No one better reflects the meaninglessness of contemporary politics
by Tobias Phibbs
The wannabe Thatcher
In 1947, in a Swiss ski resort in the village of Mont Pelerin, 39 economists and philosophers met. Among them were Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, Karl Popper and Ludwig von Mises. Over the next two decades the Mont Pelerin Society descended from the Swiss Plateau to the capital cities of major Western nations, bringing with them a belief in free markets and free trade. Founding members established an international network of think tanks — in the UK, the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Adam Smith Institute, and in the US the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, owe their existence in part to the activism of the Society.
The first 25 years of their existence were largely lonely, but when Margaret Thatcher emerged as their British flag-bearer, it was love at first sight. The stern Thatcher was reduced to meekness in Hayek’s presence, while he thought her “beautiful”.
Today, we learn that Liz Truss is positioning herself as the 21st Century Thatcher ahead of an expected Conservative leadership election. She’s right about the 21st Century part, not only because she is powered by “positive self-talk” and “upbeat pop” but also because she encapsulates the meaninglessness of contemporary politics. The conditions that gave…