Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rose Wilder Lane

Most people know who Laura Ingalls Wilder was, the author of the Little House series and some may remember that she had a daughter named Rose. What many people do not know though is that Rose Wilder Lane was an established writer as well and is considered to be a historical figure in Libertarian History.

Her traditional bio information does not suggest this, yet if you take a deeper look as this Cato Institute piece provides into some of Rose Wilder Lane's actions which included:
Rose's writing reflected her growing concern with government encroachment on individual liberties. Her 1938 pioneer novel Free Land, the royalties from which financed Lane's purchase of a home in Connecticut, would be her last published fiction. During the early 40's, she wrote articles focusing on individualism, needlework, and sometimes both at once for Woman's Day and other magazines. She also began work on The Discovery of Freedom, which by her own account was written in a "white heat." In 1945, she began writing for the National Economic Council's Review of Books. A correspondence with Ayn Rand that lasted several years began when Rand sent Lane a letter of thanks for her favorable review of The Fountainhead in that publication.

Lane was not merely a theorist, but an activist as well. In 1945–46, she led a campaign against the introduction of zoning, which she saw as a violation of individual property rights, in her town. She also grew her own food to avoid wartime rationing, and later quit her editorial job with the National Economic Council so as not to pay Social Security taxes. Her prescience regarding the instability of that system was astonishing: throughout the 1950s she would describe it as unstable and a "Ponzi fraud." Lane told friends that it would be immoral of her to take part in a system that would predictably collapse so catastrophically, as the example of Weimar Germany convinced her that it would.

You get some insight into who Rose Wilder Lane really was...

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