Antony Fisher: Champion of Liberty
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Condensed version of the biography of the IEA's founder
Antony Fisher’s name is not familiar to the world at large, and yet his achievements were both extraordinary and far-reaching. A successful entrepreneur from his twenties, and a Battle of Britain fighter pilot who was decorated for innovation in gunnery training techniques in World War II, he later introduced chicken factory-farming to the UK and made a fortune in the process.
More than Fisher’s commercial success, though, it is his powerful effect on post-war politics that has won him a place in history. His deep rooted concern with the liberty of the individual, crystallised by a meeting with the free-market thinker Friedrich Hayek, redirected his life.
As a result of this meeting, Fisher funded the establishment of the IEA. In the words of Conservative MP Oliver Letwin, writing in The Times in 1994: “Without Fisher, no IEA; without the IEA and its clones, no Thatcher and quite possibly no Reagan; without Reagan, no Star Wars; without Star Wars, no economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Quite a chain of consequences for a chicken farmer.”
By the time Fisher died in 1988 (having lost his fortune in a new turtle-farming venture, and only four weeks after having being awarded a knighthood in the Honours List), the IEA and its spin-offs around the world had played a crucial role in changing the direction of post-war politics for ever.
2002, ISBN 978 1861975058, 288pp, HC