Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Robert Lefevre’s Lesson

Issue 3 begins a new series called Roots of the Movement, which is intended to highlight the more recent history of libertarian events and activism. This first one is called "How to Become a Teacher" by Robert Lefevre. In this article Mr. Lefevre details the process he went through to start the Rampart Freedom School.

If you read this article, you will learn a lot about the formation of this school, as well as about Lefevre himself, even some of his experiences and conclusions of his time spent in the military. (He enlisted in 1942.) This is interesting to learn since I think he’s well-known now as a pacifist.

One point he makes in this article is that his life circumstances gave him the opportunity to have time to read and study. I was fortunate to have time to do this as well, but so many others are too busy trying to make ends meet. Ironically most people don’t have time to even learn enough to understand how inflation is a tax.

Mr. Lefevre was very impressed with the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He made more than one visit to their location in New York.

(This reminds me; sometimes an organization’s acronym can sometimes just be too easy to use. I was at a meeting of local libertarian-minded people recently and mentioned FEE and when I tried to remember what the acronym stood for, I went completely blank. I knew the E’s were Economic and Education. I know, it sounds stupid now. Of course it’s Foundation, but I just kept drawing a blank. The only f-word I could think of was freedom. Well until I got frustrated enough, then I though of another one. I don’t think I said it out loud though.)

Anyway, Lefevre thought that FEE’s influence was just too small and he wanted others to learn what he was learning. He really wanted FEE to start a school, but it didn’t quite turn out that way. To find out the lessons Lefevre learned as he became involved in setting up the school, read his article.

Too bad I didn’t attend this school during my college years. I probably would have learned about Lysander Spooner much, much earlier than I did.

(Photo courtesy of Mises Institute by way of Wikimedia Commons)

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