by Harry Browne
Introduction by infamous Australian Neville Kennard
Probably not many Australians know of (the late) Harry Browne. He was a writer, speaker, investment advisor and Presidential Candidate for the Libertarian Party in the US in 1996. Harry Browne was my first libertarian mentor. He introduced me to libertarian ideas and Austrian economics in 1970 with his prescient book How to Profit from the Coming Devaluation. This had led to a lifetime fascination and curiosity about the human potential when man is free, and about the unintended consequences of government intervention. Harry wrote several books; perhaps the most enduring, now out of print, is the classic How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World — if you can find a second-hand copy, snap it up. It’s a treasure for libertarians on how to live your life in relative freedom despite all the forces marshalled against you. This New Year’s Message came from Harry some years ago, with some minor edits for Australian readers.
I resolve to sell liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each prospect, rather than preaching to people and expecting them to suddenly adopt my ideas of right and wrong.
I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose is to inspire people to want liberty — not to prove that they’re wrong.
I resolve to listen when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I can help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.
I resolve to identify myself, when appropriate, with the social goals someone may seek — a cleaner environment, more help for the poor, a less divisive society — and try to show him that those goals can never be achieved by government, but will be well served in a free society.
I resolve to be compassionate and respectful of the beliefs and needs that lead people to seek government help. I don’t have to approve of their subsidies or policies — but if I don’t acknowledge their needs, I have no hope of helping them find a better way to solve their problems.
No matter what the issue, I resolve to keep returning to the central point: how much better off the individual will be in a free society.
I resolve to acknowledge my good fortune in having been born an Australian. Any plan for improvement must begin with a recognition of the good things we have. To speak only of Australia’s defects will make me a tiresome crank.
I resolve to focus on the ways Australia could be so much better with smaller and no government — not to dwell on all the wrongs that exist today.
I resolve to cleanse myself of hate, resentment, and bitterness. Such things steal time and attention from the work that must be done.
I resolve to speak, dress, and act in a respectable manner. I may be the first libertarian someone has encountered, and it’s important that he get a good first impression. No one will hear the message if the messenger is unattractive.
I resolve to remind myself that someone’s “stupid” opinion may be an opinion I once held. If I can grow, why can’t I help him grow?
I resolve not to raise my voice in any discussion. In a shouting match, no one wins, no one changes his mind, and no one will be inspired to join our quest for a free society.
I resolve not to adopt the tactics of Liberal and Labor Parties. They use character assassination, evasions, and intimidation because they have no real benefits to offer Australians. We, on the other hand, are offering to set people free — and so we can win simply by focusing on the better life our proposals will bring.
I resolve to be civil to my opponents and treat them with respect. However anyone chooses to treat me, it’s important that I be a better person than my enemies.
- Welcome from Neville Kennard
- Think Tanks Don't Work
- "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
- The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
- Corporate Welfare
- Citizenship for Sale?
- I Don't Vote
- Voting: Right or Privilege?
- Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
- Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
- Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
- Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
- Government Likes War
- Collusion is Our Right
- Why Not the Drug Olympics?
- Unconventional Wisdom
- Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
- Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
- Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
- Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
- Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
- Separating Sport and State
- Your Home is Not an Investment
- Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
- A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
- Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
- Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
- What is a good Australian?
- Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
- The Market Failure Industry
- Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
- Wot if ...?
- The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
- The Tannehills
- Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
- Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
- Minarchy vs Anarchy
- Euthanasia and Self-Ownership
- The Right Policies to Fix a Depression
- Is Howard Our Best PM?
- Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
- Where There's a Queue, There's a Business Opportunity
- Authoritarian Freedom
- Why Classical Liberals Should Debate Anarchocapitalists
- The Tyranny of the Majority
- If you could choose to whom you paid your tax
- Business Should Exploit Boat People
- The Immorality of Trade Unions
- "America" vs "The United States"
- Sweet Anarchy
- The Illusion of "Job Creation"
- Gold Is Money
- Guilty Capitalists
- Prosperity vs Growth
- Capitalism vs Democracy
- More people = More fun
- Self-Ownership - the very idea!
- Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
- The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
- Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
- My Journey to Anarchy:
From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
- Government Needs Bad Guys –
that's why they like wars
- What Is Obscene?
- Traffic Economics
- Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
- Neville Kennard Obituary