by Benjamin Marks, Economics.org.au editor-in-chief

The Reason

A number of senior and respected Australian businessmen, philanthropists and philosophers, including the founder of Kennards Self Storage, Neville Kennard, are fed up by the total lack of principled political debate in all of Australia’s universities, newspapers, industry groups and so-called think tanks. The exciting Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, which is based in Perth, is not one of those failures, as they are in Westralia, which should not count as part of the Australian nation.

Kennard’s one man army could have chosen the most impressive person in the world to bring out, and they did. Usually a Nobel Prize, if it is shared, is shared between two recipients. But in this case, the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize and the 2012 Nobel Economics Prize themselves had to share the one recipient: Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe. No decision has ever been more controversial, except, perhaps, for Hoppe’s blunt rejection of the brave and heroic decision to award him those prizes.

This will be Hoppe’s first trip to Australia. In November he will be 62 years old. Having studied the latest advances in econometrics, I plotted these data points on a graph, and the next time Hoppe will be in Australia, he will be 124. So we are lucky to get him at the peak of his powers. For many of you, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The Event

Hoppe will headline the already ridiculously star-studded cast of the Mises Seminar, which will take place on November 25-26, 2011, in Sydney. The other international speakers include: best-selling author and investor, Mark Tier, who is travelling from the Philippines; and mining celebrity, Ron Manners, who is travelling from Westralia. They are both living legends of libertarianism in Australia, despite spending much of their lives abroad.

Of course, the who’s who of resident Australian libertarians will be there.

The Location

The event will be at the Union, Universities and Schools Club (UUSC). The UUSC is Sydney’s most exclusive and prestigious venue, and the compulsory dress code reflects that: ties and blazers for men, and the equivalent for women; no denim, sand-shoes, etc.

The UUSC is located at 25 Bent Street, meaning that is also Sydney’s most central venue. It is more central than Centrepoint Tower. The UUSC is halfway between Centrepoint and Circular Quay, being two blocks from each. Other landmarks two blocks from the UUSC include the vermin-infested locales of the Royal Botanic Gardens, NSW State Parliament and the Reserve Bank Building at Martin Place. So it’s not perfect. But it could be worse; it could be closer.

Circular Quay, in case you don’t know, is the name of the inlet between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House; it is the hub of Sydney Harbour. Unlike Centrepoint, it is a major ferry terminal, and is also a major bus stop and train station.

I timed how long it takes to walk from the UUSC to the Opera House: 3 minutes, 5 seconds. This is good to know if anyone wants to attend the Bell Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar at the Playhouse Theatre of the Opera House, which is on at 7:30 on November 26.

I am writing this from the Opera House. Perhaps if I describe to you what I see, you will be more tempted to attend the Mises Seminar.

I am overlooking one of the great hidden attractions of Sydney: the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. There are parking bays throughout the tunnel, where tourists can park, walk around and get arrested for being outside of a car in the tunnel. The tunnel does not have windows, but most cars have windows fitted if you want to look out one.

Now I’m facing the opposite direction. Taronga Zoo is over there. The design of Taronga Zoo is unusual in that it has been built inside-out. So Sydney caters to those with eccentric tastes. In fact, now I’m standing in a zoo for vegetarians: the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Gardens are filled with fig trees, which reminds me of F.A. Harper, whose wife recalls, “He was fond of figs and justified planting several fig trees by pointing out that it was the only tree that could supply three of the basic human needs: food, clothing, and shelter.”1

And over there thrill-seekers can go on the notoriously popular hunting safari, through the concrete jungle, in a Sydney taxi.

The Price

At only $165 for the dinner and day seminar, this is the best price imaginable for such an event, and is made possible due to the amazing generosity of the speakers and the negotiation skills (annoyingness) of the organisers.

Some people have complained about the price. If university students can’t afford it, they should save more of their government handouts, and spend less of it on heavily-taxed beer. How about if I throw in over 50 weeks of Economics.org.au for free? We don’t have that many tickets remaining anyway. Whatever your budget, there are accommodation options nearby.

Sydney is the most expensive city in the world, but even so, this is a conference with a price tag so low that even people who have to pay their own way can afford it. It’s a pity that think tank staffers only go to events that their employer pays for.

Footnote
  1. Marguerite K. Harper’s reminiscence in vol. 1 of The Writings of F.A. Harper (Menlo, Calif.: Institute for Humane Studies, 1978), p. 10.
(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Acquiescence
  2. Why Sports Fans Should Be Libertarians
  3. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  4. Government Schools Teach Fascism Perfectly
  5. Deport Government to Solve Immigration Problem
  6. The Drugs Problem Problem
  7. Self-Defeating Campaigning
  8. Gittinomics: Economics for Gits
  9. Exclusive Ross Gittins Interview on The Happy Economist
  10. Population Puzzle Solved
  11. An Open Letter to the CIS
  12. Principled Foreign Policy Options: Reinvade or Shut Up and Get Out
  13. WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Political Corruption Exposed!
  14. Feedback please: Is this worth doing?
  15. CIS and IPA Defend State Schooling
  16. A Thorough Review Without Spoilers of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
  17. Dead Reckoning and Government: A Proposal for Electoral Reform
  18. Quadrant Defends State Schooling
  19. The MPS 2010 Consensus
  20. Slogans for Property Rights Funeral
  21. Government is Impossible: Introduction
  22. Government is Criminal: Part 1
  23. Exclusive John Howard Interview on Lazarus Rising
  24. Response to Senator Cory Bernardi and the IPA
  25. Earn $$$$$ by Justifying Government Against Anarchocapitalism: Survey
  26. Statism is Secrecy: WikiLeaks vs Economics.org.au
  27. One question the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, the Greens, the CIS, the IPA, Ross Gittins, Ross Garnaut, Ken Henry, Gerard Henderson, John Quiggin, Clive Hamilton, Tim Flannery, Catallaxy Files, Club Troppo, Larvatus Prodeo, Phillip Adams, Robert Manne, Michael Stutchbury, Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt and Dick Smith are scared to answer
  28. Libertarian Philanthropists Should Exploit Tax Evasion Convictions
  29. Ronald Kitching Obituary
  30. The Minarchist Case for Anarchism
  31. Libertarianism in a 300-word rant
  32. Economics.org.au in the news again
  33. Libertarianism In An Executive Summary
  34. The Banking Bubble Blow-by-Blow
  35. WARNING: Libertarianism Is NOT ...
  36. Would Anything Possibly Convince You that You Are Living Under a Protection Racket?
  37. An Open Letter to Dick Smith
  38. Economics.org.au at 42
  39. "My boyfriend calls himself a Marxist and votes Labor, what should I do?"
  40. "He says if I leave him due to politics, I should leave the country too."
  41. No Booboisie at Gülçin’s Galt’s Gulch
  42. "Hey, Mr Anarchocapitalist, show me a society without government"
  43. The Three Epoch-Making Events of the Modern Libertarian Movement
  44. Government is Criminal: Part 2 - Methodological Individualism
  45. Government is Criminal: Part 3 - Subjective Utility
  46. Government is Criminal: Part 4 - Praxeological Synonyms
  47. Government is in a State of Anarchy
  48. Limited Government is Absolute Government
  49. Why the 2012 double Nobel laureate is coming to Sydney
  50. Exclusive Oliver Marc Hartwich Interview on Hans-Hermann Hoppe
  51. A Critique of the Opening Two Sentences of the "About CIS" Page on The Centre for Independent Studies' Website, www.cis.org.au
  52. An invitation for ANDEV members to the Mises Seminar
  53. Sell the ABC to Rupert Murdoch: Lid Blown on ABC Funding Disgrace!
  54. www.inCISe.org.au, The Centre for Independent Studies new blog
  55. The Unconstitutionality of Government in Australia (demonstrated in under 300 words)
  56. The Best Libertarian Film Is ...
  57. Launch Southeast Asian Military Operations to Free Australian Drug Dealers and Consumers
  58. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  59. Hoppe's Inarticulate Australian Critics: The Hon Dr Peter Phelps, Dr Steven Kates and James Paterson
  60. Vice Magazine Westralian Secession Interview
  61. Sideshow to Dr Steven Kates' criticism of the Mises Seminar: Davidson vs Hoppe on Adam Smith
  62. The Best Australian Think Tank Is ...
  63. Announcing a new magazine to rival Time and The Economist
  64. The exciting new Australian Taxpayers' Alliance
  65. Neville Kennard Obituary
  66. Contrarian Conformism
  67. An invitation for Dick Smith, the IPA and other Walter Block fans to the 2nd Australian Mises Seminar
  68. Westralian mining legend Ron Manners of Mannkal belongs in The Property and Freedom Society
  69. What would Bert Kelly think of the Mises Seminar and Walter Block?
  70. Bad news about the Mises Seminar
  71. Gina Rinehart Fan Club gives big to Australian political education
  72. Sam Kennard wins North Sydney by-election by unanimous consent
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