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Freedom to HarmThe Lasting Legacy of the Laissez Faire Revival$
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Thomas O. McGarity

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300141245

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300141245.001.0001

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The Intellectual and Financial Foundations

The Intellectual and Financial Foundations

(p.35) 4 The Intellectual and Financial Foundations
Freedom to Harm

Thomas O. McGarity

Yale University Press

This chapter explains the Wilderness Years during which small enclaves of free market thinkers at the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago, supported by one or two conservative foundations, formed the Mont Pelerin Society to advance a laissez faire minimalist intellectual agenda. During these wilderness years, the keepers of the laissez faire flame were tucked away in academia, where they quietly pored over the intellectual foundation for a resurgence of laissez faire minimalism. Anxious to expose as many Americans as possible to Hayek's ideas, the Volker Fund, a foundation established in 1944 to promote free-market economics, agreed in advance to pay Hayek's salary at any university in the United States that would add him to its faculty. The foundations discussed accomplished grants to support the work of laissez faire minimalist academics, launched the law and economics movement, and financed attacks on and alternatives to the liberal media.

Keywords:   Wilderness Years, free market thinkers, Mont Pelerin Society, laissez faire, Americans, liberal media

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