Building a Bastiat Brigade

Dan Sanchez – January 21, 2023

Leonard E. Read estimated it would take ten thousand “creative thinkers, writers, talkers” who were “reasonable approximations” of Frédéric Bastiat to turn the world toward the freedom philosophy. Read created the Foundation for Economic Education 76 years ago for the purpose of recruiting, cultivating, and rallying such a Bastiat brigade.

What would it take to train ten thousand junior Bastiats?

  • Step one would be to figure out how to train just one.
  • Step two would be to make that process refined and replicable.
  • Step three would be to clearly document the proven principles and methods and share them far and wide.

That’s what we at today’s FEE are striving to accomplish with “the Hazlitt Project,” an intensive 6-month fellowship for “creative thinkers, writers, and talkers” who aspire to emulate Bastiat, Read, and the program’s namesake, Henry Hazlitt.

In this program, the fellows:

  • Have weekly lessons in the philosophy of freedom, covering Austrian economics and libertarian political philosophy. Activities include readings, exercises, and seminars with FEE staff and guest lecturers (like Austrian economists Walter Block and Jonathan Newman). Assigned readings are drawn from classics like Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, Leonard Read’s I, Pencil, Frédéric Bastiat’s The Law, Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action, and Murray Rothbard’s Anatomy of the State.
  • Have weekly lessons in what Read called “the methodology of freedom,” covering principles of libertarian leadership, optimizing the creative process, lucid exposition through writing and speaking, social media work, and more. Assigned readings are drawn from such guidebooks as Leonard Read’s Elements of Libertarian Leadership and The Wisdom of Henry Hazlitt. Additional wisdom is drawn from works outside the liberty tradition, such as Getting Things Done by David Allen, Atomic Habits by James Clear, and 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson.
  • Teach FEE’s audience by “learning out loud” through the prolific creation of content that lucidly expounds the freedom philosophy, including daily Substack posts, daily social media posts, podcasting, creating video shorts, writing articles, and developing in-depth explainers that serve as their “thesis projects” through which they demonstrate mastery of specific subjects.

We are pleased to welcome our third cohort of Hazlitt fellows and invite you to meet them below. If you’d like to be updated with the progress of these young minds, be sure you’re subscribed to the FEE Daily email newsletter, where we’ll share their content and progress. And if you would like to support the Hazlitt Project, we would greatly appreciate it.

Jess Gill is the host and director of Reasoned UK, where she makes daily videos on British politics. She is also the social media strategist of Ladies of Liberty Alliance and has her own TikTok channel, which has over 30,000 followers.

Benjamin Williams is a libertarian content creator with over 200,000 followers and 80 million views on TikTok. He has also produced videos and written content for libertarian organizations including the Mises Institute and Students For Liberty.

Jack Nicastro is majoring in Economics and minoring in Philosophy at Dartmouth College, where he is a senior correspondent for the Dartmouth Review, the president of the Dartmouth Libertarians, and co-chair of the Political Economy Project Student Leadership Council. Jack is also a regional coordinator for Students For Liberty.

Antón Chamberlin is an Economics PhD student at Middle Tennessee State University. He was a summer fellow in residence at the Mises Institute for two years, and he holds a BA in Economics from Loyola University New Orleans (where he studied under Walter Block) as well as an MA in Economics from Troy University.

Mathew Lloyd has an MA in Political Economy from the University of Buckingham and an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Sheffield. He was invited to attend the Institute of Economic Affairs’ first Economic Thought Leaders Symposium and has also interned with EPICENTER, a classical liberal think tank in the UK.

Maddox Locher is a graduate of Praxis—an apprenticeship-based educational program—and a recipient of the “Praxian of the Year” award. After graduating, he landed a job at a software company where he was promoted to a sales role. Praxis also hired him as an advisor to current students.

Olivia Miller is studying Global Business and International Political Economy at the University of Texas–Dallas. She is a National Merit Scholar, Collegium V Honors Student, and a member of the Davidson Management Honors Program. She has also interned at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Axel Weber is a member of the PolicyEd team at the Hoover Institution. He holds a BS in Economics from the University of Connecticut.

Reprinted from Dan Sanchez is the Director of Content at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and the editor-in-chief of Follow him on Substack and Twitter.  

Image by xiaolinzi821 from Pixabay

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