The Mont Pelerin Society is meeting here in Salt Lake City. I was not able to figure out any way to crash the events and apparently they are not holding any meetings open to the public. In this regard, I can see how the society has earned its reputation as a simply being an elitist club of the ultra rich. I like the organization message of defending classical liberalism; however, by excluding the public the society misses the point that the classical liberal ideals are inclusive...not exclusive.
Of course, I can see the need for organizations to limit access so the society can discuss and deliberate. The organization has posted some excellent papers on their sight. As I like the message from the organization, I opened a forum thread on slsites.com to discuss classical liberalism.
The original goal of the Mont Pelerin Society was simply to preserve the legacy of freedom during the cold war when the governments of the east and west were growing in scope and power.
My personal opinion is that "classical liberalism" needs to move out of its defensive "conservative" position and start becoming "liberal" again. We have to break the spell that freedom is slavery. Our society as a whole has to learn that freedom is liberating.
One of the greatest dangers I see is that exclusive organizations like Mont Pelerin have the tendency to devolve into being nothing more than aplogists for the ultra rich. For that matter, the society needs to address the issue of the increasing gap being rich and poor. Classical liberalism can not simply turn its back on environmental degradation, but it must have open dialog about the challenges of preserving wilderness and resources. Most important, the dialog of classical liberalism has to break free from the halls of a few small think tanks and break into society at large.
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