In 1946, Leonard E. Read, Henry Hazlitt, and several other visionaries founded the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in New York City. It was a dangerous time in the history of the United States and the world. The Soviet Union was locking down control of Eastern Europe. Many in the United States and Western Europe mistakenly thought that the complete government control of a wartime economy was the only way to prevent a return to the Great Depression of the 1930s. So, FEE was founded in an effort to fight rising statism and fight for ”a world where people flourish in a free and civil society.” (http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/ideas-and-consequences/what-we-believe/)
FEE, at that time, was the only independent, free-market, non-political institution on the planet. Today, the educational and organizational situation is much improved with hundreds of organizations spread over almost every country. With the establishment of Libera, the people of Finland now have a means to access the world of freedom in their own language and in their own cultural context. We are all better off in a world where more people are able to find and experience these ideas.
Working off of FEE’s belief statement as written by our President, Lawrence W. Reed, I encourage Libera, its Board, its staff, and its supporters to remember these few things:
1. We strive for ”a world where people flourish in a free and civil society. In such a world the individual’s creative, productive energies are unleashed; private property and the sanctity of contract are upheld; the use of force is confined to protecting the peace; competitive markets allocate scarce resources; and honesty is universally regarded as the best policy in both public and private affairs.”
2. ”The future we envision is one in which individual expression gives rise to great, even presently unimaginable achievements in culture, medicine, science, and education. Men and women will engage one another peacefully and voluntarily because they will respect one another’s uniqueness, rights, property, and aspirations. No one will be so lacking in humility and introspection as to fancy himself better equipped to plan the lives of others than they, individually, are able to plan for themselves, their families, and their businesses.”
3. ”Politics is not our bailiwick. Indeed, we seek to de-politicize life. We want to enlighten public discussion by emphasizing that there is (and ought to be) much more to life in a free and civil society than the political apparatus. We do not advise politicians how to employ the use of force, but rather we make the case against the initiation of force, period.”
These are just some of the principles which I find guiding and inspiring in FEE’s efforts to bring about a peaceful yet unplanned civil society.
Good luck to Libera and welcome to the struggle.