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5th Adam Smith Forum Hits New Attendance High

3 November 2013

MOSCOW – The Research University – Higher School of Economics housed the fifth session of the Adam Smith Forum, organized by the Libertarian Party of Russia in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Moscow and the HSE. This time, caught in the ASF spotlight were the founding fathers of classical liberalism, the EU crisis, the challenges faced by the Scandinavian variety of capitalism, the current economic situation in Russia’s regions as well as the strategic policies to be employed by the libertarian movements in Russia, Belarus, the Netherlands and USA in the near term. 

Section 1, Moral Sentiments 

Vanim Novikov

Vadim Novikov, Senior Fellow at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, an expert on antitrust legislation, set the ball rolling by reminding the audience by what means Pierre Bayle, one of the founding fathers of classical liberalism, managed to give currency to his ideas.

Martin Ågerup

Martin Ågerup, M.A. in Economic History and CEO of CEPOS, has a first-hand experience of the Socialist threat in Scandinavia.

Pavel Usanov

Pavel Usanov, Ph.D., lecturer at the Higher School of Economics and the Director of the Hayek Institute (St. Petersburg) reminding the audience what, on ‘the Austrian theory’, is the origin of legislation and why spontaneous order is better than any kind of command-and-control.

Section two, The Wealth of Nations

Andrey Zaostrovtsev

Andrey Zaostrovtsev, economist, Senior Researcher at the Saint-Petersburg European University Center for Modernization Studies, Professor at the Higher School of Economics: “So far, the very idea of property rights has been constantly degrading in the post-Soviet Russia”

Barbara Kolm(on the left) and Martin Ågerup

Dr. Barbara Kolm, President of the Austrian Friedrich von Hayek Institute and Director of the Austrian Economics Center: "When it comes to welfare state crisis, the Eurozone is just a case in point teaching everyone the way things should not be done." 

Natalia Zubarevich

Natalia Zubarevich, Ph.D., Professor at the Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia, Geography Faculty, Moscow State University summed up the economic situation across Russia’s regions. 

Andrey Illarionov

Andrey Illarionov, President of the Institute for Economic Analysis and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, rounded the section up with a compelling case for there being an undisputable interconnection between economic freedom and political liberties.

From lef to right: Geoffrey Neale, Toine Manders,Yaroslav Romanchuk, Vera Kichanova, Andrey Goryanov (moderator)

This year’s Political Rhetoric section: Not exactly a ‘discussion’ as billed (the debaters turned out to be in complete agreement on almost every issue), but every bit as good. Geoffrey Neale, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of the US, Toine Manders, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of the Netherlands, Yaroslav Romanchuk, Head of the Mises Center (Belarus), former Belarus presidential candidate and the Russian journalist, author and politician Vera Kichanova sharing expertise and plotting a libertarian takeover of the globe.

The event brought together an audience of over 300, beating any one of the previous 5 ASF sessions taken severally. Over 100 followed the event live on the internet, and #smithforum was in the top spot of the Russian Twitter for several hours. Books on political science, economics and philosophy were on sale throughout the event, and some of the books were awarded to the winners in the categories ‘the most outside-the-box question’ and ‘the best Twitter-broadcaster’. 

The ASF organizers had been helped in various ways by many people and they wish to express their grateful appreciation to the moderators of the three ASF sections, the economist Valery Kizilov, the Moscow State University’s Professor of Economics Alexander Rakviashvili and the editor-in-chief of the www.Slon.ru website Andrey Goryanov and their amazed admiration for the interpreting skills of Anatoly Beresnevich, Eugene Grossman and Ekaterina Yudina. Our partners had all been wonderfully supportive, and that largely accounts for the attendance figures. Hat tip to the publishers ‘Alpina’ and ‘Socium’ and the ‘Hodasevich’ bookstore. Our special thanks to all those Libertarian Party members who had come a long way from all across Russia to attend the event.

To date, ASF has remained the biggest libertarian academic event in Russia. The 6th ASF session has been scheduled for autumn 2014. Be sure to check out the photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/108737825@N05/sets/72157637687646845/ The complete video recording will be coming soon on smithforum.ru

See also: About Libertairan party of Russia, About IV Adam Smith ForumLibertarian Party of Russia holds registration conventionVera Kichanova's interview by Washington PostVera Kichanova: Russia's Opposition Must Go Bold, Even In Starting Small