Australia's Economic Hall of Fame
Nomination - 6/6/2008 - John Hyde
Justice George Sutherland once said:
"For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished freedom is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand, while there was till time."
That's an appropriate theme to connect with John Hyde, as he has devoted many years of his life to doing, just that, "stretching forth a saving hand while there was still time."
If you want to discover the real character of a man, just ignore what he says about himself and look instead at his dealings with other people.
The same is true of governments, ignore what their extensive and expensive propaganda departments say about themselves, and judge them instead on how they deal with their own people. Do they steal from some and give it to others? Do they indulge in such acts that would be illegal, for individuals?
In the late '70s and early '80s John, with a small band (approx. 10 in number) called the "Dries", became alarmed at the way government policies almost always resulted in impoverishing further, the Australian public. They set about to devise ways of reversing that trend.
They orchestrated a whole range of policies to revitalize Australia but were astonished how their own party, the Liberal Party, treated these ideas. The ideas were treated the same way that the human body treats strange proteins; it rejected them.
This agenda was ready-made and awaiting the ALP when they were swept to power in 1983. The ALP claimed these policies as a momentary alternative to their full-frontal socialism.
The details are well documented in John's book "Dry: In Defence of Economic Freedom".
Lew Rockwell has recently written a similar book from the U.S. point of view "Speaking of Liberty" and in describing his book, he also accurately describes John's book:
"What possible difference can another book made? Why should anyone care about the message of one book as compared with its many millions of competitors? It comes down to this.
"Though there is an astounding proliferation of words in our time, there is a drastic shortage of something that is essential to the survival of civilization: defences of property against its ubiquitous enemies and its main enemy, the State. Core principles contain within them the power to slice through billions of other words based on trivia and fallacy. Though we are out-numbered and out-gunned on every front, we believe in the power of ideas to make a difference. This is why we libertarians write."
John Hyde has made a difference, by bringing ideas to the threshold of people's consciousness, with his book, with his 745 newspaper articles, but more importantly with his consistency in putting principle before politics.
Because of this I would like to propose him as the first inductee to…