One of the highlights of the Mont Pelerin Society meetings that are ending in Istanbul tonight was a talk by Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation in South Africa. Some high points:

1. He led off by stating, “I was a Communist before I was a libertarian. People often say, ‘That’s a big shift.’ I answer, ‘Not really. I was in favor of the withering away of the state. I still am.”

2. “Ghana had the biggest positive shift of any country in the world, moving from unfree to free.”

3. “Africa shows that once you get rid of multi-culturalism, freedom becomes more probable.”

4. “The freest provinces of China are comparable to Hong Kong in their degree of economic freedom. The least free are comparable to Myanmar and Zimbabwe.” BTW, I asked Wolfgang Kasper at lunch if he agrees. He does.

5. “Switzerland is the only country in the world where politicians lobby the public. Why? Because voters can overturn any law and any administrative rule.”