Ideas and the Internet: The Prospects for Liberty

Hart_DavidDr. David M. Hart, Director of Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty Project, will reflect on strategies for achieving a free society. His starting point will be Hayek's "The Intellectuals and Socialism" (1949) which has influenced two generations of classical liberals in their pursuit of changing what J.S. Mill called the "spirit of the age" (1831) from statism to liberty. He will discuss the roles played by organizations such as the Foundation for Economic Education (1946), the Mont Pelerin Society (1947), the Institute of Economic Affairs (1955), the Liberty Fund (1960), the Institute for Humane Studies (1961), the Centre for Independent Studies (1976), and the Cato Institute (1977). This is an appropriate time to be thinking about strategies for change as Liberty Fund is celebrating its 50th anniversary and its success (or not) in changing the climate of opinion through its conferences, book publishing, and internet activities needs to be evaluated. As director of the Online Library of Liberty website he is well placed to discuss the opportunities as well as the difficulties of using the internet to spread ideas about liberty to the four corners of the world.

Brief bio: David was born and raised in Sydney. He studied at Macquarie University, the University of Mainz (Germany), Stanford University, and King's College, Cambridge (where he received his PhD on early 19th century French classical liberal thought). He taught in the history department of the University of Adelaide for 15 years before taking up his current post at the Liberty Fund in Indianapolis, Indiana. He now calls the prairie home but occasionally pines for the beach (on which he lived in Adelaide). His connection with the CIS goes back to its founding in 1976 when he was sharing a house with Greg Lindsay and stuffed envelopes for him.