Editor of Libertarian Party News 1986-1990, Barry Goldwater speechwriter
See also:
  • FreedomPedia
  • Karl Hess (25 May 1923 - 22 April 1994) was an American national-level speechwriter and author. He was also a political philosopher, editor, welder, motorcycle racer, tax resister, atheist and libertarian activist. His career included stints on the Republican right and the New Left before embracing free-market anarchism.


    Karl Hess - The Advocates
    300x232 JPEG, color

    Awards Received

    1991 Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, granted by Center for Independent Thought, The Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, 1991
    For lifetime achievement


    Eris Society
    National Coordinator, Radical Libertarian Alliance


    Anarchism in America, Interviewee (three segments)

    Web Pages

    Karl Hess - The Advocates
    Biography, picture and quotes
    "Tax protester and gun smuggler Hess (1923-1994) became a successful journalist who made a well-publicized intellectual journey from Goldwater speechwriter to libertarian compatriot of Murray Rothbard. Along the way, he became an exceptionally graceful author, putting fundamental issues about as well as they could be put."


    Karl Hess: 1923-1994: Karl Hess, often described as the "most beloved libertarian," died April 22. He was 70., by Randy Langhenry, Libertarian Party News, Jun 1994
    "In 1969, Hess wrote an article for Playboy magazine entitled 'The Death of Politics.' In the article, Hess described his own libertarian philosophy. The article, written before the founding of the Libertarian Party, is often credited with having brought about a revival of the libertarian movement."
    Remembering Karl Hess, by Gary Galles, Mises.org Daily Article, 31 Dec 2003
    "He is best known for penning 'extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice ... moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue' as Barry Goldwater's head speech writer (his ability was reflected in Goldwater's nickname for him: Shakespeare)."


    Karl Hess: 1923-1994: His Words, Jun 1994
    From "The Most Unforgettable Libertarian I Ever Knew," Liberty, Dec 1987
    "My mother, without ever having heard the term as far as I know, raised me to be a libertarian. ... it has been my libertarian urge, mother-taught, that has kept me reasonably 'sane,' self-esteeming, and secure enough to live my life on my own terms and not on someone else's ideological or managerial leash."
    The Death of Politics, Playboy, Mar 1969
    Related Topic: Libertarianism
    "Libertarianism is rejected by the modern left—which preaches individualism but practices collectivism. Capitalism is rejected by the modern right—which preaches enterprise but practices protectionism. ... Perhaps a regular political movement, overcoming this anomaly will actually develop."


    The Plowboy Interview: Karl Hess, by Anson Mount, Mother Earth News, Jan 1976
    "I don't now believe in the welfare state any more than I once really believed in the warfare state. ... I've changed my mind about the identity of the good guys and the bad guys. The New Left now seems to me to be espousing the causes that the Old Right once stood up for: individual responsibility and self-determination."

    Books Authored

    Capitalism for Kids: Growing Up to Be Your Own Boss, 1987
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Children
    Community Technology
        by Karl Hess, Carol Moore (Introduction), 1979
    Mostly on the Edge: An Autobiography, 1999
    Robert LeFevre: Truth is Not a Half-Way Place
        by Carl Watner, Karl Hess (Foreword), 1988
    Related Topic: Robert LeFevre


    Karl Hess speaking at UCLA 3/3/1970, 3 Mar 1970
    Related Topic: Politics
    Wide-ranging talk on the "contemporary political scene"; including the SDS, the State, isolationists, NIxon, Agnew, Vietnam, left and right, anarchism, community, Black Panthers and more

    Robert Anton Wilson and Karl Hess: Subversion for Fun and Profit, by Robert Anton Wilson, Sep 1987
    Related Topic: Libertarianism
    Wilson and Hess at the Libertarian Party national convention, fielding questions from the audience on numerous topics

    The introductory paragraph uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.