Small Business Hawaii launched an economics education program twenty years ago that has been changing the world. Begun as a dramatic radio series in Hawaii, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey, has now been published in 58 editions in 43 languages, including serialization in numerous periodicals such as the Keizai Seminar Magazine (Japan), The Boss (Nepal), SEDEM Weekly (Bulgaria), Neo Typos (Greece), and The Hong Kong Economic Journal. The internationalization of JG was entirely due to the support of the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) and the network it fostered.
Thousands of copies have been downloaded from the internet, from ISIL.org, HawaiiReporter.com, or JonathanGullible.com. Next is the International Policy Network (IPN) project for distribution of 100,000 CD’s to less developed countries. Plays based on the book have been written for stage in Kenya, Nigeria, and Slovakia. An animated version of the epilogue, known as “The Philosophy of Liberty,” is now available in 36 languages and has been hugely popular with hundreds of thousands of viewers on the internet.
What are the latest developments?
The publishing house Dar Al Ahlia in Jordan, just released Jamal Attayib, the Arabic name for Jonathan Gullible (JG). Haitham al- Zubbaidi wrote, “They are exactly the same: although there are many ways to spell it in English, there is only one standard spelling in Arabic no matter how it is written in English. They are the same, and the same word could have many other spellings in English e.g. (El-Tayyib; Attayib; Al-Tayyib etc.) all make the same pronunciation for Arabs…The book appeared, I had the first test copy only, it is grand and awesome, this Wednesday we will receive all our copies from the publisher, I have your address and will send your copies the same day.”
This is the culmination of a very long effort, begun with translation sponsorship by Nicholas Dykes [above left]. Paul Lundberg was also instrumental in getting the first translation work off the ground. Finally it was through Nouh El Harmouzi [above right], editor and project manager of the “Lamp of Liberty,” and Tom Palmer of the Cato Institute that led to the final funding and arrangements for publication. For copies of the book, contact Haitham al- Zubbaidi, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
SINDHI & URDU
Dr. Khalil Ahmad [below center] has surely been struggling through difficult times in Lahore, Pakistan, but his Alternate Solutions Institute keeps producing valuable work.
The latest new book, the Sindhi translation of Awaami Falaahi Riasat Ki Kahaani, Becharay Jonathan Ki Zabaani. Yes, this is The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey. The Sindhi translation [above left] was made by Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Rahujo, General Secretary of Liberal Forum Pakistan, is based on Dr. Khalil Ahmad’s Urdu translation [above right] of the same book that was published in 2003. The Friedrich Naumann Stiftung Pakistan very generously funded the project. The sales of the first Urdu edition were so successful, that Dr. Ahmad has also published a second edition in Urdu. For more information or copies of the book, see the Alternate Solutions website at: http://asinstitute.org/taxonomy/term/20
Kalin Manolov also reported great news about the second Bulgarian edition of Jonathan Gullible. Says Kalin, “The book will be ready in 2 weeks. I’ll send a copy to you. The great news is that Overgas, a private company which provides resources for the construction and operation of gas distribution networks – www.overgas.bg , supported the publication and will give the book as a present of their pupils. They support 14 classes in various Bulgarian schools. Other good news: the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science will buy books for 30 high ranking Bulgarian secondary schools in the towns of Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas.” To obtain copies, contact Kalin at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Kalin hopes to organize the Liberty English Camps in Bulgaria, on the line of so many more liberty camps springing up throughout Eastern Europe. It is the perfect opportunity to use this kind of book for discussions, debates, and skits. My family will be teaching and lecturing at such events in Lithuania this summer, organized by Virgis Daukas. More camps are organized by Glenn Cripe and others in Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, India, and Egypt.
NIGERIAN ENGLISH PLAY
Dr Samuel Ayedime Kafewo wrote this from Nigeria, “This is to inform you that the assessments of the MA students of the play ‘A Letter from Jonathan Gullible’ will be staged and assessed by both internal and external Examiners at the Drama Village of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Kaduna-State Nigeria. After this, it will then be open to public for three days for public viewing June 12-14. The recorded assessment will be sent as soon as possible.” I’m hopeful to will post a slide show and video material on this website.
The producer, Adedayo Thomas [above left], email@example.com and Director, Dr. Samuel Ayedime Kafewo [above right], firstname.lastname@example.org , welcome contributions toward the production. Prof. Kafewo can also be reached at the Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Nigeria, +234 8037032433, +234 8084268794 Adedayo Thomas has recently been promoting books on liberty at the Cape Town Book Fair as the Publisher of AfricanLiberty.org . I highly recommend AfricaLiberty.org for all of their very valuable projects in pursuit of liberty, peace, and prosperity in Africa.
SLOVAK AND ENGLISH PLAYS
Mats Posvanc [below left] email@example.com wrote from Bratislava, Slovakia: “In the attached file you can find the final English version of the play and a first version of the first song (but just in the Slovak) but you can hear from the file chosen melody which was prepared by Martin. He has prepared just one song till today but he has other songs in his head 🙂 I think that this final version could be published in your web site and if someone is interested to realize the whole play, Martin has promised to prepare also other songs in the musician way (notes and so on…). We are still in the process to find someone who will study the play. We found also some funds to produce the play.”
His partner, Martin Bican [above right] firstname.lastname@example.org followed saying: “I am very glad that you and Janette like my music because I am really very happy to participate in that project. I would like to inform you that this version of song is still only a draft and therefore is not appropriate for publishing. You can hear some rhythmic imperfections and false tones. I am going to make new better version together with other songs asap and then send them.”
Why are they doing this? Matus explained:
“Actually there is no very complicated story to tell about. Martin and I have been friends for a long time, both of us are readers of a classical liberal agenda. We met one day on the street and Martin tells me, ‘Let’s write a theatrical play inspired by Ken Schoolland´s book, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible. And we did it in one year.
“In Slovakia, we are now in the stage of collecting money for the study of the play and we are looking for a theatrical group who could perform the play. We translated the play into the English with the great help of Janette and Ray Eldridge and we hope that it will help to spread it in other countries too. We will be very happy if anyone feels free to use the play for any kind of performance.
“Both of us are supporters of a free society and classical liberal ideas. As other free society fans, we see all around us that these ideas are not only very known, but they are pretty dead and forgotten. Young generation is not keen on reading anymore and reasoning is not very familiar for them. Their opinions are formed as the mixture of postmodern culture, media information, subliminal movie influences which are directed by leftist ideas.
“Therefore we think that we, as a classical liberal movement, need the same tools as our opponents use and try in the same way influence especially the young generation. We think that this play, like the original book we were inspired by, could help a little.”
I hope so, too.
Kris Haladus [below center] email@example.com has long promoted the new book and audio edition of JG in Poland so why not do some hot marketing. For one thing, Kris has developed a whole line of JG T-Shirts from the latest color illustrations in the Polish edition of the book. Please contact Kris for orders.
Kris suggested to Pawel Tobola-Pertkiewicz firstname.lastname@example.org , President of The Polish American Foundation for Economic Research and Education (PAFERE) [below center-left] that they might host me on a lecture tour in Poland. With the generous sponsorship and encouragement of Jan Malek, Founder of PAFERE and a long time member of the Mont Pelerin Society [below center-right], this was accomplished.
Pawel is a genius at publicity and promotion, arranging for me to address 17 schools, universities, and public events in 5 cities around Poland over Spring Break. As luck would have it, my daughter, Kenli, and brother, Virgis, were also available to join in the fun.
Interviews were provided to radio, television, and newspaper journalists and meetings were held with The ?ód? Political Club, The Nowogrodzka 44 Discussion Club, and the PAFERE Conference on “Ethical Sources of the Present Crisis: What Will Be the Future of Capitalism?”
Audiences were most interested in hearing about causes and cures for the global monetary crisis. They have a healthy skepticism of the panicked clamor to give trillion dollar bailouts to cronies in the financial sector. In fact, many Poles whom I spoke with felt that the recession was being over-hyped in order to stir a panic response. How else could American politicians get away with bailout pledges that amounted to more than triple the total expense of World War II?
Students, well-versed in the politics of corruption in Eastern Europe, were bitterly amused to learn of the revolving door in Washington D.C. where personnel and payoffs so deftly coursed through the halls of government and allied corporate boardrooms. PAFERE was founded in a staunchly Catholic Poland to combat immoral political behavior that blatantly violates the Seventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not steal.”
During my lectures, Kenli [below left, center] provided the technical support for power point presentations and coached timing and relevance. Virgis Daukas [below left], Kenli’s “uncle” and founder of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, provided counsel, transportation, and laughs.
Other topics included Free Market Ethics, Trade and Labor Protectionism, and the new, third Polish edition of JG. People came from all over the country seeking autographs for early copies of JG published nine years ago in Lublin and Kraków. I was truly moved by the effect that these educational tools have made over the years. Several people came to me saying that the book opened their eyes to possibilities of the free market for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet empire.
The perennial question on the tour was, “When will the recession end?” We answered with a straight face, “August 23 at 8:47 AM.” But this is not a joking matter for Poles. After all, they experienced the worst of inhuman horrors for half a century, when their neighbors east and west sacrificed personal liberties to political statists who promised to rescue them from the 1930’s Depression.
ANIMATED PHILOSOPHY OF LIBERTY
The longest on-going project is the expansion of our greatest outreach project, begun many years ago with Kerry Pearson to use media to spread the Philosophy of Liberty (PoL) that first appeared as the introduction to the first Russian edition of the book. It has since appeared as the Epilogue of all subsequent editions—43 in all published to date.
With the help of Christian Butterbach, Mario Knezovic, and Tim Skousen, we were able to continue the project after Kerry’s death. But the greatest development is the development of the PoL in 36 languages in a new format that is easy to adapt to more languages. [See the home page.] This has been accomplished with a team working under the direction of Steve Cobb and with the assistance of Drew Suder. I will publish a list of all the people who have contributed to this project. I’m very grateful to all.
Completing the Marathi translation was Shriram Barve [below right], who wrote, “I have almost completed reading the book (Jonathan Gullible) and have found it interesting. In my opinion, the book introduces several basic concepts in economics and could become an interesting and informative read for the young. It also makes one think about several issues. I find it quite ‘relevant’; one may find many of the stories described in the book happening in the real world in some form or the other. The format of using stories to raise some of the important social and economic questions is very useful, as it makes the issue come out very clearly.”
In addition to new language editions, Saher [below left] Saher@GaltMusic.com has written and produced a new score for the video. It fits perfectly. Commented Saher, “Finished! I put up a demo of the score here: http://www.galtmusic.com/film/pol_demo/demo.html This was an exceedingly enjoyable project for me and I want to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to be a part of your fantastic efforts.”
Praises also go to Drew Suder for spending many hours designing and adapting the new JG website appearance and functionality. [Above right.] Finally it is a system that I should be able to enter and modify without pestering a web master! Hopefully I’ll learn to host blogs and forums and to post JG relevant news as soon as it happens rather than only once or twice a year.
Hiroshi Yoshida produced the translation of the PoL into Japanese. Moreover, thanks to Yoshida-san, JG continues to be a serialized comic strip on the website of Japanese for Tax Reform. [Below, left to right, Mr.You, Maruko, Ken, Yoshida, Miyakawa]. Maruko Maruyama’s magnificent illustrations can be seen on their website: http://www.jtr.gr.jp/
100,000 JG DISTRIBUTION
The International Policy Network (IPN) has developed a project for distribution of 100,000 CD’s, including JG among a great collection of books and essays on liberty. This is what Linda Whetstone, IPN Chairman, says about the project: IDEAS FOR A FREE SOCIETY
“It is often said that ‘ideas have consequences’ – and this is certainly true for ideas about the free society. Yet these ideas are essentially unknown in parts of the world where they are most urgently needed. In large parts of Africa, Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East, journalists, teachers, professors, students and other opinion leaders have virtually no ready access to any of the books and articles about free markets that have directly or indirectly influenced the thinking of those who live in freer societies.
Many inspirational and influential advocates of the free society have had a ‘Eureka moment’ as a result of reading just one book. That book had a profound and lasting impact, leading them to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of the free society in their own countries. Antony Fisher had just such a moment upon reading Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which inspired him to found the Institute of Economic Affairs, The Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Pacific Research Institute, and other think tanks. The idea behind the CD Ideas for a Free Society is to inspire many more of these Eureka moments, especially in places where such ideas are scarce.
In 2006, International Policy Network produced and distributed a CD called Ideas for a Free Society, which contained over 100 key texts. Because of budgetary constraints, only 5,000 copies were produced, but the hugely enthusiastic reception that the CD received especially in countries in Africa and Asia showed how great the need is for these texts particularly in a form that is cheap and relatively easy to distribute.
In order to fill the known demand for the CD made apparent by the first edition IPN is about to produce 100,000 of the second edition of this CD which should be available by the end of June 2009. The goal of the CD is to enable many more opinion leaders in less developed countries to have access to the compelling intellectual foundations of the free society.”
For copies of the CD contact Linda Whetstone, email@example.com
To assist with the multitude of JG projects around the world, please send contributions to the JG Fund, the International Society for Individual Liberty: http://www.isil.org/tools/jonathan-gullible.html
This project has not only been supported by the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation, but by more than two dozen international public policy institutes and endorsed by such free market luminaries as Mark Skousen, Milton Friedman, Walter Williams, and Fred Foldvary. Along the way it has won several awards for economics education, most notably from the Foundation for Economic Education and the Freedom’s Foundation at Valley Forge.
And, not once but twice, book distributors in Hawaii informed us that they would not carry the book in the islands.
WHERE TO FIND LIBERTY ACTION THIS SUMMER AND FALL?
CASEY YOUTH CONFERENCE ON LIBERTY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP, Lithuania, JUNE 29-JULY 5, http://preview.raxo.org/
LANGUAGE OF LIBERTY CAMP, Lithuania, JULY 9-14, firstname.lastname@example.org
LANGUAGE OF LIBERTY INSTITUTE, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, http://www.languageofliberty.org/
FREEDOM FEST 2009, Las Vegas, USA, JULY 9-11, http://www.freedomfest.com/
FREEDOM FEST, Paris, France, SEPTEMBER 10-13, http://parislibertarian2009.wordpress.com/