Very nice reflections on the recent 2011 PFS Annual Meeting by attendee Benjamin Marks:
by Benjamin Marks, Economics.org.au editor-in-chief
and Mencken’s Conservatism author
In light of the furore arising from my appointment as editor-in-chief of the Australian economics organisation, Economics.org.au, it was decided that I travel as far away from Australia as I could until the media frenzy subsided. I was philosophical about this, figuring that having reached the pinnacle of the Australian economics profession with my appointment, the only challenges left for me were abroad anyway. So, in my new capacity as senior foreign correspondent for Economics.org.au, I attended the 6th Annual Property and Freedom Society (PFS) Conference in Bodrum, Turkey.
The significance of the conference being in Turkey cannot be understated. There was a gaudy Turkish election campaign of some sort playing out during the conference, and big clunky polluting vehicles were driven around the poorly-maintained and traffic-clogged streets with loud songs and speeches advertising the candidates. Imagine an ice cream van that went three times as fast, emitted noise almost as irritating as “Greensleeves” and offered something people had to be forced to fund. Pedestrians were treated like taxpayers. Despite not understanding the language that the election profundities were in — I was the only conference participant who was not at least bilingual —, they were still just as comprehensible to me as the confabulations of English-speaking politicians.
The PFS was founded by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, with the enthusiastic support of his wife Gülçin. It was set up to do what The Mont Pelerin Society was meant to: to be an international hub for genuine defenders of freedom. In actual fact, reminiscent of G.K. Chesterton’s nightmare The Man Who Was Thursday, the MPS is no “Supreme Anarchist Council,” but, “a lot of silly [undercover] policemen looking at each other.”1 Far from defending freedom, the MPS is more like Rabelais’s Crazy Council: