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Vince Miller, a decades-long activist in the cause of individual liberty worldwide, has died after a short but sudden illness at the age of 70.

From Eric Garris's report at the LewRockwell.com Blog, which I could hardly improve upon:

Vince had been a libertarian activist for over 37 years. He was one of the founders of the Libertarian Party of Canada and was an editor of the early magazine Libertarian Option. In 1980, Vince founded the Libertarian International, to join libertarian organizations from around the world. In 1989, Libertarian International expanded by merging with the Society for Individual Liberty to create the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL).

Also in 1989, Vince and ISIL took over the libertarian bookstore in San Francisco which I had opened in 1980. They kept the bookstore open until the property was stolen by the city of San Francisco in 1997. ISIL recently rescued Laissez Faire Books from going under, and has been in the process of revitalizing the book service.

Vince wrote this article on the 25th anniversary of the founding of Libertarian International.

Vince attended the Libertarian Party national convention last month in Denver, and was in fine health. Shortly after the convention he has diagnosed with Valley Fever. The infection moved into his internal organs and he fell into a coma. He died this morning at the age of 70.

Vince was a tireless and under-appreciated activist in the service of peace and liberty. Per his instructions he will be cremated. Vince asked that no formal funeral be held. A celebration of his life will be held at a future date.

In lieu of cards or flowers those wishing to honor him are asked to contribute to Vince's life cause, the International Society for Individual Liberty. The most appropriate way to show appreciation for Vince is to do something for liberty. It was his passion and his great love. We will miss him.

I will, as well. I first met Vince twenty-one years ago at the Seattle LP convention that nominated Ron Paul for the presidency. In 1989 I had a gracious and lively-talking dinner conversation at his home, then in Virginia, with Jim Lark (later LP national chair) and Jim Elwood, Vince's long-time partner. We connected briefly at many LP national conventions since then.

Vince worked (with Jim Elwood) on a tireless mission of connecting libertarians and individualists worldwide, one that not even many LP activists or Objectivist types believed was going to be fruitful. The connections made, though — through ISIL events and support for scholars, activists, and translators — are only now becoming evident in their influence on opinion climates and government policy, in a host of unexpected places.

ISIL has brought about some of the greatest value-for-money-donated to the libertarian and individualist movements. Some of that came from Vince's unacknowledged and skillful operation of his own printing press. Its bookselling efforts of the past inform and strengthen their work in keeping LFB alive today.

I have donated to ISIL for 20 years, been a customer in various ways for nearly that long, and enthusiastically encourage your support. Vince's organization is still changing minds and lives.

Edited by Greybird
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This is terrible news.

I have known Vince, viewed him as a friend, chatted with him ever since I moved to Northern California in the early nineties. He was simultaneously one of the most important fighters for freedom -- his International Society for Individual Liberty, on almost no money, managed to network and hearten and nurture and provide literature and resources for small groups and isolated individuals in almost every country around the world, in the heart of dictatorships, behind the iron curtain, in places with zero exposure to or tradition of classical liberalism -- and, in a movement too full of the arrogant and angry, one of the most gentle, calm and benevolent people one could meet.

I will greatly miss him. And he will be missed both as an irreplaceable force in planting the very first seeds of freedom all around the world, but as a role model of how one should be as a human being, how one should treat people.

I will miss his calm benevolence most of all.

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It is terrible news, and horribly sad, the suddenness of it. The progress of the disease was being reported on some other lists. People were hoping against hope that Vince could be saved.

Ellen

___

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Along with a great many others, I will miss Vince, and I will never forget him. I've known him for more than fifteen years, since I first spoke at an ISIL Conference, and I have seen him often over the years. I am so thankful that we met again just a few weeks ago; on his way home from the Libertarian Party's National Convention, he, with Jim Peron, stopped off in Los Angeles to spend a few hours with me. I never dreamed, as I hugged him goodbye at the door, that I would never see him again.

I cannot recall a single meeting wth Vince-- including that last one -- that, however serious the subject under discussion, was not also filled with laughter, and with his exclamations of "Good Grief!" at learning of some foolishness of a colleague or the latest antics of a politician -- it was just about his strongest condemnation of anyone -- and with the delightful cheerfulness that seemed to carry him unscathed through all the difficulties he had to overcome.

Years ago, this good and dedicated man set out to unfurl the banner of liberty in countries throughout the globe, and, impossible though it seemed at the time, doggedly, quietly, modestly, working harder than anyone I know, putting in endless hours and endless thought, he extended ISIL's outreach every month and every year, and he did just that. There can be few countries in the world in which defenders of liberty are not mourning Vince tonight.

Barbara

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Vince was not only a modern day libertarian pioneer and hero, he was also one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. Despite all the incredible work he did building ISIL as the premier international libertarian organization, he never let his great achievements go to his head. He was always eminently friendly and approachable.

I used to regularly attend Jeanie and Tim Starr's "Free Exchange" libertarian meetings, which were held every month in San Francisco. Vince was always there; I don't recall him ever missing a Free Exchange meeting. I would always say hello to him and ask him about the progress of ISIL and the status of past or future ISIL conferences. I never did make it to any ISIL conferences, but I always greatly admired Vince and his ability to almost singlehandedly organize these conferences and to bring together libertarian activists and thinkers from around the world.

I still remember the time my wife Liz and I went shooting with Vince and some other regular Free Exchange attendees at a shooting range in Hayward. Phil Coates was there at the shooting range with us that day. This was in November, 1999. I would not have recalled the exact time, but Liz was pregnant with our daughter at the time and remembers the event pretty well. Afterward, we all went out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant that she suggested.

Liz was talking to me tonight about how warm and friendly Vince always was to her, even though he knew her only casually. That's just the kind of man he was. Vince, we will really miss you!

Martin

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Yes, Vince was somethng too rare in this world. He was genuinely decent, caring and principled. He worked hard to promote liberty and he lived frugally in order to help fund his own work. People don't know that he often wouldn't even take his own pay in order to further the cause of freedom.

One correction, Jim Elwood was not Vince's partner, at least not romantically. They worked together in ISIL and Jim is continuing the work. They were friends, colleagues and partners in freedom. Below is the original notice that was sent out from Laissez Faire Books (which was recently acquired by ISIL) regarding Vince's death. It went out shortly after his death. The second piece from Freestudents.blogspot.com concerning Vince was the first web article on Vince and his unfortunate death.

LFB Notice:

Vince Miller died this morning at approximately 8:15. Per his instructions he will be cremated. Vince asked that no formal funeral be held. A celebration of his life will be held at a future date. In lieu of cards or flowers those wishing to honor him are asked to contribute to Vince's life cause, the International Society for Individual Liberty. The most appropriate way to show appreciation for Vince is to do something for liberty. It was his passion and his great love.

Here is the article from Freestudents.blogspot.com:

It is with considerable sadness that I announce the death Vincent Miller, the founder and president of the International Society for Individual Liberty. Vince was born in Cananda in 1938 as Henry Vincent Miller, Henry being his father's name. But through his early childhood he was called Sonny by all and sundry. When Vince began school at his local one room schoolhouse he mother wrote that he was now known as Vince to everyone.

Vince was a refugee from the over-regulation mindset that plagues Canada and after numerous attempts eventually secured his Green Card to work and live in the United States.

I first met Vince at an Ann Arbor conference in 1980. It was here that Vince announced the formation of the Libertarian International, the organization that eventual became ISIL. Vince's goal was to encourage the spread of libertarian ideas to nations around the world. And he did. ISIL has held more than two dozen summits all around the world. Speakers at the conferences have gone to become national leaders and thousands of students, in other countries, were first introduced to libertarian ideas. And ISIL continued to try to nurture groups they worked with in these countries.

Vince was vigorous and healthy right up until he travelled to Denver to observe the Libertarian Party conference and to promote ISIL and it's newest acquisition, Laissez Faire Books. But in Denver he wasn't feel well and would spend a periods throughout the day resting in his room. After the grueling two day drive back to the Bay Area he continued to feel ill but resisted going to a doctor. He felt he had too much work to do and was sure that he had the flu and that it was just lingering.

Three weeks ago he was persuaded that to see a doctor and upon examination was rushed to the hospital with presumed pneumonia. In the first few days there was some recovery but his lungs never cleared. With his breathing still returning to normal a team of physicians tried to find the cause. In the end it was believed he had Valley Fever but the physician said that other infections were present as well.

Vince was put on a ventilator and into a medically induced coma due to the great discomfort of the ventilator. Doctors tried for two weeks to bring his breathing back to normal but his body didn't respond. His kidneys began to fail and then his liver experienced problems. In the last hours of his life the hospital added a morphine drip to his treatment to make sure there was no discomfort of pain even though he remained in the coma. This was as an added precaution during his last hours.

Vince is survived by a nephew and neice and their families in Canada. He is also survived by hundreds of friends worldwide and by the thousands of students whose lives he touched through his work.

At Vince's request there will be no funeral service. His remains will be cremated and there will be a small, private ceremony of some of his local friends to scatter his ashes. A memorial celebration will be planned later. Those who wish to honor Vince are asked to do so in a manner that he would appreciate and which would carry on his work. In lieu of cards or flowers donations to the International Society for Individual Liberty are encouraged. A Vince Miller Memorial Fund to finance ISIL projects that were dear to Vince will be established.

Checks may be mailed to ISIL, 836B Southampton Rd. #299, Benicia, CA 94510-1960. Those who prefer to make an online donation may do so through the general donations button here.

The link, which is left out of the text, and which I'm not sure how to insert is:

http://isil.org/store/membership.html#donations

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"Vince was vigorous and healthy right up until he travelled to Denver to observe the Libertarian Party conference and to promote ISIL and it's newest acquisition, Laissez Faire Books. But in Denver he wasn't feel well and would spend a periods throughout the day resting in his room. After the grueling two day drive back to the Bay Area he continued to feel ill but resisted going to a doctor. He felt he had too much work to do and was sure that he had the flu and that it was just lingering.

Three weeks ago he was persuaded that to see a doctor and upon examination was rushed to the hospital with presumed pneumonia. In the first few days there was some recovery but his lungs never cleared. With his breathing still returning to normal a team of physicians tried to find the cause. In the end it was believed he had Valley Fever but the physician said that other infections were present as well."

And thus was lost a worthy fellow. I never met this gentleman but from what is said of him, he was first rate.

Now my friends, ponder the above quote and LEARN. Famous last words -- "aaahhh, its just a cold" "just a touch of the flu". Once a man is past sixty years old, there are no minor diseases. I Googled up the article on San Juaquin Valley Fever, a fungal infection. The pathogen is in the soil and the disease is acquired by breathing in the dust of perturbed soil. It is very common in the west and south west part of the the U.S. and a large part of the population test positive for anti-bodies. Just about everyone in that region is exposed to it and has contracted a mild form.

While I never met Vince Miller, I have met many busy and productive people who will not slow down because of an apparently mild illness. They live in a region of life wherein A River Flows --- De Nile. They are convinced in their hearts it is just mind over matter. They can push on. When energetic people are in their 30s and 40s and even 50s they can get away with such negligence. Once they are in their 50s or older they have reached the Age of Never.

I Never used to get this winded walking up the stairs.

I Never used to squint like I have lately

I Never used to get this tired before ten p.m.

I Never used to have such an ache in my joints.

etc etc etc.

Learn!!!!

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf
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I met Vince Miller a few times over the last 10+ years. For some reason, he always liked me and always gave me a hug whenever we met.

My favorite anecdote about him, however, is this:

A few years ago, I made the last installment payment on and took possession of my weapon at a local pawn shop which then had a gun department (new and used). I had proudly bought myself a hammerless .38 special revolver by Taurus.

I took it with me that evening to the Karl Hess Club, one of the few remaining libertarian supper clubs in the Los Angeles area.

Vince Miller was there that night.

I took out my new weapon (unloaded) and showed it around. The crowd, as usual, was mostly male. I got congratulated on my new possession.

Vince grinned at me and proceeded to show me his... a rather large revolver.

A few other men were carrying that night and also "showed me theirs." ;)

A happy occasion indeed.

Edited by Pam Maltzman
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"Vince was vigorous and healthy right up until he travelled to Denver to observe the Libertarian Party conference and to promote ISIL and it's newest acquisition, Laissez Faire Books. But in Denver he wasn't feel well and would spend a periods throughout the day resting in his room. After the grueling two day drive back to the Bay Area he continued to feel ill but resisted going to a doctor. He felt he had too much work to do and was sure that he had the flu and that it was just lingering.

Three weeks ago he was persuaded that to see a doctor and upon examination was rushed to the hospital with presumed pneumonia. In the first few days there was some recovery but his lungs never cleared. With his breathing still returning to normal a team of physicians tried to find the cause. In the end it was believed he had Valley Fever but the physician said that other infections were present as well."

And thus was lost a worthy fellow. I never met this gentleman but from what is said of him, he was first rate.

Now my friends, ponder the above quote and LEARN. Famous last words -- "aaahhh, its just a cold" "just a touch of the flu". Once a man is past sixty years old, there are no minor diseases. I Googled up the article on San Juaquin Valley Fever, a fungal infection. The pathogen is in the soil and the disease is acquired by breathing in the dust of perturbed soil. It is very common in the west and south west part of the the U.S. and a large part of the population test positive for anti-bodies. Just about everyone in that region is exposed to it and has contracted a mild form.

While I never met Vince Miller, I have met many busy and productive people who will not slow down because of an apparently mild illness. They live in a region of life wherein A River Flows --- De Nile. They are convinced in their hearts it is just mind over matter. They can push on. When energetic people are in their 30s and 40s and even 50s they can get away with such negligence. Once they are in their 50s or older they have reached the Age of Never.

I Never used to get this winded walking up the stairs.

I Never used to squint like I have lately

I Never used to get this tired before ten p.m.

I Never used to have such an ache in my joints.

etc etc etc.

Learn!!!!

Ba'al Chatzaf

For heaven's sake! Take some vitamins and only eat food that hasn't been cooked or doesn't need cooking (sans sushi)! Also, give up your morning paper route and 80 hrs/week volunteer work. Geez! (And please, please, no more of that California firefighting on the weekends.) Then you'll have the right to complain, but suspect you won't!

-- Brant

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