The decision of the Nobel Committee to award to prize in literature to Mario Vargas Llosa reminded me of the 2005 Irving Kristol Award dinner of the American Enterprise Institute. From James Q. Wilson's presentation:
In his long and illustrious writing career, Vargas Llosa, the author of countless books and stories of the highest caliber, has moved from an early flirtation with communism to become an outspoken defender of human freedom. In one memorable sentence he wrote this: "prosperity or egalitarianism, you have to choose. I favor freedom--you never achieve real equality anyway; you simply sacrifice prosperity for an illusion."
Vargas Llosa is a liberal in the classic sense of the term. "Liberalism," he wrote, is a doctrine that is a "relatively simple and clear combination of basic principles," in particular a defense of "political and economic liberty." It teaches no political dogma other than to oppose "dictatorships and collectivist utopias." In his view, that opposition has begun to sweep Latin America even if the realization of democratic regimes is still incomplete.
One of his earliest writings was his doctoral thesis about the celebrated novelist, Gabriel Garcia Márquez. Later, after Garcia Márquez had endorsed Fidel Castro and Vargas Llosa had embraced freedom, the two men met in a Mexico City theater. An argument ensued, at the climax of which Vargas Llosa punched Garcia Márquez. This may be the only time in scholarly history in which a dissertation author has pummeled the subject of his thesis.
In 1990, Vargas Llosa ran unsuccessfully for president of Peru, being defeated by Alberto Fujimori. ...he wrote a book about his electoral experiences, suitably entitled A Fish in the Water.
In it he restates with great clarity his view that "economic freedom [is] inseparable from political freedom," and that is because the way out of the poverty that has gripped Peru lies not in redistributing the little wealth that exists but in creating more."
The former president of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar, followed up Mr. Wilson's remarks with some of his own: "consider it a blatant injustice that the Nobel Prize has not yet been awarded to Mario. Tonight we are offering him a small reparation for this. Nonetheless, I do hope that the jury in Stockholm will correct this historical oversight as soon as possible."