In April 2003, Dean Peng took a break from the translation of numerous works by renowned Austrian economists: Friedrich A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, Eugen Bohm-Bawerk, Peter J. Boettke, and Mark Skousen. http://www.sinoliberal.net/pengdd/pengddarchive.htm
At that moment he ran across an article by Toshio Murata, Japanese translator of von Mises’ Human Action. Professor Murata wrote about a project in Japan that was popularizing free market ideas through the serialization of a book in the Keizai Seminar Magazine.
Curious, Dean wrote to me saying, “I want to make a simplified Chinese translated version of your wonderful book The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible for mainland China readers. I know there is one for Hong Kong, which I find difficult for mainland readers because of the difference between language habits…I look forward to hearing from you.”
In 1997, during the turnover of Hong Kong to the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), Jonathan Gullible (JG) had been serialized in The Hong Kong Economic Journal, but this was a chance to reach the greater China market. I was especially thrilled to run across someone who was so well versed in free market ideas.
A few months later, Jerome Ma learned about JG through the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and sent a letter to Small Business Hawaii asking for permission to publish the book in China. Jerome worked for an esteemed publishing house, the Century Publishing Group of Shanghai and Horizon Media Co. Ltd. So I put him in contact with Dean and the two were able to manage an agreement for translation and publication.
Dean and Jerome had both been introduced to the ideas of liberty through free market clubs at their universities. Dean was a physics major at Beijing University and learned of Karl Popper and the Austrian School of economics through his interest in the philosophy of science. Jerome was a mathematics major at a university in Shanghai when he discovered the Austrian School.
Soon after, Jerome became an ardent publisher of free market works. He wrote, “I am delighted to tell you that Professor Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression, translated by Xie Huayu and edited by myself, was published last year. In my plan, I want to publish The Theory of Money and Credit by Mises, Austrian Economics and the Political Economy of Freedom by Ebeling and The Economics of Liberty by Rockwell Jr.”
Jerome’s current endeavor is to learn German so that he can read the Austrian publications from the original text. Jerome has also added another book to his list of projects, my Shogun’s Ghost: the Dark Side of Japanese Education.
In Shanghai we spent a day with Jerome and a couple of his close associates, James Wang (a television sports reporter) and Hoy Xie. Jerome is a deeply thoughtful scholar who is sometimes depressed by the bureaucratic jungle that is all around him. Yet he is devoted to his studies of philosophy and economics and is keenly aware that China is poised for great change. It is all the more incentive to be a part of an economy that is rapidly being liberalized.
We traveled to Beijing and were greeted by Dean at a corner restaurant for breakfast. All the variations of black liver and tripe stew still give my wife, Zhao Li, delicious memories for her dream feasts. Dean introduced us to a couple of his close friends and supporters—all part of his internet network of free market discussants. The vigor, stimulation, and intellectual challenge over the internet, with brilliant characters like Dean, are unrivalled anywhere in the world.
Not only is Dean an independent economic consultant and prolific writer, but he is a courageous activist. He described a current challenge to local officials. “There was a 22-year-old student of psychology from Beijing Normal University named Liu Di who wrote some satirical papers on the Internet with the net name Stainless Rat. She was detained by the police last November—one day before the 16th Party Congress and was arrested one month later. It has been 8 months since she was detained while Chinese law allows police a maximum of 7 months before bringing the case to court. I am working on a campaign against the police. That cost me some time. And there is a possibility that I shall be detained as well—although I don’t think it is likely to happen.”
As it turned out, Dean was illegally placed under house arrest, with guards posted at his door, to prevent him from attending a press conference. Fortunately he knows the law better than the police, much to their embarrassment. Dean retaliated by inviting foreign journalists, foreign diplomats, and many of his local supporters to a press conference on his doorstep. Says Dean, “Principles of liberalism must be carried out in real life, otherwise we are hypocritical. I took a hunger strike to create as much trouble as possible. We are airborne…”
Dean is surely one of the greatest spirits of the new China and I feel fortunate to have met him. He invited us to his home to meet his wife, a television producer, and son—the light of his life! Surely the nicest people one could ever meet. Dean has become the China Representative for ISIL and plans on hosting a future ISIL world conference in China.
Chinese Freedom Schools
Kate is another remarkable scholar and high energy activist from the University of Hawaii who had a harrowing escape from China years ago and is now determined to return in order to set up a number of private freedom schools throughout China. She has expressed an interest in buying as many as nine thousand copies of the Chinese edition of JG for more than a hundred other schools. For this effort, funding assistance (tax deductible) would be greatly appreciated.
EAFI facilitates international education exchange, cultural understanding, global education reform, and gender equity in education by assisting poor, minority, and learning disabled students to overcome financial barriers to appropriate education. The Fund provides scholarships and tuition assistance to poor, rural Chinese children.
Kate has also set up a network for free market thinkers in China. She is organizing the first Chinese free market thinkers’ conference next August in Shanghai. For more information about her extraordinary projects, please contact her in Honolulu or see her website, http://www.yifei.org/eng/about.html
If you would like to be a part of the transformation in China with your support, please contact–Dean Peng: firstname.lastname@example.org, Jerome Ma: email@example.com and Kate Zhou: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stossel in the Classroom
Media in the Classroom, the video company that supplies John Stossel’s ABC television program materials to a third of the nation’s public schools, is adding the first book to their promotional materials: The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey (JG). In anticipation of nationwide distribution, Small Business Hawaii (SBH) is printing a sparkling new 2005 edition.
The Liberty Institute in New Delhi is releasing a Bengali edition of the book in January as well as a new Asia English edition for the Indian school market. Simultaneously, The Centre for Civil Society is featuring a new play based on the book, with the hope of reaching the youth throughout India.
Raja M.B. Senanayake has begun to serialize JG in The Business Standard, an English newspaper in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Luxman Siriwardena is also working with Raja to prepare a Sinahala translation through the Pathfinder think tank. And Robin Sitoula, President of Youth Initiative, is preparing a Nepali translation in Kathmandu.
Africa, Southeast Asia, Oceania
Meanwhile, JG has been making great strides abroad. James Shikwati, Director of the Inter Regional Economic Network in Nairobi, announced that this educational project has been approved by the Kenya Institute of Education as a class reader for juniors and seniors in high schools throughout Kenya.
Faisal Hassan has completed the serialization of the JG translation in The Somali Voice, reaching the Somali community in Canada. His next plan is to find a publisher for the book version for Somalia. Through sponsorship support from the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL), Agwu Amogu is preparing the publication of a localized Nigerian English edition.
Another edition in progress is the Afrikaans edition which is being translated by Ria Crafford. And Janette Eldridge has made the entire UK Commentary edition available on-ling at: http://jonathangullible.com/languages.htm
In addition, Janette has found contacts for distribution of this UK Commentary edition in New Zealand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Barry Kayton, the publisher, has initiated advertisements for this edition in the home school movement of South Africa.
Europe and the Middle East
Mats Hinze has completed the Swedish translation which has been placed on line at: www.jonathangullible.com. If anyone has a publisher to recommend for the Swedish or French editions (the latter translated by Louise Zizka), then please let us know. This can be for publication as a book or in serial form in a periodical. This is precisely the plan of Bent Johan Mosfjell who is on the verge of publishing a new Norwegian edition, either as a book or serialization, or both.
Pavlina Petrova, Director of the Economic Policy Research Center of the Euro-Balkan Institute in Skopje, has completed the final stages of a revised Macedonian edition which will soon go on line as well. This builds on earlier work of the great humanitarian activist, Tomislav Krsmanovic. edition.
Atilla Yayla, President of the Liberal Dusunce Toplulugu in Ankara, has begun a translation into Turkish. The Farsi edition by Shahram Sadeghi is still poised for publication in Iran. David Marhoffer in Phoenix, Arizona has begun a Hebrew translation and Nicholas Dykes of London has arranged for an Arabic translation.
Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)
Kim Ong of the Students in Free Enterprise team at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) has been seeking a publisher in Malaysia. Thomas Mellin and Terence Waclawik of the SIFE team have once again taken up the use of the JG Quiz Game, produced by Mary Disbrow for energizing use of the book in economics classes at HPU.
Susan Well’s screenplay adaptation of JG has been placed with agents in the movie industry: Brock d’Avignon and Howard Hinman.
Also, the diligent perseverance of Mario Knezovic in re-engineering the flash animation of the book’s epilogue, “The Philosophy of Liberty,” will soon make the DVD adaptable to many more than the current four languages.
Free Copies for Teachers and Students in Hawaii
It’s high time that the students of Hawaii get to meet Jonathan Gullible, the young economics adventurer who has swept the world in more than thirty languages. After all, Small Business Hawaii is the birthplace of Jonathan.
Free copies of the book? This isn’t really a free lunch. It’s an effort long supported by Small Business Hawaii to address the desperate need for economics education among the youth of Hawaii. For a limited time, SBH is offering free sets of its award-winning book on free market education.
If you let us know of a classroom teacher who would like to review the book for possible classroom use, we’ll send them a complimentary copy. Teachers from any department, from any school, on any Hawaiian island, may request a copy. Each of the first ten teachers who decides to adopt the book for his or her classroom use, will receive a free set of books.
Any school librarian in Hawaii may also request a complimentary copy. This will provide easy access for students statewide who may wish to enter the “Free Market Essay Contest” that is being developed, complete with cash prizes, by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Details of the contest will be published soon. Students may also access the book on-line at: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/list.aspx?The+Jonathan+Gullible+Series
Raves From Blue Yonder!
We are pleased to announce that Jonathan has found a home in the “blue” states of New England. Angelina Dubourg, Editor and Proprietress of The Otis Gazette wrote to ask permission to reprint “The Philosophy of Liberty.” The Otis Gazette is a newspaper of 5,000 distribution in lower Berkshire County, Massachusetts and the upper Foothills of Connecticut. She wrote, “Thank you so much for the reprint permission. I would love to take you up on that offer of serializing the book. Because the Philosophy of Liberty left me so awestruck as the best philosophy I have ever seen, I am going to print it first.”
And so it goes! Other encouraging comments about the flash animation:
“You made me cry…. I’m sending to everyone on my list.”
“Man, that was the greatest thing I have seen on the net. You might consider putting it on DVD and getting it distributed. Send it into some festivals. It deserves to be seen. Thanks for sharing it.”
“Hello, I just watched your flash animation, ‘The Philosophy of Liberty,’ and all I have to say is wow. So amazing and truthful that to compliment you as personally as possible was the only way to compliment you.”
“I enjoyed viewing your flash, it was a very good simplification of philosophical concepts relating to society and liberty. I was wondering if I could obtain a transcript of all the text in the flash, for my own personal use. I think it does an excellent job of covering the subject at hand.”
“Bravo. Je vous félicite cette animation est super laurence nahon.”
“Is there any way I could buy a copy of your Liberty Flash animation? It is excellent! Thank you!”
“Thank you and your creative coworkers for your EXCELLENT WORK.”
“Wonderful … I will use it like a insane teacher … many thanks.”
“I enjoyed the presentation. I found it to be the best that I have seen so far, by far.”
“I would like to know if I can get a copy of the presentation for use in our presentations.”
Contacts and Sponsors
If you would like to help with any of our local, national, or international projects for translation, publication, or distribution of our economics education projects for communities or schools, please contact me.