Tuesday, February 1, 2011

An Intellectual Foundation for Liberty

Carl writes an article in Issue 14 about The Freedom School, an educational project started by Robert Lefevre. This article is a nice history of the struggles and successes Lefevre experienced during the 10 years the school was in existence in Colorado. Carl decided to write about the school because he thought it was time for a Freedom School II:

Now why does the author of this article believe that, 15 years after the demise of the Freedom School, it is time for Freedom School II? The answer to that question is largely premised on the view that education is the most moral and effective way to promote libertarian ideas. Politically speaking the last decade has been disastrous for libertarians because people were led to believe that electoral politics could change things around. No intellectual foundation was ever laid. Had the money spent on trying to win elections been spent on a Freedom School, the educational efforts would have resulted in many thousands of people becoming well informed and self-disciplined individualists. The political process will never accomplish this: nor will violent revolutionary attempts to alter the structure of government or society succeed, because attitudes and ideas have to be changed first. When the Freedom School was operating it contributed enormously to the comprehension that thousands of people had for the meaning, significance and implications of human liberty. "More persons were taught personal self-discipline, self-control, personal responsibility, and independence than at any other time in this century."

Well, we’re 10 years into a new century now and guess what? There is a Freedom School II. An online version anyway.

A fellow who goes by the name of Anthony Freeman is continuing Lefevre’s idea and offering a way to study online. (Anthony also has another site where you can learn more about his beliefs.)

In this computer age, there are many sites to visit for those who want to learn about the ideas of liberty, most notably mises.org which has loads of Lefevre-specific resources. But this Freedom School site, established in January, 2010 specifically claims a desire to continue Lefevre’s work with The Freedom School.

This Freedom School offers an organized curriculum, complete with study assignments, which is nice for those who want structure. No specified tuition is required, only donations, which means this learning project accessible to almost anyone who may be interested.

I hope people take advantage of this, because as Carl’s says in the article:

The existence and creation of an all-voluntary society depends on there being sufficient numbers of informed, thinking people who accept personal responsibility for their own existence and who refuse to resort to violence in any form. The person who convinces himself that voluntaryism is humane, moral and practical remains convinced forever. As LeFevre has written, "From this procedure there can be no backlash. More and more persons, self-motivated and self-controlled, simply stop engaging in the existing social devises which impose on others. They break their ties with the existing political structures; not by violence, not by trying to obtain majorities or using force, but by understanding and then thinking differently about the whole area of human relationship."


Kent McManigal said...

There is also The On Line Freedom Academy, which I have been actively promoting for years now.

Ned Netterville said...

Debbie, Mises.org hosts the Mises Academy, which offers many courses devoted to Austrian economics, libertarianism and related subjects. I am currently taking Dr. David Gordon's INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC, and it has been worth every cent of the cost ($120 plus $20 for text for seven 1.5 hour on-line classes and much more. If, like me, you like to argue with statist and want to be sure of the logic of your arguments, this the course for you.

Debbie H. said...

Thanks for the additional resources Kent and Ned.

Ned, I've been interested in taking a formal course in Logic so I'm glad to hear this recommendation.