Several years ago, a rich Texan named Robert Edsel got interested and then got really interested in the story of the actual “Monuments Men” from World War II. His research and persistent efforts and cash have resulted in a book, a PBS documentary, and now the movie and all the attendant publicity for a story we’d never heard before about Americans at war. If there ever was a great example of why individual freedom must be the ultimate political and social goal for civilization, this is it on a couple of levels. Both the story of the original Monuments Men mission and now, the story of how one person brought it back to life, should inspire us all to pride, but more important, to action to help preserve personal freedom wherever we find it under attack.
I’m a lifelong fan of free enterprise. People should have all the freedom they need to try, fail and succeed at their own businesses. If they break the laws of God or man in doing so, they ought be regulated, prosecuted, and otherwise called to account. But they ought to have the chance.
When people are extremely successful in business, they tend to accumulate lots of cash, especially when they sell off their companies. It’s what they do with all that cash that’s the important thing. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Larry Ellison…these are the well-known stories.
Robert Edsel sold his oil business and moved to Italy, where his passion for the Monuments Men story began. You can read about it at MonumentsMen.com. (This isn’t Sony’s site about the movie.) Good for him, and us.