The Mont Pelerin Society reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Mont Pelerin Society

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The Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) is an international organization, consisting of libertarian economists and business leaders, which advocates laissez-faire economics and a free society. The Society was founded on April 10, 1947 at a conference organized by Friedrich Hayek.

History

In 1947, "36 scholars, mostly economists, with some historians and philosophers, were invited by Professor Friedrich Hayek to meet at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, and discuss the state, and possible fate" of classical liberalism or libertarianism. Invitees included Henry Simons (who would later train Milton Friedman, later a president of the society, at the University of Chicago); the American Fabian socialist Walter Lippman; Viennese Aristotelian Society leader Karl Popper; fellow Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises; Sir John Clapham, a senior official of the Bank of England who from 1940-46 was the president of the British Royal Society; Otto von Habsburg, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne; and Max von Thurn und Taxis, Bavaria-based head of the 400-year-old Venetian Thurn und Taxis family." [1]

The Mont Pelerin Society has continued to meet on a regular basis, usually in September. Its next meeting is scheduled for August 14 - 19 in Salt Lake City, Nevada. The current president of the Mont Pelerin Society is Leonard Liggio.

Influence

Hayek stressed that the society was to be a scholarly community arguing ideas against collectivism while not engaging in public relations or propaganda. However, the society has always been a focal point for the international free market think-tank movement: Hayek himself used it as a forum to encourage members such as Antony Fisher to pursue the think-tank route in favour of politics. Fisher went on the establish the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in London during 1971, the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. during 1973, and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in 1981. In turn the Atlas Foundation supports a wide network of think-tanks, including the Fraser Institute and the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research.

Prominent MPS members who have advanced to policy positions include Chancellor Ludwig Erhard of West Germany, President Luigi Einaudi of Italy, Chairman Arthur Burns of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, and, Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic. Eight MPS members, including F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and George Stigler, won Nobel prizes in economics. Of 76 economic advisers on Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign staff, 22 were MPS members. [1]

External links