Thursday, November 20, 2008

Marshall Fritz Has Passed Away

Marshall Fritz passed away on November 4th at the age of 65 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Mr. Fritz was a leader in the libertarian movement and is probably best known as the creator of The World's Smallest Political Quiz. He was also the founder of the Advocates for Self-Government and The Alliance for the Separation of School and State. Lisa Snell at the Hawaii Reporter has written a wonderful tribute to Mr. Fritz. It begins:

Marshall Fritz, the longtime libertarian leader who founded the Advocates for Self-Government and created the world-famous World's Smallest Political Quiz, died November 4th of pancreatic cancer at the age of 65.

I knew Marshall Fritz as the founder of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State. He wisely advised that "Sunday School, Monday School—Neither is the Business of Government." He wrote, "some people think that the American "public school system" is broken so they try to fix it. The truth is that public schooling is not broken. Rather, it is succeeding in its main objective—strengthening government by undermining parents..."

As education reform advocates argued about what counts as markets in education and what are legitimate forms of school choice—from vouchers to tax credits to charter schools—Marshall was never willing to settle for half-measures. As he advised in a 2005 reason piece, "Let a Thousand Choices Bloom," "Start with your own children. Remove them from school-by-government. You'll not be paying twice for education: You'll pay taxes for the state to harm other people's children, but you'll pay only once for education—your children's."

You can read her entire article here.

Most of my knowledge of Mr. Fritz comes from The World's Smallest Political Quiz and some articles I have read on the Advocates for Self-Government website. I was surprised that I had never heard of The Alliance for the Separation of School and State before, so I quickly skimmed through their site today. I will be going back there to read other articles, but this one caught my attention, so I thought I would share it:

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away...

It’s a lively community forum. A nice young woman named Jan Smith from Freeland (a tiny country tucked away somewhere in Western Europe) is telling us about how Freeland has solved many of the problems our local politicians have been struggling with. Some think our city council members could learn from Freeland’s example.

“One of the problems we’ve dealt with quite successfully is the gun issue,” Ms. Smith says. “Now remember, we’re a free country like yours— we believe in individual liberty and responsibility. We certainly allow citizens to own and use firearms. However, we noticed that this creates several problems. Many people just don’t take proper care of their guns. They don’t know how to clean them, how to store them, how to make sure they are safe. Other people modify their guns in ways that are illegal or not in the best interests of the public. This poses a danger not only to themselves, but to the community...

You can read the rest of it here.

(HT: Why Homeschool)

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