35 years of reason: a history in excerpts.


"INTRODUCING REASON: We accept the responsibility that others have defaulted on. Others preferred to smear the issues with irrelevancies and falsifications. We don't. Others preferred to be incomprehensible and incoherant [sic]. We don't. Others preferred to ignore your mind. We won't.

When REASON speaks of poverty, racism, the draft, the war, student power, politics, and other vital issues, it shall be reasons, not slogans, it gives for conclusions. Proof, not belligerent assertion. Logic, not legends. Coherance [sic], not contradictions. This is our promise: this is the reason for REASON."

--from the first issue, May 1968

September 1969

A private business whose sales volume had increased 15-20% annually for seven years (and showed many signs of continuing to do so) would probably view its future with eager anticipation. In the government-controlled, privately "owned" cartel known as commercial aviation, however, the expected growth in air travel is viewed ... in horror.

--"Fly the Frenzied Skies," Robert Poole Jr.

January 1970

We are trapped in the middle of a street war between two breeds of pigs, the police and the New Left.

--"Animal Farm 1970," Lanny Friedlander

April/May 1971

The natural tendency of a bureaucracy is to defend and perpetuate itself, to resist all fundamental change. A business which does this eventually goes bankrupt ... unless ... it can get the State to protect it from competition through a legally enforced monopoly. This, of course, is precisely what the public school system is all about.

--The Case for Education Vouchers," Robert Poole Jr.

October 1971

President Nixon's executive order providing for stabilization of price, rents and wages is an act of supreme defiance against the free market and the freedom of Americans.

--"The Wage-Price Freeze: Bold Action Against Free Enterprise," Manuel S. Klausner

August 1972

It is quite possible that the advances in human biology in the remainder of the twentieth century will be remembered as the most significant scientific achievement of the animal species known as Homo sapiens. But in order to become a part of medical history, parahuman reproduction and human genetic engineering must circumvent the recalcitrance of an antiquated culture. If they succeed, the rewards will be immeasurable.

--"The New Biology," Winston L. Duke

June 1973

A very important secondary objective--second only to the objective of getting a change in our Vietnam policy--was the hope of changing the tolerance of Executive secrecy that had grown up over the last quarter of a century both in Congress and the courts and in the public at large. It seemed to me that our Vietnam policy reflected an accumulation of Executive power, which in turn had exploited very critically this tolerance of Executive secrecy.

--"Why I Did It!," an interview with Daniel Ellsberg

July 1974

The Watergate scandal has spawned numerous proposals for limitations on private campaign contributions and total campaign spending, as well as plans to finance campaigns out of tax revenues. All of these proposals would deny fundamental rights of individuals, increase the politicians' control of elections and do nothing to eliminate the root causes of Watergate.

--"The Libertarian Case Against 'Public' Financing of Elections," Sara Baase

October 1974

If someone who has more authority or power than you do wants to pin a nasty label on you, and wants to justify this by what drug you take.... There is no use telling him that it's none of his business what drug you take: he will ... say that you are a menace to civilized society. What you must tell a person who wants to stigmatize you because of the drug you take is not that the drug is harmless but that he is harmful.

--"Straight Talk From Thomas Szasz: A Reason Interview"

July 1975

REASON: Let me ask you do you believe in conscription?

Ronald Reagan: Only in time of war.

REASON: What about in the last 10 years?

Reagan: I disagreed with it, and I'll tell you why: I believe Lenin ... on that. Lenin said that he would force the capitalist nations to maintain military conscription until the uniform became a symbol of servitude rather than patriotism.

"Inside Ronald Reagan: A Reason Interview"

October 1975

For six years I refused publicly to pay my taxes in England. I became in my area of business, which is publishing, the biggest single earner of foreign currency from Britain. I structured my company in such a fashion as I did not have to pay the taxes that they would normally require of me. And I gave my reasons. I said you did everything possible to stop me, and a great deal of other things happened in England to show that I was not acceptable to Britain--not being an old public school boy in the British system, not being British, being American, being Italian-American and all that sort of thing--so I said, "Well, fuck you. You know I've worked for this money and it's mine."

--"Fighting Censorship for Profit: An Interview with Bob Guccione"

April 1977

I spent four years in 29 jails and prisons on four Continents--all this for being in a car where someone else had, without my knowledge, less than half an ounce of marijuana. I wouldn't say my treatment was cruel, but I would say [it was] very unusual.

--"Timothy Leary's New Trip: A Reason Interview"

May 1978

The two greatest enemies of free enterprise in the United States, in my opinion, have been, on the one hand, my fellow intellectuals and, on the other hand, the business corporations of this country. They are enemies for opposite reasons.

--"Which Way for Capitalism?," Milton Friedman

Don't expect anything of her as a person. Don't expect help. Don't expect understanding. Don't expect sympathy. Don't even expect sanity. Say, "Thank you," and let go.

--"Thank You Ayn Rand, and Goodbye: Remarks by Nathaniel Branden at Reason's Tenth-Anniversary Banquet"

November 1978

America is in controlled revolt. Cued by the media, the people are focusing their rebellion on a single target: taxes. And into this rebellion is going all the frustration of years of living with government that seems more like an uncontrollable cancerous growth than like a public servant.

--"Seizing the Day," Derek Brownlee

August 1979

The nature of the computer's information revolution is the exact opposite of that of the steam engine's Industrial Revolution. The steam engine made start-up costs for...

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