Economics professor, founder of the Institute for Humane Studies
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  • F. A. Harper

    Floyd Arthur "Baldy" Harper (7 February 1905 – April 1973) was an American academic, economist and writer who is best known for founding the Institute for Humane Studies in 1961.


    Harper, Floyd Arthur "Baldy" (1905-1973), by Will Wilkinson, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Floyd Arthur Harper, better known as Baldy Harper, is best remembered as the founder of the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS). The IHS, which Harper founded in 1961, is devoted to research and education in the classical liberal tradition and the promotion of libertarian ideals. ... In 1946, concerned about the future of liberal ideals in a world in which socialism was becoming dominant among the intellectual classes, Harper left the academy and joined the libertarian Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), then run by its founder, Leonard Read."


    1905, Floyd Arthur Harper, in


    21 Apr 1973, in


    Foundation for Economic Education, Economist, 1946-1958
    Institute for Humane Studies, Founder


    Alternative Medicine Is Libertarian Medicine, by Butler Shaffer, 2 Dec 2006
    Discusses several aspects of healthcare, including self-ownership, being responsible for our own care, decentralised information, the collapse of external authorities and the dehumanizing decisions resulting from institutionalized healthcare
    "As this progression continues, these liberated souls will give real-world expression to the prognosis offered by one of the most thoughtful of all libertarian thinkers, the late F.A. Harper. In words that underlie the sentiments of all who seek those alternative ways of living that best suit their individual interests, Harper observed: 'the man who knows what freedom means, will find a way to be free.'"
    Floyd Arthur 'Baldy' Harper, RIP, by Murray Rothbard, The Libertarian Forum, May 1973
    Biographical remembrance of "Baldy" including his involvement in FEE, the Volker Fund and the IHS
    "Ever since he came to the Foundation for Economic Education in 1946 as its chief economist and theoretician, Baldy Harper, in a very real sense, has been the libertarian movement. For all these years, this gentle and lovable man, this wise and Socratic teacher, has been the heart and soul and nerve center of the libertarian cause. ... It was Baldy's burden, which he bore with his usual uncomplaining grace, that he was a member of a veritable 'lost generation' from the libertarian point of view."
    How to Become a Teacher [PDF], by Robert LeFevre, The Voluntaryist, Feb 1983
    Autobiographical summary of the events in LeFevre's life that led to the founding of the Freedom School
    "Dr. Harper was the complete scholar. He was thoughtful, gentle and profound. Also, he had an ample supply of hair which caused me to ask about his nickname. He revealed that his students at Cornell University where he had served with distinction for years, always called him that. I never did learn why. But I was so deeply impressed by his observations that I didn't press the point."
    In Search of a Word : Limited Government versus 'Anarchy', by Spencer H. MacCallum, The Voluntaryist, Oct 1996
    Socialism: Illegitimate, Not Just Inefficient, by Gary North, 15 May 2001
    The Early History of FEE, by Henry Hazlitt, The Freeman, Mar 1984
    Excerpted from Hazlitt's remarks at the Leonard E. Read Memorial Conference on Freedom, November 1983
    "'Baldy' Harper, who had been working as an economist for FEE from its first year, left in 1958 and started his Institute for Humane Studies in 1963 in California. ... In 1948 FEE published F. A. Harper's 71-page pamphlet on High Prices, and in 1949 Harper's 159-page book Liberty:A Path to its Recov­ery."
    The Writings of F. A. Harper - A Review, by Paul L. Poirot, The Freeman, Aug 1979


    A New Scheme, The Freeman, Feb 1956
    Discrimination, Essays on Liberty, 1954
    Liberty Defined, 4 Sep 1957
    Speech to the Mont Pelerin Society; Harper first offers his definition of liberty, then explores "adulterated" definitions, its relation to morals, moral law and basic humans rights, ending with his hope for the cause of liberty
    "Liberty stems from liber, which means to be free. ... Liberty is the absence of coercion of a human being by any other human being; it is a condition where the person may do whatever he desires, according to his wisdom and conscience. This means to have liberty one must be free without qualification or modification, so far as his social relationships are concerned."
    Morals and the Welfare State, Part 1, Essays on Liberty, 1952
    Morals and the Welfare State, Part 2, Essays on Liberty, 1952
    Morals and the Welfare State, Part 3, Essays on Liberty, 1952
    Morals and the Welfare State, Part 4, Essays on Liberty, 1952
    Roots Of Economic Understanding, The Freeman, Nov 1955
    Explains the rudiments of economics by specifying required attributes (desirability, scarcity, exchangeability) then delving into how people, from the earliest age, become cognizant of economic concepts, but ending with criticism of econmic ignorance
    "The study of economics is the study of all matters pertaining to things that are desired but scarce, which exist for trade or can be produced. Those are the things we sometimes speak of as 'economic goods and services.' Those are the things which comprise economic activity in its entirety, which are being produced and owned and traded. A thing must first be desired before it comes within the orbit of economics. ... If it is to be economic, somebody must want it. Without want for it, nobody would work to produce it or sacrifice to buy it."
    Try This On Your Friends, Faith and Freedom, Jan 1955
    Why Pay For Things?, The Freeman, Jan 1956

    Books Authored

    Liberty: A Path to Its Recovery [PDF], by F. A. Harper, Hans Sennholz (Foreword), Foundation for Economic Education, 1949
    Partial contents: The Nature of Liberty - Forms of Liberty - Liberty and Charity - Government in a Liberal Society - Democracy and Liberty - Liberty and Peace - A Measure of Liberty - The Extent of Lost Liberty - Special Privilege - Recovering Liberty
    Related Topic: Liberty
    • ISBN 0910614954: Paperback, Foundation for Econ Education, 2nd edition, 1993


    Leonard Liggio on the Rise of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by Jacob Hornberger, Leonard Liggio, 9 Mar 1995
    Talk given at Vienna Coffee Club (Future of Freedom Foundation). Liggio starts off with the New Deal and covers many events and individuals both at the core and the periphery of the modern libertarian movement

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "F. A. Harper" as of 26 Sep 2017, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.