What do you get when you mix a strong adherence to principle and worldly practicality? You get Mr. R. C. Hoiles.
We were first introduced to Mr. Hoiles in Issue 17 and I commented on a few ways I personally connected to this man, one being that I write a column for a local newspaper.
Now, after reading the feature article in Issue 18, “To Thine Own Self Be True – The Story of Raymond Cyrus Hoiles and his Freedom Newspapers,” I found another theme that makes me feel a connection to him: a strong desire for consistency.
We can see Hoiles' desire for consistency in his positions throughout this piece authored by Carl. Hoiles was always willing to stand by his principles, one example being that his newspapers spoke out against internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2, quite an unpopular opinion at the time.
Certainly this adherence to principle has the strong potential to annoy advertisers on occasion and there are a few examples of this in the article. But Hoiles apparently didn’t care and held fast to his principles even when it cost him money. And yet, his Freedom Newspaper Chain succeeded and grew.
Carl goes into more detail about Hoiles’ belief that he was handicapped by attending government schools. Hoiles realized he was never taught to think with consistency about basic principles:
“Of course, I never found any textbook or any teacher that believed taxation was a violation of justice and of moral law, as set forth in the Commandments "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not covet." In other words, the government schools I attended made no attempt to be consistent and teach me to recognize contradictions.”
It appears that Hoiles spent the rest of his life working towards consistency and clarity in his thinking.
He believed that the purpose of the editorial page of his newspapers was to get people to think and all those on the editorial staff (which included Robert Lefevre) were constantly working and thinking about the freedom philosophy and how those principles defined the editorial stance of the papers.
I have always been drawn to consistency in thought. One thing that bothers me most is hypocrisy and I’m always bothered when I see it in myself most of all. My family tells me that sometimes I just think too much and analyze things too much when they hear me express concern about my own inconsistencies or about the inconsistencies in the world at large and maybe I do.
I wonder if R. C. Hoiles heard that a time or two in his life as well. If so, I am guessing he’d respond just as I do: I just can’t help it. I crave consistency.