Harry Browne

I have heard through the grapevine that Harry Browne, one of the most thoughtful, articulate and successful spokesmen for the ideas and values of individual liberty, author, lecturer, radio host, two time Libertarian Party presidential candidate and personal hero of mine, is very ill. My understanding is that it’s a pretty bad situation.

I believe that Harry was the one who first offered a bit of structure (that I would accept) to my rampant government hatred. Libertarianism he called it, and said it was the opposite of both liberalism and conservatism. Sounded like me so far. I saw them ask him on C-SPAN what he thought about abortion, and he said he thought that Article II had not enumerated any power over that issue to the president, and that therefore it was none of anyone’s business what his opinion was. I never heard a politician say that before!

I read Why Government Doesn’t Work, and learned that it didn’t matter who was in charge so much as that there was a massive leviathan for someone to be in charge of. As he told me in 2003, “The trouble is not the abuse of power, but the power to abuse.”

I have been honored to interview Harry twice, and at the Libertarian party convention in Atlanta in 2004, I was able to meet and have my picture taken with him and see his great speech.

I have long enjoyed his columns and journal entries, as with ruthless accuracy and adherence to principles of individualism, yet with a manner so kind and full of understanding for those whose fallacies he’s correcting, he has stood against every form of tyranny over the people of this country he clearly loves so much. Unlike many libertarians who I find myself disagreeing with on major points, I’ve always been able to count on Harry to get it right, and put liberty first.

For my first shot at understatement of 2006, I’m going to go with: Had he been elected president in ’96 or 2000, we would be living in a land at peace with our Bill of Rights whole and intact.

My best to Harry, his wife and family, and hopes for a strong recovery.


4 thoughts on “Harry Browne”

  1. heliosphere

    I voted only once in a Presidential election, risking getting killed in an auto accident. (Actually, that was indeed a true statement, since you are more likely to be hit by a car on yer way to the pols than cast the deciding vote in an election.)

    Sure enough, in 2000 the vote was for old Harry Browne. Never before did i vote for a Pres, never again.

  2. curt

    I, too, found the ideas of individual liberty through Harry Browne, specifically the archives of his radio show and his articles. I also bought some of his books at a local used book store.

    He just made so much sense, and I followed his ideas to Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, Mises, Antiwar.com, Scott, Strike the Root, Ernest Hancock, and others. But it all started with him.

    I always just wanted to be left alone, and to leave others alone. His analyses helped me prove to myself that this is actually a good thing… (I grew up in the socialist paradise of Canada, where most of my friends, family, and neighbours think I’m crazy).

    Hmm, I think it’s time to re-read his book, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World. I think I could benefit from his wisdom right about now…


Comments are closed.