Against the Police State

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
By Paul Martin

Jacob Hornberger on Libertarian Law, Religion and the Growing US Police State

by Anthony Wile

The Daily Bell is pleased to publish an exclusive interview with Jacob G. Hornberger.

Introduction: Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, publisher of Ideas on Liberty. In 1989, Mr. Hornberger founded The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a regular writer for The Foundation’s publication, Freedom Daily.

Daily Bell: You have a military background. Tell us about it and how it affected your perception of libertarianism – of which you are certainly a prime exponent.

Jacob Hornberger: My four years at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and, to a lesser extent, my 8 years in the Army Reserves, taught me that I never want to live in an environment in which military officials take care of me, watch every move I make, regulate my every act, and tightly control my behavior. It was a great lesson in learning to despise socialist systems and to love free societies. On the other hand, VMI taught me the importance of personal integrity, provided me with an excellent education and convinced me that a free society depends on citizen soldiers, not a professional standing army, to defend the nation from invasion.

Daily Bell: You are a lawyer as well. As a person with a military background and a law degree, it is something a miracle that you ended up being as iconoclastic as you are. How did this happen? Is it a personality trait?

Jacob Hornberger: I was born a libertarian but I didn’t realize it until a few years after I had started practicing law. My practice of law gave me a deep appreciation for the vital importance of the Constitution and of civil liberties in a society – and the threat that zealous and even well-meaning government officials pose to our liberties. If it weren’t for criminal-defense lawyers zealously guarding the rights of their clients, there would be a lot more people in jail or executed. That’s why totalitarian regimes hate lawyers.

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