Distinguished honorees , co-chairs, and honorary co-chairs, Mr. and Mrs. Theroux, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great honor to have been selected to receive the Alexis de Tocqueville Award on this occasion. For many years, I have been working with David Theroux, the founder of the Independent Institute, and Mary Theroux, the Institute’s senior vice president, striving to make the world a freer, more peaceful, and more prosperous place. I wish to pay the highest possible tribute to them for everything they have done―and it is much more than any of you is likely to know―to promote greater scholarly and public understanding of the values and institutions that undergird a truly free, peaceful, and prosperous society. They have fought the good fight, never flagging, never yielding to despair, never hesitating to take the next step, and the next and next, toward the goal of a world in which every human being is accorded the freedom and dignity to which each is justly entitled.
Over the years, as a teacher and scholar, I have striven to uphold high standards of honesty, accuracy, and professional competence in my efforts to enlighten my students, professional colleagues, and members of the public. However, I have disdained many of the beliefs and practices common in the ranks of professors and commentators on public affairs.