story is part of Walter
Block's Autobiography Archive.
My Life as a Libertarian
D. T. Armentano
by D. T. Armentano
was born in the North End of Hartford (CT) in 1940 and I've been
a libertarian for as long as I can remember. I never went through
any sort of messy political transformation like some others did.
I was never a Marxist or a socialist or even a warm and fuzzy liberal.
When I first became interested in political economy in my early
teens, individual responsibility and mistrust of governmental authority
just seemed natural and right to me. They still do.
did I get started down the libertarian path? Perhaps it was my very
negative reaction to being interned in Catholic school for my first
6 educational years. To put the matter bluntly, I hated the entire
experience with a passion. I disliked the regimentation, despised
the bossy nuns, and resented being strapped on the hands by a smug
Father Bannon for talking in class or thinking impure thoughts or
whatever the hell I was NOT supposed to be doing at age ten. A shrink
might say that I transferred my anger from the authoritative parochial
school to the super-authoritative federal government at some point
later in life. Maybe so; I really can't rule that out. (Only kidding).
perhaps I got my initial libertarian leanings from my parents, otherwise
hard-working, honest, middle-class folks who survived the Depression
and the War and who never asked anyone in authority for a handout.
Perhaps, but I doubt it. Both my parents were New Deal Democrats
who never, never talked intelligent politics in the home and never
doubted that government existed to help the little people. My libertarianism
was a total mystery to them still is so, no, I absolutely
did NOT catch the liberty fever from my family.
best as I can recall, two very different personal experiences may
have acted as a catalyst. When I was a young kid looking to earn
extra money, I used to do landscape work and move rocks for a next-door
neighbor named Jack Harris. Jack was a professional welder by trade,
a quiet and precise man, who gave me minimal instructions and then
left me free to do the work to the best of my ability. I always
admired Jack's own confident demeanor and his trust in my integrity
to do the job well. Jack never watched me and he never gave explicit
instructions on how to do things. He simply told me what he wanted
and he trusted me to do it.
day when I went to get paid, Jack’s wife said "Hold on. I want to
give you a book to read that Jack treasures and that I think that
you will enjoy." And then, of course, she handed me a hardcover
of Ayn Rand's, The
Fountainhead. Everything that I had always felt intuitively
about life I now found explicitly detailed in Rand's wonderfully
romantic fiction. Jack and I never spoke about the ideas in that
book. I'm not even sure that he could have articulated them. But
he lived them (from what I could tell) and those ideas and Jack's
real life example made a lasting impression on me.
second event occurred in early 1958 when I was watching The Armstrong
Circle Theater on television. This was a live television broadcast
and the subject being debated was the reality of the UFO phenomena.
I'd prepared a report on UFOs in a high school science class so
I knew something about the subject. The government/Air Force position
(then and now) was that there was nothing in the nature of the reports
that represented anything extra-ordinary or a threat to national
security. The Air Force mantra was that UFOs were balloons or mirages
or hoaxes and that no information to the contrary was being withheld.
"other side" in the debate was represented by Donald E. Keyhoe,
who was then the executive director of the National Investigations
Committee on Aerial Phenomenon in Washington, D.C. Keyhoe, a feisty
retired ex-Marine Major, spoke in support of the reality of the
phenomenon and of an Air Force cover-up of inconvenient facts such
as 90 degree turns and evasive action when pursued by our jets.
At one point in the program Keyhoe suddenly broke away from his
prepared remarks, looked at the camera and said: "And now I am going
to reveal something that has never been disclosed before…" but his
microphone abruptly went dead. The live t.v. audience saw his lips
moving (me included) but his audio had been terminated by CBS and
the U.S. Air Force under prior agreement. I think that I became
a radical libertarian at that very moment.
still in high school I attended one of the Foundation for Economic
Education seminars in Irvington, New York, and still remember Leonard
Read lighting his candle in a dark room. (Later I would become a
Trustee of that fine organization). When I got into college, a good
friend and I formed an Objectivist Study Group and I wrote articles
for the college newspaper on Rand and her ideas. I began to argue
with my professors about monopoly and unemployment and the proper
role of government. I was reading Friedman and Hayek and especially
Hazlitt by that time and frequently asking "outrageous" questions
in class. There were never any serious answers, of course, only
smirks and ridicule. I would often make appointments to meet professors
after class to pursue issues, but few ever showed. Indeed, what
I remember most about those undergraduate years is the almost complete
"liberty blackout" in economics classes.
of my economics professors seemed interested in free market theory
or were even aware that there was another viewpoint aside from religious
Keynesianism. No reading list from my undergraduate days EVER had
a Friedman or Hayek citation, let alone von Mises or Murray Rothbard.
My only brush with classical liberal ideas and libertarianism came
in courses on political philosophy, where we explored the ideas
of Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke and Mill and took seriously the conflict
between liberty and power.
school (19621966) was a slightly better intellectual experience.
Graduate classes were smaller and the cadre of students and professors
were more committed to serious pursuits. We all hung out together
and constantly debated free market theory, the Great Depression,
tax policy, the history of child labor and, of course, the Viet
Dirlam, an iconoclast industrial organization professor at the University
of Connecticut, sparked my early interest in antitrust law, though
our policy views could not have been more different. Dirlam was
the first professor to send me off to read "original" documents
and trial record material in order to really understand what went
on at court in antitrust cases. And Bill Snavely, who taught comparative
economic systems, formally introduced me to the ideas of Ludwig
von Mises and the socialist calculation debate. Later Bill would
ask me to contribute a chapter to his book, Theory
Of Economic Systems (Merrill, 1969) on that important subject
and it became my first important publishing achievement. It was
also my first formal introduction to Mises and to Austrianism generally.
I was hooked.
received my Ph.D. in economics from the University of Connecticut
in 1966 with a dissertation on the political economy of the brilliant,
late 19th century classical liberal, William Graham Sumner. Sumner
taught at Yale between 1870 and 1905 and his ideas and his unflinching
attitude toward enemies of the free market had a tremendous influence
on me. Sumner was a brilliant writer, lecturer, and debater. Moreover,
he had a fierce and fiery tongue and never gave an inch to enemies
of liberty on either the left or right. He became my first intellectual
angered Yale's Republican friends by opposing tariffs and quotas
of any kind for any reason. In addition, he strongly opposed the
rise of U.S. Imperialism and Empire and wrote and spoke eloquently
on why the Spanish/American war was a fatal mistake for American
civil society. He opposed any and all welfare programs of government;
as he put it bluntly, a drunk was in the gutter where he belonged.
Indeed, in almost every area of political economy (save public schools),
Sumner anticipated late 20th century libertarian thought
at every turn. That he has been forgotten (like his own "forgotten
man") and unappreciated by current academics is a sad commentary
on the current teaching of intellectual history.
I always had a flair for the dramatic I was in several plays in
grade school and high school teaching economics at the college
level came naturally to me. I fell in love with teaching during
my first class as a graduate assistant in 1964. I just loved the
performing and the give and take with the student audience. And
I loved to put words to paper. I had been writing stories since
grammar school (one teacher, the very special Leo Cohen, even made
extra time for me so that I could write "my stories") and I won
an award for a short story in high school with the encouragement
of my favorite English teacher, Mrs. Kind, who's spirit and support
I remember with great fondness. Thus an academic life seemed ideal
for me and for my new wife, Rose LaFont. (We married in 1966, and
are still strongly merged; I could not have accomplished what I
have without her). Thus we began our long journey into the heart
of intellectual darkness!!
taught full-time at the University of Connecticut in 196667
and then went to teach at the private University of Hartford in
West Hartford, Connecticut, in the fall of 1967. Before I arrived
in Hartford, I published my first article for cash ($75) in a slick
trade magazine for the direct mail industry. An editor at the magazine
had seen a "letter to the editor" in the Wall Street Journal
in which I had argued that a private post office would be more
efficient that a government monopoly. He asked me to write a longer
historical piece on the subject and it appeared as "Do We Really
Need A Post Office?, Reporter of Direct Mail Advertising (March
1967). Seeing my name on an article in print for money had a profound
effect on me! I had found my calling.
I arrived at Hartford, I was immediately handed the Government &
Business course (senior level) to teach and had to quickly find
a textbook. The standard text at the time was Clair Wilcox's Public
Policies Towards Business (Irwin) then in its umpteenth
edition, and I adopted it my first year. As I prepared to teach
the antitrust section of the course, however, I discovered a disturbing
anti-business bias in the Wilcox text (and other supplementary texts)
and the almost complete absence of any historical information about
product prices, outputs, and business innovation.
et. al. simply assumed that government antitrust policy promoted
the "public interest" and that the firms convicted under the Sherman
Act had actually raised prices and reduced outputs as standard monopoly
theory predicted. Certainly the students who studied the Wilcox
text had no way of knowing what actually transpired from an economic
perspective in the classic antitrust cases since the author chose
not to tell them. At the end of my first year of teaching, I decided
to write an antitrust book to fill in the story that Wilcox and
other textbook authors had omitted.
Myths of Antitrust: Economic Theory and Legal Cases (Arlington
House, 1972) was an attempt to do a major "revisionist" history
of antitrust theory and policy. The State of Connecticut had an
excellent law library in Hartford and so I buried myself in legal
decisions and trial record material for almost 4 years. (We had
no "research assistants" at the time; I did ALL of the research
for Myths myself and wrote every word of text. If there are
errors or omissions, blame me.) My intention was to discover what
actually happened in the classic antitrust cases from an economic
perspective. Did the firms abuse consumers and was antitrust a legitimate
response to monopolization? Additionally, I wanted to tell the story
of the classic antitrust cases in the context of the actual historical
development of the industry.
for example, did the market concentration in petroleum or tobacco
actually arise? Why did firms merge and were there so-called barriers
to entry that unfairly kept new competitors out? Absent some historical
discussion, the monopoly and price fixing cases made little sense
and the actual intent and effect of antitrust regulation remained
obscure. Thus, explaining the antitrust decision against Standard
Oil of New Jersey (1911) in the context of the history of the petroleum
industry would give a unique understanding to my antitrust and monopoly
discussion and sharply separate my book from the competitors. And
after more than 30 years in print in various editions, I still think
that the perspective that I adopted and the analysis that I attempted
in that first book holds up reasonably well.
attempted to break several areas of new ground. (I was bold
and brash at 32!) It systematically attacked the dominant "structure/conduct/performance"
paradigm that dominated industrial organization theory and public
policy in the 1960s. Myths presented an alternative quasi-Schumpeterian
theory of open market competition to replace the orthodox perfectly
competitive model. (Israel Kirzner at NYU would lay out a far more
systematic theory of market process in Competition
and Entrepreneurship which was published in 1973, a year
after Myths appeared.)
exposed the soft underbelly of the "public interest" theory
of antitrust by demonstrating that the firms indicted and convicted
in the classic monopoly cases had actually been increasing outputs
and lowering prices. (Where available, I stuck the prices and industry
data right in the text.) And in its most radical chapter on price
fixing, Myths argued that even business collusion was a myth
since high fixed costs and legally open markets encouraged price
cheating and secret discounts to customers. It even showed that
the infamous electrical equipment conspiracy of the early 1960's
didn't really work. Myths concluded that antitrust was a
complete public policy hoax, that most cases were brought by private
firms against their rivals, and that absent any legitimate rationale,
the entire legal framework hurt consumers and should be repealed.
immediate reaction to my book in the business and academic world
was…. underwhelming. Despite some important favorable reviews (especially
one by Donald Dewey at Columbia in the Business History Review)
book sales were modest and the antitrust intellectual establishment
did not come crumbling down or even tremble noticeably. Indeed,
most economists and law professors in the 1970's simply ignored
what I had written or called, instead, for more "vigorous" enforcement
of antitrust law and even new laws to limit industrial concentration.
were at least two exceptions. At Chicago and at UCLA, various scholars
(such as Yale Brozen and Wesley Liebeler) were reasonably sympathetic
to my arguments and published their own important critiques of antitrust
policy. The Chicago crowd was always lukewarm, however, since I
had attacked the "perfect competition equilibrium " model and had
argued that even prosecuting price fixing was a mistake. But a second
group of supporters, the Austrians, led by Murray Rothbard, were
very enthusiastic about my work and I was soon drawn into their
world in a more systematic way.
fist formal interaction with the world of Austrian Economics came
with an invitation to the South Royalton Conference in 1974. There
I met several of the Austrian luminaries for the first time and
I was blown away by how seriously the youthful audience took theoretical
controversies. At the end of the Conference, I boasted to George
Pearson (Koch Industries) that I could organize and chair an equally
successful conference at Hartford in the near future if they were
so inclined to put up the money. That's how the Austrian Economics
Conference at Hartford came about in the summer of 1975.
is notable about that event, aside from some path-breaking papers
by John Hagel and Walter Grinder, among others, is that F.A. Hayek
was in attendance for several days. I remember driving him around
Hartford in my small Honda. Sadly, although Hayek had recently been
awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics, I could not convince either
of Hartford's two newspapers to send a reporter up for an interview.
Such was the dismal intellectual state of the world in 1975!
Rothbard was also at the Hartford Conference and he became an important
intellectual influence on my thinking in the 1970s. His Man,
Economy And State and Ethics
of Liberty were, in my view, two of the most important books
ever published while his For
A New Liberty was a breakthrough book in popularizing libertarian
political economy. Murray was brilliant, funny, supportive, and
the fountainhead of the serious libertarian movement. I loved the
guy and still miss him terribly to this day. His intellect, spirit,
and capacity for work have proven irreplaceable.
sabbatical leave in the fall of 1977 found my wife and I at the
Institute for Humane Studies in Menlo Park, California. It also
found us often in San Francisco at the newly created Cato Institute
on Montgomery Street. I did several book reviews for Cato's flagship
magazine, Inquiry, (one was the first published review of
Robert Bork's The
Paradox, then in galley proofs) and I became friendly with
its entrepreneurial president, Ed Crane, and Cato's financial angel,
Charles Koch. Crane and Koch and I would work together on several
projects including the nationally syndicated public affairs radio
program, Byline. I wrote and recorded over 150 Byline
shows over the next 7 years on all sorts of public policy issues.
The challenge of explaining rent controls or Federal Reserve Policy
in 90 seconds on the radio prepared me well for the many dozens
of op/eds that I would write in the coming years.
1980s found me speaking, writing, chairing conferences, and receiving
an occasional award for contributions to free enterprise. Along
with fellow economist and friend Gerald Gunderson at Trinity College,
I was awarded the Valley Forge Freedoms Foundation Award for "excellence
in private enterprise education" in 1980. In the early 1980s I revised
and expanded Myths and it was published as Antitrust
& Monopoly: Anatomy Of A Policy Failure by a "legitimate"
New York publisher, John Wiley and Sons, in 1982. The book is currently
published by The Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and
has been in print in one form or another for more than 30 years.
My thanks to David Theroux.
controversial positions on antitrust regulation and on the so-called
energy crisis led to many radio and t.v. opportunities and frequent
invitations for campus talks. I appeared several times on the nationally
syndicated PBS television show "Economically Speaking" and did numerous
radio shows in Hartford and many other cities. And over the years
I gave upwards of 100 professional talks to academic and business
audiences on various public policy matters.
1982 I conceived and directed a two-week conference (and college
credit course) titled "New Directions in Economic Policy." This
brought me in contact with such free market superstars as Tom Sowell
(who keynoted the conference), Yale Brozen, Walter Williams, Julian
Simon and many others. I also stirred up the pot a bit by inviting
John Kenneth Galbraith from Harvard, who received cat calls and
boos from the students for recommending wage and price controls
as a solution to the then ailing U.S. economy!! The New Directions
Conference attracted national attention and put the University of
Hartford Economics Department on the map for a brief moment.
wrote several important journal articles in the late 1980s and early
Practices and the Competitive Process" appeared in the Review
of Austrian Economics (Fall 1989). In that piece I argued that
so-called predatory practices were simply "competitive" practices
and ought to be totally immune from antitrust regulation. Several
colleagues at the University of Hartford (Hartford is the so-called
"insurance city") got me interested in insurance industry regulation
and I published "Antitrust and Insurance: Should the McCarran Act
be Repealed?" in the Cato Journal (Winter 1989). The McCarran
Act exempts insurance companies from the bulk of antitrust law and
I argued that the exemption was economically efficient and ought
to be continued. I summarized my criticism of the entire antitrust
legal framework in an article titled "Time to Repeal Antitrust Regulation"
that appeared in the antitrust establishment's favorite academic
journal, the Antitrust Bulletin (Summer 1990). The article
caused a minor stir and elicited a dissenting reply from Appellate
Court Judge Douglas Ginsburg. My response, "A Reply to Judge Ginsburg,"
appears in the expanded issue of that same journal.
1983 I approached David Boaz at the Cato Institute with an idea
for a new antitrust book. The plan was to write a smaller, more
"popular" account of my antitrust text material while at the same
time incorporating some then-current antitrust controversies. The
book titled Antitrust
Policy: The Case For Repeal was published by Cato in 1984.
Thanks, David. (I am now an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.)
Years later Lew Rockwell of the Mises
Institute approached me and asked me to revise and expand the
Cato book with special attention devoted to the then on-going Microsoft
antitrust case. With Lew's generous support, that book was published
by the Mises Institute in 1999 as Antitrust Policy: The Case
For Repeal, and has had some college adoptions and some modest
of my favorite journal articles was written as a response to an
attack on my antitrust theories by Professor Frederick M. Scherer.
Professor Scherer, a nationally recognized expert in industrial
organization and the author of the most influential textbook in
the area, pretended to "review" the 1990 edition of my Antitrust
& Monopoly in a new and interesting journal, Critical
Review. His review, however, was filled with errors of commission
and omission and he distorted my positions at almost every turn.
(Our feud goes back to a decade-old Hillsdale College luncheon that
was particularly unpleasant; the Critical Review hatchet
job was payback, apparently.) There is not sufficient space here
to explain all of the problems with Scherer's analysis of my antitrust
positions nor all of the problems associated with Scherer's own
antitrust views. Suffice to say, for those who are interested in
such matters, see my "Anti-Antitrust: Ideology or Economics? Reply
to Scherer" Critical Review (Volume 6, No.1, 1992) for my
definitive thoughts on the Scherer affair.
scholarly writing was always important but I most enjoyed writing
op/ed articles for newspapers. I have been a regular writer of op/eds
for over 35 years (I continue to write for the Press Journal
in Vero Beach, Florida where I live) and have probably written
many hundreds by now. My articles have appeared in publications
such as The New York Times (articles on legalized gambling
and merger policy), The Wall Street Journal (an article on
allowing the air carrier industry to collude on prices), the London
Financial Times, the National Post (Canada) and many
other newspapers in this country and abroad. While teaching at the
University of Hartford, I wrote many op/eds on such topics as the
selective service system, banking deregulation, antitrust policy,
and the tax system in Connecticut. These appeared regularly in The
Hartford Times and, after the Times folded, The
Hartford Courant, the oldest continuously published newspaper
am most proud of a series of articles that appeared in The
Hartford Courant just prior to Connecticut's adoption of
a state income tax in the early 1990s. Professor Jack Sullivan,
a colleague of mine, and I wrote four detailed critiques of the
proposed state income tax and these articles were extremely well
received around the state. We had done our homework. We knew that
the Connecticut's state budget process had been out of control for
years and that more taxes would not fix it. We knew what happened
in other states when a state income tax was adopted: their economic
growth rates declined. We knew that state income taxes did not "fix"
budget deficits. Indeed, the states with the highest state income
taxes had the highest deficits! So here was a once in a lifetime
opportunity to actually prevent government from expanding its power
if we could only defeat the demonic state income tax.
the articles were published, I (and others) spoke before a crowd
estimated at 25,000 that gathered on the lawn in front of the State
capital building in Hartford to protest the imposition of any new
state taxes and to demand that the legislature (and the evil Governor
Lowell Wicker) control state spending instead. I gave several talks
around the state in opposition to the proposed tax and I testified
against the adoption of any state income tax at a special legislative
hearing on the matter. For months the battle raged, a lopsided intellectual
battle really, since we had all of the facts, all of the arguments,
and all of the public support, while the other side had only one
mantra: We want the money.
WE LOST! The General Assembly caved in and rammed the tax down all
of our collective throats. The Governor, the state legislative politicians,
the state unions, the teachers and other interest groups that live
off of the state, threw their support to the state income tax and
it became law. John Rowland, Connecticut's current governor, had
pledged to repeal the monstrosity but it still exists and it still
the income tax battle was emotionally tough for me. Being a libertarian
in this society is generally rough enough but this tax defeat bordered
on the absurd. For here I had witnessed first-hand the CREATION
of government's most awesome power…the power to tax. I had seen
the entire process from start to finish with my own eyes and was
terribly disappointed at our inability despite the evidence
and general public support to short circuit the process and
kill the creature born from that process. It brought home a painful
message that I really did not want to hear again: We libertarians
have a long, long, LONG way to go in terms of real world political
have certainly seen some modest "progress" in the antitrust area
(perhaps my writings have helped at the margin) but the tax and
spending policies of government at every level (and U.S. foreign
policy) are devastatingly irrational and immoral. On my black days
it is difficult to see, given the public choice calculus, how those
of us who support liberty can make any reasonable progress in these
areas in the near future.
personal footnote on the income tax affair. In the early 1990s I
had been thinking of an early retirement from teaching and a move
to a warmer climate. When Connecticut adopted its 4.5% state income
tax, I decided that they would NOT tax me. I would pack up and leave
for a friendlier state without a state income tax and with a Constitutional
Amendment that prohibits one. Hullo Florida! So far so good.
factor that led to my move from Connecticut was the increasingly
difficult teaching atmosphere at the University of Hartford and
in higher education generally in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
For decades I had been teaching the capstone course in the MBA program,
"Business and Society," with great student evaluations. The course
explored some business case histories, some regulatory analysis
and legal cases, and more and more over time explored the ETHICS
of certain business practices and the government’s attempt to regulate
them. I lectured for roughly half of the course and the graduate
students presented cases (which I evaluated) in the second half.
My interest in ethical analysis led me to publish "The Ethics of
Anticompetitive Practices" in the Mid-Atlantic Journal Of Business
and Society" was probably the most popular course in the MBA program.
The students worked hard but they loved the challenges. In the early
1990s, however, a faculty backlash developed concerning my theoretical
and ethical approach to teaching this course. Some non-economist
faculty members in the Barney School of Business began to object
to my free market analysis, to my so-called deregulation "crusade,"
and to the contrasting natural rights vs. utilitarian perspective
that I and my students employed to "analyze" business practices
(insider trading, for example) and government regulation. Having
increasing "trouble" with "my" students in their classes, they attempted
to strip the course from me, from the Department of Economics, and
eventually strip it from the MBA program itself.
some of us know, these curricular "wars" were (in part) insidious
manifestations of the silly political correctness nonsense prevalent
at the time and were a blatant attempt to dumb down academic standards
generally. They were propelled forward in business schools by radical
feminists and psycho-babble Management professors at various universities
in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Nonetheless, though the process
proved acrimonious, I dug in my heels and defended my principles
and the efforts to deconstruct "Business & Society" failed.
When I finally left the University in 1994, I had taught the course
every semester for a total of 27 years, exposing thousands of students
to classical liberal theory and public policy. Although I retired
from full-time teaching in 1994, I have continued to publish widely.
I wrote many articles on the Microsoft antitrust debacle for Investor's
Business Daily, for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, for
the Cato Institute, and especially for the Independent Institute.
I wrote a "Viewpoint" for The New York TImes (January 19,
1997) titled "Don't Punish Microsoft For Its Brand of Competition"
and my article "Or Broken Trust?" appeared in the May 4, 1998 issue
of National Review. At present, I continue to write on antitrust
and other many other regulatory matters for journals, newspapers
and internet web cites.
truly enjoyed the process of teaching and this bio-essay would not
be complete without mentioning my debt to the excellent students
that I had over the years. Their desire to learn inspired me to
search for the truth and to communicate it as effectively as I could.
The almost daily intellectual interaction with students kept my
mind alive. Without them the process of teaching would have been
a sterile monologue. Two of my best students were Roy Cordato and
his wife, Karen Palacek, who both went on to earn Ph.D.s in Economics
and who continue to make continuing contributions to our field of
study. (Roy's critical work on the Coase Theorem is particularly
important). Both had planned careers as base fiddle musicians before
they took my courses in economics. Talk about unintended consequences!
let me close by noting my most personal "unintended consequence"
of all. My son, Paul Armentano, born in 1972, has worked hard to
become a leading national spokesman for the legalization of marijuana
in the U.S. Paul, a Policy Analyst at the National Organization
for the Reform of the Marijuana Laws in Washington, D. C., has already
written hundreds of articles and op/eds on the inefficiency and
immorality of state and U.S drug laws. I could not be more proud.
Paul's libertarianism was never consciously instructed by either
me or my wife. We never "lectured" him on the subject nor instructed
him to read certain materials; he would have rebelled sharply against
all of that, anyway. Instead, we just set good life examples and
let him discover the importance of political liberty on his own.
(Leonard Read was certainly right on that one). It will now be up
to Paul, and like-minded academics and activists, to continue the
struggle for liberty and justice against entrenchments of power.
Armentano is professor emeritus in economics at the University of
Hartford and author of Antitrust:
The Case for Repeal
(Mises Institute, 1999). He lives in Vero Beach, Florida.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com