There is no need to give an introduction to Glenn Beck. Most are already familiar with him, and have opinions on him—ranging widely. In this regard, most still know Glenn Beck as a radio and television host, though he has branched widely since his time at FoxNews. He has launched his own online network and is delving more into organizing like-minded people across the globe. Among some of his projects is organizing a National Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale. This project, on the surface, may appear rather simple—both in terms of purpose and idea—and it is, but it shows something much deeper than a mere lemonade stand.

What could be more stereotypical of childhood than a lemonade stand? Many of us did something of a similar nature. It was through this that the basic idea of the free market was conveyed to us—a product that needs to be sold, possible buyers, a seller alone and without government aid. Both chance and risk were involved. Nearly all of us did not succeed monetarily, but saw the workings of the free market. It is very likely that none of us faced coercion, bullying, or robbery from the government—though this has recently changed.

This scenario—a completely free market—does not exist today. In the current environment, workers and business owners have their earnings plundered by the government, they are bullied through regulations, and they are stifled. The educational system also has much to do with this. Through government (i.e. public) schools—the means of education of most American children—the future of the United States is taught not to think and create, but to obey—to walk in line—with the liberal and collectivist agenda—creating a mass of unquestioning followers to the leviathan state. Falsified history—filled with evil industrialists and bankers—also pervades public education. Perhaps one of the most perverse examples of this is in regards to World War II. In the course of the war nearly two percent of the world’s population—with innumerable other evils brought upon the world. It is this event that liberals—and even some who claim to be “right-wing”—assert that brought the United States out of the Great Depression. Frankly, this is not the case—with the free market being responsible for such, in the way of repealing of New Deal provisions after the war.

One could interpret the purpose of the simple celebration of the humble lemonade stand as showing the perpetual victory of freedom over despotism. In this same way, Beck is also celebrating another concept distinct of those who support liberty—leaving matters to the individual. This applies not only to matters of government policy (i.e. taxation, regulation, etc.) but also to allowing the individual to “learn.” By leaving the people alone and free, they will find out (either through logic or experience) what to do and what not to do in business. Now transplant this philosophy to that of the lemonade stand. The parent allows the child to take a risk and learn from it.

It is only logical that the greater part of the “media” will join in pointing fingers at Glenn Beck in this project, some decrying it as a kind of plot and others simply laughing. Regardless of what the majority of those in the media say, we must remember at the two images from this (in an almost Randian manner): the simple lemonade stand and a young child, and the free man engaging in the free market. The theme of the free market is not only the individual (whether driven by passion or money) but the power of the free market—whether in improving lives, providing goods and services, or steadily bringing the world further down the eternal road of technological “progress.” While there is ample room in this grand and simple concept for the family, nowhere is there room for government intervention.

Christian Lopac | Wabash College | @CLopac