Mont Pelerin Society: Galapagos (2013) and Hong Kong (2014)


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The topic "What Dictionary did Ayn Rand use?" drifted into statements about Karl Popper and Mont Pelerin that indicated an incomplete understanding of the club, its members, and their goals.

Friedrich A. von Hayek called the first Mont Pelerin Society meeting April 1-10, 1947, inviting many of the world's leading liberal intellectuals and politicians. Among them was Walter Lippmann. In my RoR article, Walter Lippmann: Chronicler of Evil, I wrote:

For admirers of Ayn Rand's works, Walter Lippmann is the epitome of what was right and wrong with liberalism. Lippmann said that President Herbert Hoover enacted measures that were similar to President Roosevelt's but that Hoover's failed for political reasons, whereas Roosevelt carried the day. Both men, he said, enacted collectivist solutions to the depression. No one seriously advocated laissez faire -- or if anyone did, they were not taken seriously by serious people.

My point here is expressly that this latitude of opinion is precisely what defines liberalism as Hayek, Lippmann, and Popper understood it. If you read The Open Society and Its Enemies, you see that Popper did not at all advance a specific ideology of liberty and freedom, but only warned against those who claim absolute truth for political purposes. As I wrote more recently on RoR, the Library of Economics and Liberty carries two essays on what the Founders of the American republic read: Locke, Hume, and Hobbes; St. Paul and Machiavelli; Pufendorf, Grotius, Montesquieu... In short, we Objectivists think that we have a monopoly on truth. That way lies the Dark Side of the Force. In fact, as noted here on OL elsewhere, the Enlightenment which the Islamic jihadists fear was self-consciously a time of variances of thought and a multiplicity of opinions.

The liberals of the Mont Pelerin Society had guidelines and a mandate not to extend human freedom - admirable as that is to us - but to protect liberty from encroachment, constraint, and obliteration by those who use political power for their own ideological ends.

The group does not aspire to conduct propaganda. It seeks to establish no meticulous and hampering orthodoxy. It aligns itself with no particular party. Its object is solely, by facilitating the exchange of views among minds inspired by certain ideals and broad conceptions held in common, to contribute to the preservation and improvement of the free society. https://www.montpele...n/mpsGoals.html

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