Mont Pelerin Society

Most of the 20th century proved a disaster for classical liberalism. By 1945, the cumulative result of the two world wars and the Great Depression was that most people, especially academics and other intellectuals, had abandoned their belief in the efficacy of limited government, the rule of law and open, competitive markets. They had arrived at the conclusion that governments had to actively intervene in private affairs, especially in the economy, to ensure public peace, prosperity, and harmony. The effect was the abandonment of classical liberalism, which had embraced the free unconstrained interaction of individuals in both social and economic affairs. Indeed, in the United States, by the early part of the 20th century, the word liberalism had come to denote something quite different from ...

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