Feb 6, 2008

Milton Friedman on the libertarian movement

I think the libertarian movement is doing fine. I think that REASON magazine has been remarkably good; it has been very effective. It takes many kinds of people to make a movement. And one of the most important things are publications. In any activity you have manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers; and all three are essential and necessary. There are only a relatively small number of manufacturers of ideas. But there can be a very large number of wholesalers and retailers.

As I look around me I'm impressed by the fact that there's increasing attention paid to libertarian ideas. If you look at the picture now, compared with 30 years ago, there's no comparison. Now you've got much more. As far as journals are concerned, then we had the Foundation for Economic Education's Freeman; for a while we had the New Individualist Review in Chicago, but that was about it. Bill Buckley established National Review, which is in a different corner.

But look at the situation today. You have REASON magazine, you have Liberty magazine. You've got all of this stuff that spouts out from the Cato Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a half dozen other think tanks. In fact, I think there are too damn many think tanks now.

~ Milton Friedman, "Best of Both Worlds," Reason, June 1995

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