Arthur Seldon

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Dr Arthur Seldon CBE (29 May 1916 - 10 November 2005) was joint founder president, with Ralph Harris, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, where he directed academic affairs for 30 years. He studied at the London School of Economics where Arnold Plant and Lionel Robbins deepened his interest in classical liberalism and Friedrich Hayek introduced him to Austrian Economics. He was Arnold Plant's research assistant from 1937 to 1939. [1]

He received an honorary degree in 1999 from the University of Buckingham.

Seldon was Vice president of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS), whose past presidents include von Hayek and Milton Friedman. The American MPS includes Michael Novak (American Enterprise Institute). Seldon advises The Independent Institute, exposed as a business lobby in the New York Times when leaked documents showed that Microsoft secretly funded their research. ([1])

A member of The Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress (ICSEP) run by Daniel Doron (former Israeli intelligence and special consultant to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv). The US ICSEP board includes Irving Kristol, while the UK ICSEP has Stanley Kalms (former Conservative Party Treasurer), Lord Ralph Harris (IEA), Lord Young (BT, C & W, BAe) and Gerald Ronson, the convicted fraudster. (23)

With the Institute of Economic Affairs, he and Harris championed free market 'principles'. Seldon has further right-wing connections with the Adam Smith Institute and CPS. The AEI and IEA links go back to at least 1993 when the AEI's Michael Novak gave the IEA's Hayek Memorial Lecture. As recently as June 2000 the IEA hosted the 'Aims of Industry Free Enterprise Awards', with Aims' Nigel Mobbs.

Seldon was on the Advisory Council of the Libertarian Alliance, one of whose leaders described Demos as:

'a cavalry of Trojan horses within the citadel of leftism. The intellectual agenda is served up in a left wing manner, laced with left wing cliches and verbal gestures, but underneath all the agenda is very nearly identical to that of the Thatcherites.'([2])

He co-authored Socialism Explained with Brian Crozier for Margaret Thatcher as part of their anti-left project. He also edited the Goldsmith-funded Radical Society's Journal, founded by Stephen Haseler and Neville Sandelson who both took part in attacks against the (UK) Labour Party. ([3])

Haseler worked for the 'left-face' of the US National Strategy Information Centre (NSIC)one of the funders of Brian Crozier's Forum World Features, a CIA front. He co-authored Eurocommunism with the NSIC's Roy Godson, who 'helped Oliver North channel contributions from private donors to the contras by using the Heritage Foundation to launder the funds'. ([4]) Haseler has written for Demos.


  • Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe, The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (Harvard University Press, 2009) p.87