Wednesday, 1 October 2008

A bit of history

In celebration of their 10th birthday, Google are allowing people to search a version of their index from January 2001. When sites go offline they eventually disappear from Google's search results, so the old index turns up some things that don't show up in today's index.

The roots of the Oxford Libertarian Society go back to 1983, when the Oxford Hayek Society was founded by a group of three students: Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson, Chandran Kukathas and Andrew Melnyk. Among the 2001 search results for oxford "hayek society" are two pages from Professor Gissurarson's University of Iceland website. The first, in English, is the best account I've found so far of the Society's founding:
This was a society devoted to a sympathetic, but scholarly, discussion of the problems and principles of classical liberalism, as expounded by John Locke, Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville and Lord Acton, and as revived in the latter half of the 20th century by Friedrich A. Hayek, Milton Friedman and Robert Nozick.

In the beginning, three of us were responsible for running the Hayek Society…Then, two friends joined us, Stephen Macedo…and Emilio Pacheco…Dr John Gray of Jesus College was our chief adviser and a source of much intellectual stimulus and encouragement. We had a wonderful time at the meetings and also at the dinners which usually followed, at Michel's Brasserie in Little Clarendon Street.
I also found this photo, which I think (my Icelandic's not so great) was taken at a Liberty Fund conference in Indianapolis in 1986.

From left to right: Gissurarson, Pachecho, Melnyk, Kukathas, Gray, Macedo.

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