I’m in Sweden giving a couple of talks at Timbro, the free-market think-tank here. It’s the sort of place I visit very enviously. They have a couple of dozen staff, housed in modern, well-kept offices right in central Stockholm. When I arrived they were cleaning up from a book launch – two massive refrigerators groan with drink, and there’s a full kitchen for coffee-making, lunch preparation and so on. Plus a big library, sitting around areas, you name it.
A number of related organizations have rooms on the same floor, like Neo, a political/literary magazine like a sound version of Prospect or a glossy version of The Spectator. And there’s a group of former lefties who seem to be running a very robust campaign to remind people what communism was really like behind the iron curtain (and is like now in other parts of the world). And Timbro takes in students on an annual seminar programme, so the place has a young feel to it.
My evening seminar was a talk on Adam Smith to students, so Timbro was handing out copies of my monograph Adam Smith – A Primer. (‘Monograph’ makes it sound boring, but in fact it’s a right rivetting read: all you need to know about Adam Smith in 60 pages.) Timbro has also just translated P J O’Rourke’s new book On The Wealth of Nations into Swedish, which is another thing they have to be congratulated on. I don’t know how they translated the jokes, and I see they sensibly left some of the puns in English, but I’m glad to see this excellent book made available to Swedish speakers.