A newly formed “research centre” of economic libertarian thought in Iceland is hoping to get partial funding from two well-known neo-conservative think tanks.
As reported, the Research Centre for Innovation and Growth (RNH), DV reports, will occupy the same building as The Public Book Society (Almenna bókafélagið), a group established in 1955 with the expressed purpose of “balancing out” what its founders saw as too leftist an influence at Mál og Menning. In fact, Jónas Sigurgeirsson – who is the managing director of the Public Book Society – is also the managing director of RNH.
RNH has a number of Iceland’s most economically libertarian conservatives on board, among them Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson (shown above), Independence Party managing director Jónmundur Guðmarsson and, as the chairman of the board, economist Ragnar Árnason. In addition, Friðbjörn Orri Ketilsson will be the webmaster for the group. Friðbjörn is also the webmaster for amx.is, a conservative website featuring mostly anonymously-written articles.
DV now reports that RNH is hoping to attract foreign investors, and are looking towards two groups in particular – the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank co-founded by Charles G. Koch, of the notorious Koch brothers fame. The Heritage Foundation is a powerful conservative think tank which rose to prominence during Reagan’s presidency, and has former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher for a patron.
RNH are making new secret about their intentions, as Jónas told reporters they were actively seeking funding from companies and individuals alike, these two groups among them. Hannes told reporters, “I would be proud to accept funding from them and would not be ashamed.”