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Arthur Seldon

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Dr Arthur Seldon CBE (1916-2005) was joint founder president, with Ralph Harris, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, where he directed academic affairs for 30 years. Seldon died in October 2005.

He studied at the London School of Economics where Arnold Plant and Lionel Robbins deepened his interest in classical liberalism and Friedrich Hayek introduced him to Austrian Economics. He received an honorary degree in 1999 from the University of Buckingham.

Seldon was Vice president of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS), whose past presidents include von Hayek and Milton Friedman. The American MPS includes Michael Novak (American Enterprise Institute). Seldon advised The Independent Institute, exposed as a business lobby in the New York Times when leaked documents showed that Microsoft secretly funded their research. ([1])

He was also a member of The Israel Center for Social & Economic Progress (ICSEP) run by Daniel Doron (former Israeli intelligence and special consultant to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv). The US ICSEP board includes Irving Kristol, while the UK ICSEP has Stanley Kalms (former Conservative Party Treasurer), Lord Ralph Harris (IEA), Lord Young (BT, C & W, BAe) and Gerald Ronson, the convicted fraudster. (23)

With the IEA, he and Harris championed free market 'principles'. Seldon had further right-wing connections with the AEI and CPS. The AEI and IEA links go back to at least 1993 when the AEI's Michael Novak gave the IEA's Hayek Memorial Lecture. As recently as June 2000 the IEA hosted the 'Aims of Industry Free Enterprise Awards', with Aims' Nigel Mobbs.

Seldon was on the Advisory Council of the Libertarian Alliance, one of whose leaders described Demos as:

'a cavalry of Trojan horses within the citadel of leftism. The intellectual agenda is served up in a left wing manner, laced with left wing clichés and verbal gestures, but underneath all the agenda is very nearly identical to that of the Thatcherites.'([2])

He co-authored Socialism Explained with Brian Crozier for Margaret Thatcher as part of their anti-left project. He also edited the Goldsmith-funded Radical Society's Journal, founded by Stephen Haseler and Neville Sandelson who both took part in attacks against the (UK) Labour Party. ([3])

His son is Anthony Seldon.

References