Harry Browne and IBMs*
I consider Harry Browne one of the most important writers of my lifetime. His basic philosophy is stated in the first sentence of his “self-help” book, “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World”. (available free online in PDF format – Pamela Browne has recently claimed to own the copyright and has taken down this volume).
“Freedom is the opportunity to live your life as you want to live it.”
I discovered the 1973 edition at a public library in Jacksonville, Florida, when I was suffering through a bad marriage. His basic answer to all problems is to identify the issue that is causing you pain, determine the price, and pay it.
It was the right book at the right time. I just wish I had the discipline over the years to read his freedom manifesto constantly and to apply it to my life. But it’s not too late. I can’t redo the past, but I can make my life theme one that is largely free of family and government interference, even as the government has seized thousands of powers since the book was first published.
I’m an Introvert Boomer Male (IBM). I was born in Virginia during the baby boom years after World War II (1946 to 1964). No matter how often I’ve tried to get out of my “shell” and be outgoing and extroverted, I’m not.
Introversion is not a disease, even though you would hardly believe it given some definitions.
Many definitions have us as shy, anti-social, and consumed with our own thoughts. The opposite of extroverts.
Bullshit. I’m not shy. I just don’t find most parties and large gatherings to be psychologically fulfilling. It’s a drain on my energy.
The Urban Dictionary has a better definition:
Actually, extroverts do not make up a majority of the population, it just seems like it. Can you say “loud”?
The numbers of IBMs are still large, even though we are dying off.
“There were actually a total of 76 million births in the United States from 1946 to 1964, the 19 years usually called the “baby boom.” Of the 76 million baby boomers born, nearly 11 million had died by 2012, leaving some 65.2 million survivors. However, when immigrants are included (the number of people coming into the United States from other countries, minus those moving the other way), the number grows to an estimated 76.4 million because immigrants outweighed the number of baby-boomer deaths. The flow of immigrants greatly increased after passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, just as the baby boom was ending.” –
I’m going to leave out the immigrants who may not have grown up in similar circumstance. Of the 65 million, maybe 30 million or so are men, and 10 to 15 million of those are introverts.
I’m going to choose the smaller number – 10 million. There are a lot of us, and we’re not done yet.
I’m coming back to Harry Browne because I find my 64 year old ass getting ready for a third divorce. I’m not good at being married. If I had listened to HB over the years, I would have only been married once, the time before I discovered his book.
Like the comics of old insisted, “marriage is an institution”.
My words are directed first at myself, and then to my 10 million fellow IBMs. I struggle every day to improve my life theme and to achieve that freedom to live my life as I want to live it.
So who was Harry Browne?
“Harry Browne was an American free-market Libertarian writer and the Libertarian Party’s 1996 & 2000 candidate for President of the United States. He was also a well-known investment advisor for over thirty years, originator of the Permanent Portfolio concept, a consultant to the Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds, and author of “Harry Browne’s Special Report” — a financial newsletter published from 1974-1997. He was the author of 23 books and thousands of articles, Co-founder and Director of Public Policy of the libertarian Downsize DC Foundation, host of two weekly network radio shows — one a political and the other a financial show, host of an eTV (internet-based television) show called “This Week in Liberty with Harry Browne” on the Internet based Free Market News Network, and a popular inspirational public speaker.”
I used to see him on local TV in Ft. Lauderdale years ago. But that’s not so important. What is, is HB’s philosophy for personal freedom.