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Mont Pelerin Society

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The Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) is an international organisation, consisting of "free-market" economists, business leaders and journalists with a declared objective of "reaffirming and preserving private property rights, a moral code for both public and private activity, intellectual freedom, state behaviour limited by the rule of law, and ‘the right of each individual to plan his own life’." MPS's website warns of "danger in the expansion of government, not least in state welfare, in the power of trade unions and business monopoly, and in the continuing threat and reality of inflation." [1]

MPS has close ties to the network of think tanks sponsored in part by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

The Society is named after the hotel near Montreux, Switzerland, where the first meeting was convened in 1947 by F.A. Hayek, to combat the “state ascendancy and Marxist or Keynesian planning [that was] sweeping the globe”. Since then, 32 General and 27 Regional Meetings have been held and its membership has risen from under 50 to over 500.

Controversial Members (Current and Former)

Influence

MPS founder F. A. 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 Policy Research. All these organisations continue to share close ties with the MPS.

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, currently, 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, including Anderson himself. [2] The British economist John Jewkes was a former President of the Society.

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 liberalism". Invitees included Henry Simons (who would later train Milton Friedman, later a president of the society, at the University of Chicago); the American former-Fabian socialist Walter Lippmann; 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 Hapsburg, 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."[3]

"The resulting Mont Pelerin Society aimed 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.'"[4]

Board Members (2011)

President

Senior Vice President

  • Deepak Lal, United States, and past President (2008-2010)

Secretary

Treasurer

Vice Presidents

Directors

Richard Wong, China

Past Board of Directors (2007)

Contact detail

Web: http://www.montpelerin.org

External links


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