25th Anniversary Dinner
Presentation of the Alexis de Tocqueville Awards
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Reception at 6:30
Dinner and Program at 7:30 p.m.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Map and Directions
On November 15, 2011, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Poland, Lech Wałęsa, Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, and Dr. Robert Higgs were honored at the Independent Institutes 25th Anniversary Gala Reception and Dinner. Each honoree received the Alexis de Tocqueville Award in recognition of their exceptional contributions to humanity in advancing the ideas and ideals of individual liberty, entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, civic virtue, and the rule of law.
Lech Wałęsathe former President of Poland, world-renowned Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and human rights activistwas the cofounder and leader of the Polish trade union Solidarity (Solidarnosc). He helped lead the popular movement to challenge the totalitarian grip of communism in Poland, which ultimately sparked uprisings across Eastern Europe and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition to a free-market economy. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the European Human Rights Prize, Eisenhower Medallion, Liberty Medal, Premio Galileo, Grand Cross of Legion of Honour, National Order of the Southern Cross, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic 1st Class, International Democracy Award, Knight with the Collar of the Order of Pius IX, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, and thirty honorary doctorates from universities around the world.
UPDATE: Under a new travel embargo by his doctors for health reasons, President Wałęsa will now accept his award and give an exclusive interview for Gala attendees by video.
The world-acclaimed novelist, politician, journalist, and essayist Mario Vargas Llosa is the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat." A Marxist in his youth, Mr. Vargas Llosa broke with socialism and embraced the ideas of Karl Popper, Isaiah Berlin and F. A. Hayek in supporting free and open societies, and subsequently ran for President of Peru in 1990, barely losing. A member of the Royal Spanish Academy, he is the author of 27 books and 9 plays. He has also received the National Book Critics Award (twice), Miguel de Cervantes Prize, Leopoldo Alas Prize, Premio Planeta, St. Louis Literary Award, Rómulo Gallegos Prize, Peruvian National Prize, Critics Annual Prize for Theatre, Prince of Asturias Prize, and Irving Kristol Award, and in 2010, he was decreed by King Juan Carlos I to become the 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa.
Having pioneered an entire new understanding of individual liberty, economic welfare and the nature of government power, the economist and historian Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Founding Editor of the quarterly The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy. Dr. Higgss many path-breaking books include Crisis and Leviathan (Oxford University Press); Depression, War, and Cold War (Oxford University Press); and Competition and Coercion (Cambridge University Press). He is the recipient of the Friedrich von Wieser Memorial Prize, Thomas Szasz Award, Lysander Spooner Award, and Gary Schlarbaum Award, and a festschrift in his honor, Government and the American Economy: A New History, has been published by the University of Chicago Press.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, PolandSir Richard C.N. Branson
Former Chairman, National Bank of Poland
Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group Ltd.;James M. Buchanan
Chair, The Elders Foundation
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences;Jimmy Carter
Distinguished Professor Emeritus,
George Mason University
39th President of the United States;Ronald H. Coase
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences;Robert A. Conquest, CMG, OBE
Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Economics,
University of Chicago Law School
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University;Freeman J. Dyson
Author, The Great Terror and The Harvest of Sorrow
Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study andLord Griffiths of Fforestfach
Princeton University; Templeton Prize Laureate
Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs InternationalCarly S. Fiorina
Former Head, Prime Ministers Policy Unit,
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,Robert W. Fogel
Hewlett-Packard Company; Chair, One Woman Initiative
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences;Vicente Fox Quesada
Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of
American Institutions, University of Chicago
Former President of Mexico;Andy A. Garcia
Former President, Coca Cola Mexico
Founder and President, CineSon Productions Inc.;James J. Heckman
Golden Globe Award Winner and Academy Award Nominee
Nobel Laureate in Economic SciencesLord Howe of Aberavon
Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor,
University of Chicago
Former Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary, andMart Laar
Leader of the House of Commons, United Kingdom
Minister of Defense and former Prime Minister,
Republic of Estonia
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense, Italian RepublicDaniel L. McFadden
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences;Ron Paul, M.D.
E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics,
University of California, Berkeley
Member, U. S. House of Representatives;Edmund S. Phelps
Chairman, House Financial Services Subcommittee on
Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences;Jorge Quiroga
McVickar Professor of Political Economy and Director,
Center on Capitalism and Society, Columbia University
Former President, Vice President, and Minister of Finance,Jehan Al Sadat
Republic of Bolivia
Former First Lady of EgyptThomas C. Schelling
Founder, Arab-African Womens League
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences;Thaddeus N. Taube
Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland
Honorary Consul, Republic of PolandCharles H. Townes
Chairman, Taube Philanthropies
President, Koret Foundation
Nobel Laureate in Physics; Templeton Prize Laureate;Desmond M. Tutu
University Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate;Kallistos Ware
Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town;
Former Chairman, of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Republic of South Africa
Metropolitan Archbishop of Diokleia,Lord Sir Arthur George Weidenfeld
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Great Britain;
Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford University
Founder and President,John C. Whitehead
Weidenfeld Institute for Strategic Dialogue;
Former Chairman, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
9th U.S. Deputy Secretary of StateElie Wiesel
Former Chairman, World Trade Center Memorial Foundation
Former Chairman, Harvard Board of Overseers
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate;
Founding Chairman, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Robert W. Alspaugh
Former Chief Executive OfficerWilliam K. Bowes, Jr.
Founding Partner, U.S. Venture PartnersJohn M. Bryan
Managing Partner, Bryan PartnersCharles Crocker III
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer,
Crocker Capital, Inc.
Timothy C. Draper
Founder and Managing Director,Robert W. Galvin
Draper Fisher Jurvetson Associates
Chairman Emeritus, Motorola, Inc.Philip Hudner
Of Counsel, Botto Law Group LLPJohn M. Templeton, Jr., M.D.
President and Chairman, John Templeton Foundation
Mary Cunningham Agee
Thomas E. Bailard
Emily J. G. Bonavia
Professor Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor Julio Harold Cole
Gilbert I. Collins
Edward J. and Nancy R. Connor
Honorable John D. Dingell
Charles R. Disque, Esq.
Susan Solinsky Duryea and Paul Duryea
Professor Price V. Fishback
Robert W. Garthwait, Sr.
Ann E. Garvey
John Hagel III, Esq.
Gregory J. Hampton, Esq.
Sally and Fred Harris
Suzanne L. Haynes and Robert Erving
Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC
Paul J. Hill
Kimberly and Ray Hines
William D. Hoagland
Amy Wender Hoch and John Hoch
Peter A. and Jeanine Howley
Harry P. Hutchens
Professor Michael C. Jensen
Charles B. Johnson
Eric L. Johnson
Franklin P. Johnson, Jr.
Michael L. and Lindy Keiser
Harold R. Kellman
Michael and Letitia Kim
John G. Lilienthal
Charles F. Lowrey
David and Catherine Markwell
Stephen T. McClellan
Mary K. McEachron, J.D.
Dr. Thomas Gale Moore
Dr. Colin Murdoch
Dr. Steven W. OHeron
William F. OKeeffe, Jr.
Zack and Joy Pearlman
George H. Pfau, Jr.
Dick and Renie Riemann
Dr. William J. Rutter
Dr. and Mrs. Gary G. Schlarbaum
Julie G. Sheppard
Hon. George P. and Charlotte M. Shultz
John B. and Lucretia T. Sias
Tracy Carney Skytt and Johan Skytt
Stephen A. and Dona H. Snow
Isabella P. Speakman
Lester D. Speyer
W. Dieter Tede
Professor David J. Teece
David J. and Mary L. G. Theroux
Roland E. and Leslie Shelton Tognazzini
Paul and Lorilei Tuttle
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
Roland D. and Giti Underhill
Lita Sam Vargas and Alan Gevins
Sally von Behren
Charles P. Waite
Peter C. Wendell
Diane B. Wilsey
Carla and Christopher Zuber
The Alexis de Tocqueville Award|
Born to aristocratic parents in 1805 shortly after the French Revolution, Alexis-Charles-Henri de Tocqueville was to become the greatest classical liberal thinker of the 19th century. At an early age, he distanced himself from the prejudices of his social standing and joined the struggle to establish a free society in France. His alarm at the dangers of political centralization, and his perception that tyranny could be rooted in the despotism of either an elite or a majority, led him to travel through America to observe a society that was both equalitarian and decentralized. In 1831, at the age of 26, Tocqueville spent nine months traveling the breadth of Jacksonian America to inquire into the future of French society, as revolutionary upheaval gave way to a radically decentralized civil society in America. The result was set forth in his masterful book, Democracy in America.
Long recognized as a brilliant observer, Tocqueville was also a profoundly original thinker. Out of his American experience emerged a book that has had a profound impact on the thinking of the world. So uncanny, in fact, are Tocqueville's insights into economic, social and political affairs, so accurate are his predictions, that he was not merely describing the American identity, but actually helping to create it. In his further books, travels, and cultural and political affairs, he continued his devotion to advancing a society of individual liberty, where all human endeavors and institutions were voluntary and indigenous, and hence directly accountable to those affected. In short, to Tocqueville, the health of a civil society rested upon on its being based on a natural law order of individual freedom to choose and act in all economic and social matters.
To honor the tradition of Tocqueville's pioneering work, the Independent Institute awards The Alexis de Tocqueville Award to outstanding individuals in recognition of their dedication and contributions which advance our knowledge and practice of the principles of individual liberty as the foundation of free, prosperous and humane societies.
More about The Alexis de Tocqueville Award
|Photos by Moanalani Jeffrey|