Friday, 4 December 2009

Mont Pelerin

Looks like I'll be in Sydney next October. Plenary Session Six: New Threats to Liberty and the Private Sphere: Nannies and Busybodies, Tax Harmonisation and the Surveillance State. I'll be speaking on the first topic, of course.

I'm of course rather excited to be going to Mont Pelerin.
After World War II, in 1947, when many of the values of Western civilization were imperiled, 36 scholars, mostly economists, with some historians and philosophers, were invited by Professor Friedrich von Hayek to meet at Mont Pelerin, near Montreux, Switzerland, to discuss the state and the possible fate of liberalism (in its classical sense) in thinking and practice.

The group described itself as the Mont Pelerin Society, after the place of the first meeting. It emphasised that it did not intend to create an orthodoxy, to form or align itself with any political party or parties, or to conduct propaganda. Its sole objective was to facilitate an exchange of ideas between like-minded scholars in the hope of strengthening the principles and practice of a free society and to study the workings, virtues, and defects of market-oriented economic systems.

Members who include high government officials, Nobel prize recipients, journalists, economic and financial experts, and legal scholars from all over the world, come regularly together to present the most current analysis of ideas, trends and events.
The link above has pictures from the first meeting of the society, including a nice shot of von Mises with Karl Popper, who'd left the University of Canterbury one year prior to the first MPS meeting.

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