Economics professor, founder of the Institute for Humane Studies


1905, Floyd Arthur Harper


21 Apr 1973


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


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, by F. A. Harper, The Freeman, Feb 1956
Discrimination, by F. A. Harper, Essays on Liberty, 1954
Liberty Defined, by F. A. Harper, 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, by F. A. Harper, Essays on Liberty, 1952
Morals and the Welfare State, Part 2, by F. A. Harper, Essays on Liberty, 1952
Morals and the Welfare State, Part 3, by F. A. Harper, Essays on Liberty, 1952
Morals and the Welfare State, Part 4, by F. A. Harper, Essays on Liberty, 1952
Roots Of Economic Understanding, by F. A. Harper, 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, by F. A. Harper, Faith and Freedom, Jan 1955
Why Pay For Things?, by F. A. Harper, 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 G. 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