May 16, 2017 Print

During the past four decades, the Cato Institute has established itself as the world’s premier libertarian policy think tank. In May, Cato celebrated its 40th anniversary with events that included remarks from such notable figures as Rand Paul, George Will, P. J. O'Rourke, Dave Barry, and Charles Murray. Articles, videos, and a detailed timeline on Cato’s website provide an overview of the valuable work Cato has produced over the years.

One of the highlights from Cato’s anniversary festivities was an hourlong conversation between David Boaz, Cato’s executive vice president; Ian Vasquez, director of Cato’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity; and Roger Pilon, founding director of Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies. The three discussed Cato's long history and accomplishments promoting liberty.

Cato’s 40th anniversary online forum includes commentary from several notable libertarian movement figures offering their perspectives on the “Future of the Free Society.” Contributors so far include Boaz, Leszek Balcerowicz of the Warsaw School of Economics, Tyler Cowen of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Brian Doherty of Reason, Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic, and Deirdre McCloskey of the University of Chicago.

“I believe that ideas have consequences,” Boaz wrote. “Free societies depend on an intellectual foundation — both a constitution that constrains power and a consensus both elite and popular around liberty, markets, pluralism, and tolerance. That foundation has to be nurtured, debated, and sustained. Which is why I work at the Cato Institute.”