A Letter to You, From our Founder

            by BOB CHITESTER

            In the “libertarian” worldview there is a tendency for
people to think that “anything goes.” One result is, defense of the family is
largely left to or thought to be the purview of conservatives. Many a classical
liberal/libertarian has addressed the central role of culture in determining
political outcomes, yet when Jennifer Roback Morse published her book “Love and
Economics”  she was thought by some to have joined the “touchy-feeling”academics in building a case for her conclusions rather than drawing
conclusions from rigorous research.

            Since the family is a powerful force in shaping culture it
deserves more serious consideration by those who seek to live in a society with
the least governmental intervention in people’s lives. Indicating favor for “gay rights” is thought consistent with such a position. If you support “family
rights” you’re often demonized. And yet neither of these rights should be part
of our agenda when real human rights–the rights of the individual–are all

            We adopted the phrase Winning Ideas to symbolize the values
for which we stand. I define the phrase thus: winning idea / “active” noun
/  1. An idea about how societies should
be organized to maximize the well-being of all citizens. 2. An idea reflecting
humans — desire to make tomorrow better than today. 3. An idea that has been
tried and tested over centuries and remains useful. 4. An idea resulting from
Friederich von Hayek’s concept of civil evolution.  5. An idea that advances human freedom.

            These thoughts came to mind as I viewed this photo capturing the realization of a personal goal — to celebrate my 75th year by running a 10k (6.2 miles) race with my son Mark and grandson Andrew. My son, who has completed the Alcatraz Triathalon, had to moderate his pace so Andrew
could finish his first 10k, and I could complete what may be my last and we all
finish together.

            We’ve just completed an inspiring one hour TV special: stories
about people in South Korea, Zambia, Slovakia and Chile who have made their
lives and those of many others better through the power of economic freedom. In
every case it was a “family story,” not by our design, but because around the
world family is at the heart of human survival and flourishing. The program,
titled “Economic Freedom in Action: Changing Lives,” hosted by Johan Norberg,
will be released to public TV stations October 31. As they say — check your
local listings”.  in fact call your local station and tell them you’re looking
forward to seeing the program.

            In January we’ll release a program hosted by Hernando DeSoto
examining the role that denied property rights play in the unfolding Arab Spring
story. And in April, public TV viewers will watch our biography Walter
Williams, in which  “again” family played such an important role.

            And among several programs in development we are working
with Jacob Mchangama, a Danish lawyer who heads  Justicia.
Our hope is to counter the use of |claims of rights, “claims of
victimhood,” to distort the meaning of human rights and justify
governments and tyrants forcibly directing the lives of citizens and the
families that for millennia have been the overwhelming source of support for
those in need.