January 20, 1947
Mr. DeWitt Emery
National Small Business
39 South LaSalle Street
Chicago 3, Illinois
Thank you for your letter. I was glad to hear from you again—and will be waiting for you to write more fully, as you promised.
This is just to correct a minor point. Leonard Read is not correct if he told you that I had “raised hell with him for putting out a pamphlet on such a trivial subject.” I didn’t raise hell about the subject—and it’s certainly not a trivial one. I raised hell with him for publishing that whole pamphlet (“Roofs or Ceilings?”)—because it advocates collectivism in its premises and implications; because it hints that the nationalization of private homes might be the proper solution for the housing shortage; and because there is no excuse for anyone in his right mind to call the free-market, free-enterprise system a “system of rationing”(!)
I am glad to see that you’re fighting to teach people to state their ideas in proper, clear and exact language. This is certainly needed badly among conservatives. I think their sloppiness with words and slogans (and, therefore, with ideas) is the root of all their troubles.
With best regards,