MontPelerin.org - The Mont Pelerin Society
Sections include: board of directors, past presidents, notable members, F. A. Hayek page, past meetings (recent ones with links to papers presented), Hayek Essay contest (including winners and essays) and links to videos about Hayek and Milton Friedman
The Early History of FEE, by Henry Hazlitt, The Freeman, Mar 1984
Excerpted from Hazlitt's remarks at the Leonard E. Read Memorial Conference on Freedom, November 1983; reprinted in the May 2006 issue, including photos of early FEE senior staff
It is astonishing how soon Leonard's action began to produce important results. Friedrich Hayek, in London, impressed by Read's initiative, raised the money the next year, 1947, to call a conference at Vevey, Switzerland, of 43 libertarian writers, mainly economists, from half a dozen nations.The group of ten of us from the United States included such figures as Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, George Stigler—and Leonard Read. That was the beginning of the still flourishing and immensely influential Mont Pelerin Society, now with several hundred members from dozens of countries.
In May, 1947 Morley was invited by the William Volker Fund to attend the founding meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society ... "My former mentor William Rappard, from the University of Geneva, gave the welcoming address, emphasizing the importance of this non-governmental Euro-American conjunction of post-war liberal thinking, in the classical sense of 'liberal'." ... In the Spring of 1952 the Morley's travelled to Europe "to attend the annual Mont Pelerin conference meeting at Seelisberg, near Luzerne. Here I became better acquainted with 'Fritz' Hayek ..."
On September 11, 2001, I was in Bratislava, Slovakia, attending the annual meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society, an international association of classical liberals and advocates of the free market ... That evening I sat around with other Americans and some Europeans attending the Mont Pelerin Society meeting ... When the Mont Pelerin participants left the hotel on Thursday morning to begin their respective journeys home, words had become impossible and we merely bade each other farewell and hoped that a better climate would exist in the world when we all met at next year's meeting in London, England.
In 1946, concerned about the future of liberal ideals in a world in which socialism was becoming dominant among the intellectual classes, Harper left the academy and joined the libertarian Foundation for Economic Education ... A year later, Harper joined Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Karl Popper, and other present and future scholars at the founding meeting of Friedrich Hayek's Mont Pelerin Society at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, to discuss the future of classical liberal ideas, which were then besieged by those who had embraced the social democratic orthodoxy.
The formation of the Mont Pèlerin Society in Switzerland in 1947 was to prove enormously influential in reviving libertarian ideas at the higher intellectual and academic levels, as a part of a conscious plan to diffuse libertarian principles throughout the general population. The spread of libertarian ideas and organizations around the world has accelerated since that time, promoted by visionary thinkers of the caliber of Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek ...
How I Became a Liberal, by Alejandro Chafuen, 19 Dec 2003
Part of Walter Block's autobiography series; Chafuen recalls his grandparents and parents, his youth in Argentina, and the people in Argentina and the United States who influenced him
In 1980, Dr. Benegas Lynch Jr., who had been influenced not only by his father but also by the Guatemalan intellectual entrepreneurs, invited me to the Mont Pelerin Society meeting at the Hoover Institution, at Stanford University. After that meeting, Leonard Read, and Manuel Ayau (then president of the society) nominated me for membership. At 26 years of age, I believe I became the youngest member in the history of the society.
I have come to the conclusion that the Mont Pelerin Society is no longer an effective force for freedom, becoming instead another tool in behalf of US hegemony, ringing Russia with US military bases and puppet governments in the name of "supporting democracy." As far as I am aware, the MPS has not addressed the Bush administration's assault on US civil liberties ... Nor has the society taken exception to US wars of aggression in behalf of undeclared agendas ... If Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek were still alive, I am certain they would join me in resignation.
Liberty Defined, by F. A. Harper, 4 Sep 1957
Speech to the Mont Pelerin Society; Harper first offers his definition of liberty, then explores "adulterated" definitions, its relation to morals, moral law and basic humans rights, ending with his hope for the cause of liberty
There are times when one's humility seems to go on vacation, as it did for me when Professor Hayek proposed tackling this topic for discussion ... Were a stranger to observe the nature of the Mont Pelerin Society and note its convening for this decennial occasion, would he not be surprised to find us devoting an entire session to the meaning of liberty—the word perhaps more basic than any other to the original purpose of the Society? Might he not expect this to have been a matter resolved with essentially unanimous agreement at the outset of our Societal association together?
Meanwhile, in 1947 Hayek called a meeting of scholars concerned about liberty ... Thirty-six participants from 10 countries gathered at the Hotel du Parc, Mont Pelerin, near Vevey, Switzerland, April 1st to April 10th, 1947. Among the 17 from the United States were University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman, Newsweek columnist Henry Hazlitt, University of Chicago economist Frank H. Knight, New York University economist Ludwig von Mises, Foundation for Economic Education President Leonard E. Read and Brown University economist George J. Stigler.
Mises was among the three dozen scholars and journalists invited by F.A. Hayek to form the Mont Pelerin Society. The first meeting took place in Switzerland, April 1, 1947. The group subsequently gathered about every two years in various parts of the world. Mises was an active participant for more than a decade.
In 1947 Friedman was one of a select group of some 40 economists and writers invited by F. A. Hayek to attend the founding meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in Switzerland. Leonard Read, FEE’s founding president, Henry Hazlitt, and Ludwig von Mises also participated in that meeting to establish a worldwide network of classical-liberal scholars.
Another personal recollection. Once, at a Mont Pelerin Meeting, there was a panel discussion entitled "How to win a Nobel Prize in economics." The panelists were James Buchanan, George Stigler, and, of course, Milton Friedman. This was pretty fast company. I don't remember any of the specifics but I remember coming away from that event with the thought that "Milton Friedman is an intellectual tiger," so overwhelming was he in that discussion.
In 1947, under the leadership of F. A. Hayek, Mises joined in founding the Mont Pelerin Society, along with Wilhelm Röpke, Walter Eucken, Frank Knight, Milton Friedman, Frank D. Graham, Henry Hazlitt, Karl Popper, Michael Polanyi, and other eminent scholars. Named for its original meeting place in Switzerland, the Society is an international association of classical liberals and economic conservatives. In its early years, it was a focus of mutual moral support for adherents of a then-misunderstood and rather rare philosophy.
Hayek's new optimism is in sharp contrast to the mood in which the Mont Pelerin Society was founded in April, 1947. Hayek's Road to Serfdom, dedicated to "Socialists of all parties," had brought him to the forefront of post-World War II debates between collectivists and liberals ... Finally, in 1947, after publication of The Road to Serfdom, almost fifty scholars gathered at Mont Pelerin, above Vevey near Montreux on Lac Leman. In addition to Rueff, Rougier, Hayek, and Mises, the American participation was strong and included Felix Morley, F.A. Harper, Leonard Read, Henry Hazlitt, and Milton Friedman.
The Mont Pelerin Society's 50th Anniversary, by Greg Kaza, The Freeman, Jun 1997
Historical and anecdotal essay about the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society and its first meeting, including insights on post World War II Germany
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society, one of this century's most important groups of free-market intellectuals. The world was a quite different place when 36 free-market thinkers gathered in April 1947 at the Hotel Park at Mont Pelerin, near Vevey, Switzerland ... It was against this backdrop of events that Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek organized the first meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society ... The participants at the Society's first meeting were a diverse group, a mix of American libertarian economists and European free-market moderates.
In 1947, [Hayek] brought together many of the leading proponents in the world of classical liberalism and economic liberty for a conference at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, and he founded the Mont Pelerin Society.
Since Hutt had been involved in the formation of the Mont Pelerin Society (1947) and had attended the second and many other of its subsequent general meetings, it is surprising that he did not meet Mises until 1955. ... Hutt was an enthusiastic member of the Mont Pelerin Society and enjoyed its meetings immensely.
Friedman: What really got me started in policy ... was, in an indirect way, the Mont Pelerin Society. The first Mont Pelerin Society meeting was in 1947 in Switzerland ... The Mont Pelerin Society was people who were deeply concerned about issues. It was people with whom you shared a basic common belief, who at home were isolated. Its great contribution was that it provided a week when people like that could get together and open their hearts and minds and not have to worry about whether somebody was going to stick a knife in their back—especially for people in countries where they were isolated.
[Mises] was happy to be one of the founding members in 1947 of the Mont Pelerin Society, an international society of free market economists and scholars ... Mises played a leading part in the Mont Pelerin Society in early years, but after a while became disillusioned with its accelerating statism and mushy views on economic policy.
ISBN 9999827659: Paperback, Ludwig von Mises Institute, First edition, 1988
Rose and Milton Friedman on Mont Pelerin Society, by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman, 15 Oct 2002
The Friedmans are interviewed at the time of the 2002 Mont Pelerin meeting in London which they were unable to attend; Milton reminisces about the first meeting and discusses the changes in the political and economic environment since its founding