Remembering Brian Micklethwait

Remembering Brian Micklethwait

The man who made libertarianism fun

Sean Gabb, The Critic Magazine, 20th October 2021

Brian Hugh Micklethwait was born on the 26th September 1947, the youngest son of Sir Robert Micklethwait, a lawyer of some distinction who rose eventually to the post of Chief National Insurance Commissioner. His mother, Philippa, née Bosanquet, came from a legal family, and was related to the Bosanquets who were important in the Liberal Party at the end of the nineteenth century. Brian attended Marlborough public school in the early 1960s as a boarder, and went up to Cambridge in 1965 to study Architecture. After this, he studied Sociology at Essex University.

He voted Labour in the 1970 General Election. By 1980, he was a libertarian. The economic troubles of the intervening decade had seen a revival of interest in free market economics and the liberal tradition. The Institute of Economic Affairs now came out of the shadow in which the media had mostly placed it. Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman became household names. The Freedom Association and the Adam Smith Institute were founded. Margaret Thatcher became first the leader of the Conservative Party and then Prime Minister. 


One comment

  1. Some people spend their lives pursuing power and success for themselves, compromising their own principles in the process, but perhaps justifying it to themselves on the basis that they are doing what they see as some good.

    Others dedicate their lives to carrying on principles in the hope that at some future undetermined point others may take up these principles and make them reality. The principles are too important to be compromised.

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