newman
No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result.
Ludwig von Mises