I just attended a wonderful reception in honor of Leonard Liggio sponsored jointly by Liberty Fund, Institute for Humane Studies, and the School of Law at GMU. Leonard has been a mentor of mine since I got interested in classical liberalism. Both Walter Grinder and Leonard Liggio encouraged my enthusiasm and steering it in productive directions. The intellectual and personal debt I owe to both of these men and the Institute for Humane Studies for my education outside of the university is immeasurable.
Leonard is one of the most genuine individuals anyone could have the good fortune to ever meet. As was mentioned tonight, Leonard treats every individual with respect and dignity. From my first contact with Leonard, I felt a special intellectual bond with him. His trick is that I believe he has this affect on many young students who want to learn about the science of liberty. Besides history, political theory, and economics, I also learned from Leonard the values of scholarship, and the ethics of pursuing an intellectual life. Leonard's demeanor is the opposite of the obnoxious intellectual culture which tries to exault by tearing others down. Instead, Leonard believes in advancing the cause of liberty and truth through genuine argument and engagement. The motto I always attribute to Bastiat might as well be Liggio's --- never fear a harsh criticism, but always fear the weakest defense of your position. Study hard, think hard, write clearly, and rewrite even more clearly. This is what I learned from the Institute for Humane Studies and Leonard Liggio when I was trying to become a professional academic.
The occasion of the reception tonight was the introduction by Liberty Fund of the new DVD "An Intellectual Portrait of Leonard Liggio." Along with Richard Cornuelle's intellectual portrait by Liberty Fund, Leonard's is vital for anyone hoping to understanding revitalization of the classical liberal intellectual movement in the late 20th century and the people and institutions who spured the counter-revolution for markets and limited government.
Thanks to Leonard Liggio for all he has done for the cause of freedom throughout the world. He truly has been the Champion of Liberalism.