Some 50 libertarians and anti-statist conservatives from 30 countries convened last month in the Turkish resort of Bodrum for the inaugural meeting of the Property and Freedom Society (PFS). The society is the initiative of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Distinguished Fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute (Auburn, Alabama).
Hans-Hermann Hoppe and others (such as Ralph Raico, Enrico Colombatto, Bertrand Lemennicier, etc.) are dissatisfied with the contemporary MPS because it has become too much of a mainstream organisation, shunning controversy, courting politicians and growing ever less radical. They want a society that stands athwart history, yelling Stop to the state.
In Hoppe’s words “The Property and Freedom Society stands for an uncompromising intellectual radicalism: for justly acquired private property, freedom of contract, freedom of association – which logically implies the right to not associate with, or to ‘discriminate against,’ anyone in one’s personal and business relations – and unconditional free trade. […] It is our emphatic belief that an approach embracing intransigent political radicalism is, in the long run, the surest path to our cherished goal of a regime of totally unfettered individual liberty and private property.”
According to Hoppe, who is the author of the bestselling Democracy: The God That Failed, democracy is not what matters, but liberty is. Hoppe claims that the previous situation in late 19th century Western Europe with its limited monarchies was greatly preferable to the unlimited democracies that are eating away our liberties today.
I was invited to speak at the first PFS conference, and so were some twenty others ranging from Dr. Sean Gabb of the British Libertarian Alliance, who spoke about the “conservative foundations of English freedom,” to Prof. Yuri Maltsev, a former Gorbachev advisor, who let us share in his “reminiscences of the fall of the evil empire.” The presentation subjects ranged from “religion and freedom,” with Prof. Attila Yayla stating that libertarians and religious conservatives are allies in the fight against the state, to “political correctness and property rights.”
Hans Hoppe announced that he wants the speeches to be even more controversial next year, and also to devote attention to alternative history not discussed in mainstream academia, such as the roots and causes of the First World War (Bodrum, appropriately, is the birth place of the ancient historian Herodotos). The second PFS meeting will again take place in Bodrum’s Karia Princess Hotel. It will be held in the last week of May 2007.
Meanwhile, Hans wants to rapidly increase the number of PFS members to 100, and to some 200 eventually. Those who are interested in becoming a PFS member can contact Hans-Hermann Hoppe at firstname.lastname@example.org