Much to our regret, the environment for our forthcoming conference in Liechtenstein has changed dramatically over the past few weeks. Due to the unending developments related to the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) rigorous restrictions have been imposed by most Asian, European and American governments to limit the exposure to and the unchecked spreading of the virus.
Hence, after intensive discussions and a thorough evaluation of all aspects and information currently on hand, the board of our ECAEF felt obliged to cancel our XVI. Gottfried v. Haberler Conference (May 28/29, 2020).
We sincerely apologize for any inconveniences this may cause and will certainly keep in touch to inform you about the date for the conference in 2021.
On the Morality of the State and the State of Political Morals
Über die Hybris der Staaten und den Zustand politischer Moral
Gottfried von Haberler Conference 2020 | The 16th International Gottfried v. Haberler Conference will take place on May 29, 2020 at University of Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Conference topic: On the Morality of the State and the State of Political Morals. The event will be organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation. The support of the University of Liechtenstein and multiple local and international sponsors is gratefully acknowledged.
By invitation only
Admission: General CHF 150/Euro 150; Students CHF 50/Euro 50
Academic Director: Kurt R. Leube Tel. +1 650 248 4955 and Tel. +43 676 942 8980 (krleube at gmail.com)
Administration: Rosmarie Lutziger Tel. +423 235 1570 (Rosmarie.Lutziger at lgt.com)
Media Matters: Karin Brigl Tel. +423 235 2344 (karin.brigl at lgt.com)
Conference Program: 09:00-09:30 Registration 09:30-09:45 Welcome and Opening by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
Session I: Behind a Democratic Veil: A new Centralism and a Downfall of Standards 09:45-10:00 Chair: Peter Fischer (CH) 10:00-10:30 “Democracy as Practiced is Flawed: The New Machiavellianism” – Pedro Schwarz (ES) 10:30-10:45 Discussion 10:45-11:15 Coffee break 11:15-11:45 “Der zunehmende Zentralismus in der Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftspolitik” – Lars P. Feld (D) 11:45-12:00 Discussion
12:00-13:30 Buffet Luncheon for all participants at conference site
Session II: On Autocratic Tendencies and the Erosion of Individual Freedom 13:30-13:45 Chair: Hardy Bouillon (D) 13:45-14:15 “Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms” – Terry L. Anderson (USA) 14:15-14:30 Discussion 14:30-15:00 “Über ein drohendes Bargeldverbot und die Folgen” – Thorsten Hens (CH) 15:00-15:15 Discussion 15:15-15:45 Coffee break
Session III: On Power, Corruption and the End of the Rule of Law 15:45-16:00 Chair: Karl-Peter Schwarz (AT) 16:00-16:30 “The Separation of Powers as Cornerstone of Liberty under Law Chandran” – Kukathas (AU) 16:30-16:45 Discussion 16:45-17:15 “Über den Rechtspositivismus und das Ende des Rechtsstaats” – Henrique Schneider (CH) 17:15-17:45 Discussion (general) 17:45-18:00 Farewell address by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
18:15-18:30 Transportation by bus to the cocktail reception at Vaduz Castle 18:30-19:45 Cocktail Reception at Vaduz Castle
The following paper by Henrique Schneider* was presented at the IV. ECAEF/CEPROM Conference on ‘Towards a Viable Alternative: Markets and Entrepreneurship to Protect the Environment’, 10 December 2019. Initiated by the European Center for Austrian Economics Foundation based in the Principality of Liechtenstein, this academic conference series is dedicated to theeminent late French scholar Jacques Rueff.The co-operation with CEPROM (Le Centre d’Etudes Prospectives pour Monaco) was highly appreciated.
Climate Change and Global Governance: A Dilemma
by Henrique Schneider
Margaret Thatcher, in her autobiography, analyzes the centralizing tendencies of the European Union (EU). According to her, these tendencies are not the outcomes of one, single, benevolent or malevolent central force; instead, they are the result of a web of alliances and entangled motives. Thatcher diagnoses that:
The Franco-German federalist project was wholeheartedly supported by a variety of different elements within the Community – by poorer southern countries who expected a substantial payoff in exchange for its accomplishment; by northern businesses which hoped to foist their own high costs on to the competitors; by socialists because of the scope it offered for state intervention; by Christian Democrats whose political tradition was firmly corporatist; and, of course by the Commission which saw itself as the nucleus of a supranational government. (Thatcher 1993, p. 728)
Thatcher is equally alert to the problems such alliances pose, especially when they claim to be vehicles of a “moral good” or an “ideal”: “I had by now heard about as much of the European ‘ideal’ as I could take … In the name of this ideal, waste, corruption, and abuse of power were reaching levels which no one … could have foreseen” (ibid., p. 727).
While Thatcher’s specific critique targets the EU, the dynamics she describes can easily also be applied to the global debate on climate change. Since its launch in 1992, the administrative corpus and the international agreements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been growing. With its subsidiary bodies, panels, agencies, mechanisms, instruments, protocols, decisions, and secretariats, its annual climate conventions attract around 20,000 people, who gladly jet around the planet – to such locations as Rio de Janeiro, Bali, Santiago de Chile, Marrakesh, or Cancún – to press for action against climate change. In these negotiations, climate action almost always entails central planning and global governance …
* Henrique Schneider is a professor of economics at the Nordkademie University of Applied Sciences in Elmshorn, Germany and chief economist of the Swiss Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Bern, Switzerland.
The following paper by Alex Kaiser* was presented at the IV. ECAEF/CEPROM Conference on ‘Towards a Viable Alternative: Markets and Entrepreneurship to Protect the Environment’, 10 December 2019. Initiated by the European Center for Austrian Economics Foundation based in the Principality of Liechtenstein, this academic conference series is dedicated to theeminent late French scholar Jacques Rueff.The co-operation with CEPROM (Le Centre d’Etudes Prospectives pour Monaco) was highly appreciated.
Saving Nature from Politics: Toward a Classical Liberal Approach to Effective Environmental Protection
by Alex Kaiser
One of the central premises of classical liberalism maintains that social evolution is principally driven by ideas. Especially in a democracy, substantial reforms in any sphere of economic and social activity can only be made by changing the public’s widely held ideas. Environmental policies are no exception to this rule. Private solutions to environmental problems will simply not have a fair chance of becoming institutionalized (on a large scale) if the mainstream narrative on environmentalism is based on an ideology that is hostile to the free market, and if a collective memory is preserved that is oblivious to the progress that market-based solutions have forged in preserving nature. Indeed, nature now needs to be saved from politics by utilizing a classical liberal approach that goes far beyond technical and scientific solutions. The core of this approach must rest on ethical arguments capable of gaining sufficient public acceptance such that any proposals offered by free market environmentalism may reign supreme over public opinion.
The politics of ideas
It is hardly an exaggeration to state that politicians follow the ideas that have become fashionable within large sectors of the population. Those ideas, in turn, are created and spread by a small minority of intellectuals and thinkers who are largely unknown by the people who adopt their views. As Friedrich Hayek put it, the practical man “merely chooses from among the possible orders that are offered him and finally accepts a political doctrine or set of principles elaborated and presented by others.” This condition implies that a democracy cannot work if a great majority of its voters do not share common principles that enable them to reach agreements in order to resolve conflicts and to find solutions to problems that affect society at large. If politics, as the saying goes, is the art of the possible, then it is necessarily an activity that is limited by the ideas that form public opinion. Therefore, it is only by changing those ideas that reforms in any sphere of economic and social activity can be made. According to Wayne Leighton and Edward Lopez’s model of institutional change, prevailing ideas are largely but not solely defined by intellectuals. Their work has an impact on artists, historians, journalists, and other professionals who, in turn, have influence on the climate of public opinion. In the end, the climate of opinion creates common beliefs about the roles of government and the market …
The following paper by Johan Norberg* was presented at the IV. ECAEF/CEPROM Conference on ‘Towards a Viable Alternative: Markets and Entrepreneurship to Protect the Environment’, 10 December 2019. Initiated by the European Center for Austrian Economics Foundation based in the Principality of Liechtenstein, this academic conference series is dedicated to theeminent late French scholar Jacques Rueff.The co-operation with CEPROM (Le Centre d’Etudes Prospectives pour Monaco) was highly appreciated.
Apocalypse Not: Despite Fluster and Fearmongering, there is Progress
by Johan Norberg
Often our environmental debate takes place in a historical vacuum. For obvious reasons we are obsessed with the problems at hand, because those are the ones that are most urgent right now. But since we always face several difficult problems that we do not yet have solutions to, we tend to exaggerate present problems and underestimate the problems of the past, that we solved, and subsequently forgot. This blinds us to humanity’s real impact on nature.
This paper has the ambition to set the record straight. To compare the fears of the 1960s and 1970s with the actual environmental record in ensuing decades. What we then find is that we have been much better at protecting both human survival and environmental health than anyone could have expected. By examining the curious incident of the environmental collapse that never took place, I hope that we can inform present choices and priorities.
Predictions of apocalypse
In the 1960s and 1970s, the western world experienced an environmental awakening. Richer and better educated citizens with better knowledge of serious environmental problems started to question the post-war growth model that found its expression when one US mayor said that “If you want this town to grow, it has got to stink”, 1 and a leading Swedish Social Democrat to say that we should “sacrifice the West Coast” – a particularly lovely area blessed with magnificent nature (where I happen to have a summer home) – for industrial exploitation. Why not? There was plenty of coast around the Mediterranean that we could travel to instead …
* Johan Norberg is a Swedish author and historian of ideas, devoted to promoting economic globalization and what he regards as classical liberal positions. He is arguably most known as the author of ‘In Defense of Global Capitalism’ (2001) and ‘Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future’ (2016). Since March 2007 he has been a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.