2017 NEWSLETTER: MALAYSIA, INDIA, NEPAL, HONG KONG, BRAZIL, JAPAN, KAZAKHSTAN, ARMENIA, RUTHENIAN, N
MALAYSIAN JG DISCUSSION SESSIONS
Tarmizi Anuwar and MK Afiq Abdullah have presented about The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey in a sharing session organised by Purana School and TeamSelangor yesterday. This book was written by Ken Schoolland and translated by the Institute for Leadership and Development Studies (LEAD) team. #teamselangor #JonathanGullible #puranaschool #leadstudies
Amin Ahmad and his team have published the Malaysian edition of JG which was released at the Asia Liberty Forum in Mumbai.
VIRTUAL READING GROUP INDIA
Ayemen Fatima hosts a Virtual Reading Group for Jonathan Gullible. The meeting dates are Sundays, 10:30 pm India Standard Time, September : 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, 2017. South Asia Students For Liberty, brings to you their second Virtual Reading Group for 2017 (the first sessions were in May). Virtual Reading Groups (or VRGs) are an online platform which gives its participants the opportunity to explore a set of readings and engage in an intellectual dialogue with a field expert and a group of similarly interested individuals from around the world. The expert on this VRG, will be the author of the book himself. Registration link: https://www.tfaforms.com/4624459
SIMON LEE IN HONG KONG ON POL
Rainer Heufers reports from the South Asia Liberty Forum in Indonesia: “Simon Lee [founder of the Lion Rock Institute in Hong Kong] suggests making the fight for liberty a career path. He praises Ken Schoolland‘s youtube video [The Philosophy of Liberty] the best work done for liberty in the last 10 years.” The Philosophy of Liberty is based on the epilogue of Jonathan Gullible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I&t=3s
Thanks to Bartek Haladus, the fully illustrated, youth edition of Jonathan Gullible is available on Kindle for $4.99 at Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071R2QJ9K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_osMqzbXJXJQ1K#customerReviews
NEPAL BRAILLE PROJECTS
The work of Riya Basnet and Nisha Niraula continues with the braille edition of Jonathan Gullible and Women Liberation Through Entrepreneurship. Riya reports: “We have distributed the first lot of braille books at a blind girl’s hostel, Kapan-Kathmandu. Now two schools are demanding braille books. They have around 150 students. On the occasion of Teacher’s day in July, we are planning to do a story on blind children and the braille edition in the national daily. We need at least 100 books to distribute them. We also have a school in Gorkha, the epicenter of the 2015 earthquake. We have been providing livelihood training to women in the area focusing on reconstruction and entrepreneurship. Now, we want to distribute Nepali and English version of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible in Gorkha’s school.”
Kamala Neupane wrote: “I run a think tank called Nepal Prosperity Institute. I have completed reading ‘The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible – the free market odyssey.’ Being an Economics Student your book helps me to research more about Economics. I am going to apply the knowledge in my life. Thank you so much Ken. Surath Giri introduced me to the idea of Free markets and inspired me to research more and more about the free market economy and also recommended to read your book as well.” https://www.facebook.com/nepalprosperityinstitute/
Deependra Chaulagain just sent the English translation: “We recently have a new government and a new finance minister is taking charge of the Finance Ministry. This time also we have finance minister without academic background on Economics andthis is not first time. Whenever we have new finance minister people often comment on his academic background and try to make the argument against the minister – which i think very general. So, i tried to write the face book status saying to the Finance Minister, ‘Economics is not only about graphs and data, generally people with an academic background on economics are trying to make economics very difficult to understand. But on the other side for me economics is all about day to day life.’ So, I told our finance minister and his so called advisers to read two books
1. The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible, by Ken Schoolland 2. Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt”
From Dutta Shreeti about the Nepali edition of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: “Hello Ken, I am Shreeti from Biratnagar, Nepal. I have written to say that I have just completed reading The Adventure of Jonathan Gullible – the free market odyssey. I loved that book so much. I am an economics student. Economics was never easy for me. Graphs and lectures always confused me. But your book helped me to understand economics well and question myself. Thanks a lot for such a brilliant book.”
Rodrigo Constantino gives commentary on youtube about the Portuguese edition of Jonathan Gullible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIZbewKHzPk&feature=youtu.be
A letter from Kiran Dave in India states: “Dear Ken, I met you at the Asia Liberty Forum in Mumbai this year with Kumar and Aparna from Free A Billion. Being a huge fan of ‘The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible’ meeting you was the highlight of this year for me. I think one of the most effective ways of spreading the message of liberty to the people is through Jonathan Gullible. The simple and insightful narrative of the book makes it a great medium
to open up conversations. I made a suggestion to my team that we should initiate a play and video series on Jonathan Gullible, suited to Indian context, as one of the first steps in our pursuit of economic freedom and liberty in India. We are all very keen on the idea and want to kick start the project soon. I wanted to know what sort of permissions do we need to adapt a play on the book. Also, I reckon that several plays and videos on the same have already been made. If you could help us with some of the existing scripts it’ll help us with ideas, such as of how to include the most important messages in the play. Hoping to hear from you soon. Keep Inspiring! I’m sending photos from the workshop on liberty in our office, led by Andrew Humphries. We brainstormed and discussed how we can use Jonathan Gullible to spread the message in India. It was a great exercise and helped us answer many questions. Regards, Kiran Dave”
In Japan, Masahiro Takano is adapting the Japanese translation of the book to an app for Android. Takano-san is currently offering an English version of the book for free download.
Inessa Shahnazrova wrote: “I have uploaded the PDF version to a shared resource link for the Armenian Translation of Jonathan Gullible (below). I have managed to finalise the CDs, you can see photos attached. Once again many thanks for the wonderful book and opportunity to be part of this project. I know this is not actually the final stage we were hoping to achieve but I hope people will be inspired to publish it after reading the book in their native language.” Many thanks also to Artem Sarian for supporting this translation project. CD’s are available from Inessa or download a free PDF at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/xjc7st7iz54e81r/Jonathan_Gullible.pdf?dl=0
Hawaii Pacific University econ student, Chelsea Caraang, wrote this after reading Jonathan Gullible: “As a typical young adult and member of society, I never had a keen interest in learning about government systems because it never made sense to me. I had a hard time understanding the connection between what is moral and what is legal. Reading ‘The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible’ made me think deeply about what our duty is as a citizen and what the right thing to do is. What is our responsibility as an individual and what is the government’s role in making our decisions? It also made me wonder where we can find a place where society has complete freedom? Where can we find a place where force is a protection? Many are blind to see the impracticality of the laws and principles behind government systems. Each individual has his or her own freewill. You sow what you reap, meaning you are fully responsible for your own actions. Freedom is not a threat; it is not a burden. We must make our own decisions. This, of course, requires our powers of discernment and the use of our mind and will. This book not only teaches about lessons and principles in economics, but lessons on a better society. It starts with our actions. But as Jonathan Gullible said, ‘…There’s plenty of work to do.’ I am inspired to keep searching for a place where things are done right, where people are truly free. And it all starts with my own freewill.”
At the Puerto Rico World Conference of Liberty International and the Asia Liberty Forum in Mumbai, Lyudmila Melnikova presented the new videos and musical compositions of her productions of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible in Kazakhstan. Lyudmila wrote about participation in Russia: “On my trip for the competition in Sochi and with your tale of the rabbit and turtle, a newspaper article was published about our success.”
Thanks to Tomislav Krsmanovic, the Ruthenian edition of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible has just arrived. Tomislav has now completed publication of nine language editions in the Balkan region. He is a great hero of freedom in a very tough part of the world. For his tireless efforts for liberty, The International Society for Individual Liberty (now renamed Liberty International) presented Tomislav with the prestigious Bruce Evoy Torch of Freedom Award. (JG is now in 51 languages worldwide.) Tomislav writes:
“I am happy that I have once again contributed to the libertarian project. I want to continue our libertarian adventure–my life is so similar to the life of Jonathan Gullible, but on the local way. I believe that all those who collaborated around the globe or who read the book, are slowly coming to the same conclusion–that their lives are also similar to Jonathan’s. Nor do I mean that my life is something unusual, or that I am a special person, Jonathan is universal, a global phenomenon of modern civilization. My dream is to buy from my brother his house in the village Uzovnica and there to develop new libertarian projects. With the best greetings.”
NIGERIA & TANZANIA
Great news from Adedayo Thomas (at left below with Sanjay George, who is arranging the Malayalam edition, and my wife, Li Schoolland): “I want to inform you that in my collaborative proposals and follow up with schools for the adaptation of your book, a Federal Polytechnic (Offa) has approved our proposal. The good news is that Jonathan Gullible has been approved as one of the textbooks for Radio and Television Production course for Higher National Diploma (B.Sc. Equivalent) final year Students. This will commence in the 2nd semester (May-Aug 2017). The course outline will be: Class work, Radio and TV presentation and end up with a stage production as their exams and for the school/public audience. The issue at hand now is how to go about it considering the cost implication, which will be printing the play version, since I already have the book itself, my three (travels) visitation to the school during the course/practical, video recording and finally stage production.” So we seek support for his fabulous work with theatrical productions of JG across Africa.
From Adedayo Thomas and Ben Ogutu: Group 1-Consolidating the principles of a free Society and sound ideas learnt during the ALOD & LLI collaborative Entrepreneurship camp in Tanzania using the African Play edition of Ken Schoolland ‘s the Adventure of Jonathan Gullible . Nothing can be more practically educative than this. Watch out for more camps this summer!!!
Winston Ling has just finalized an agreement to translate JG into Thai!
From Tom Bogle:
A couple days ago, Facebook reminded me of a post I made just over seven years ago about a book titled “The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey”. When I first encountered this book, I was incredibly skeptical of some of the claims made by the author. It seemed to be a pamphlet promoting anarchism thinly-veiled as a book to teach kids economics. At the time, I couldn’t imagine anything more insidious.
See, at the time I was applying for jobs to teach business in the public school system, and an educational resource like this had great appeal to me. However, I was also heavily engaged in the Tea Party movement pushing back against a rapidly growing, centralized government. It was at just such a political rally where I first encountered the book. It instantly caught my eye. I purchased the book (after a lengthy debate with the seller about the differences between a police state and a nanny state and the relevance to immigration policy) and took it home with great anticipation of what I would read.
As I read the book, I enjoyed the short chapter structure (perfect for in-class reading activities) and the straightforward language. I also liked the way each chapter covered an economic concept by demonstrating the absurdity of policies that ignore basic principles.
Then I read the chapters on free movement of people, prohibition of social vices, and a handful of others that seemed to contradict views that I held at the time. I mean, freedom doesn’t mean people are completely free, does it? I mean, that would be anarchy, and anarchy is chaos, right? The more I read, the more I got the impression that the author seemed to believe that order did not come from well-established and heavily enforced rules, but from people simply trying to work together to satisfy their own desires. To me, that idea was not only preposterous, it was dangerous. To expose children to this kind of thinking was borderline criminal (in fact, it actually has been in many countries).
I decided that the only remedy would be to write my own book that taught the very basics of economic thinking without tying the concepts to any specific government policy. I sat down and hammered out a couple chapters, and as I tried to make these concepts simple and precise, I realized that I did not understand economics as well as I thought. I would need to deepen my own studies before I could presume to instruct others.
So I did just that. I started buying books on economics and reading them in my free time. The first was “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell, followed by “Economics in One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt. This led me to the discovery of F. A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. I discovered the Foundation for Economic Education and the Mises Institute. I saturated myself in these ideas. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to resolve long-standing conflicts and contradictions in my own worldview. Of course, these ideas did not stay relegated to the world of economics. Indeed not, for economics was simply a tool for understanding human behavior, and I certainly understood human behavior in a new light.
The more I studied economics (heavily in the Austrian school and Public Choice Theory, but I certainly addressed a variety of perspective and beliefs), the more my views shifted towards voluntary social orders and away from the violent forces of the state as a means of organizing society. I was ecstatic to discover that this was not merely some fringe ideology, but one with a long history of scholarly research and entrepreneurial social innovation. So, why were these ideas so foreign and frightening to people?
Since their youth, the vast majority of Americans have been inundated with messaging, both explicit and implicit, of the supremacy and glory of the state. They are taught to revere the guardians of the state, to sing its hymns and to participate dutifully in its holy sacraments. They are trained that obedience to the state is freedom, that war is the road to peace, and that the perpetual threat of violence is the stronghold of order and civilization. They have these ideas pounded into them from a very young age, with almost no exposure to alternative views. “Those kinds of ideas,” they are taught “are simply un-American!”
This weighed heavily on my mind. How do we counter these ideas? How do we expose people to these ideas before they use politics to hurt one another? How do we help them to see the futility of trying to legislate the laws of economics out of existence? As I sat at the desk in my classroom pondering this, I glanced at the bookshelf and there it was; “The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey.”
As I picked up the book and read through it, I had to reflect back on how silly it was for me to be too intellectually immature to actually engage with the ideas in a children’s book. As I read through it again, I realized that not only did I have no arguments with the book, I was again energized by how this book could serve as a fantastic resource in my own classroom and in my own home.
It is now my honor and privilege to work with amazing scholars, educators, and activists to develop resources specifically designed to help kids explore and understand these concepts of individual liberty and free markets. There are a handful of books that I always keep on my desk to help me accomplish this work. Over the last couple of years, six books from the Tuttle Twins series have joined the ranks of my favorite economics books for kids, but the original in the stack, and the one that played an instrumental role in my own free market odyssey, is the one that introduced me to Jonathan Gullible, and his feline friend, Mices.