Blogs > Liberty and Power > Rose Wilder Lane as Champion of Laissez-faire Antiracism

Dec 6, 2010 5:09 pm


Rose Wilder Lane as Champion of Laissez-faire Antiracism



My article for the Independent Review (co-authored by Linda Royster Beito),"Selling Laissez-faire Antiracism to the Black Masses: Rose Wilder Lane and the Pittsburgh Courier," is now available. Lane (who was the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie books) combined zealous support for free markets and lmited government with a hard-hitting critique of racism. Many thanks to Damon Root for his commentary.

Here is the first paragraph of our article:

The ideals of liberty, individualism, and self-reliance have rarely had a more enthusiastic champion than Rose Wilder Lane. A columnist and popular [and daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie books], she held firm to her beliefs when faith in big government was at high tide. Through her book, The Discovery of Freedom, ([1943] 1984a) became a key transitutional figure from the Old Right of the 1930s to the modern libertarian movement. Of equal fascination but much less known today is Lane's sustained effort to promote laissez-faire ideas in columns for the Pittsburgh Courier, the largest black newspaper in the United States. Although Lane was white, she used this unusual venue creatively to promote the philosophy of limited government, During World War II especially, her outspoken activism generated headlines. She was not only investigated by the FBI for"subversive" remarks, but denounced by Walter Winchell, the leading national syndicated columnist, journalist and radio commentator in the country.

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