Thursday, 2 March 2017

Quote(s) of the Day: It’s the universities, stupid


"The fact is that economics is downstream from politics, which is downstream from culture, which is downstream from the ideas taught in humanities departments in our universities. Many in the modern liberty movement don’t get this. They don’t understand that the most important battleground is not [in parliament] or in [local government] but in our universities—and not merely in economics departments, but also, and more fundamentally, in the humanities and liberal arts departments.
    "Over the past twenty years, advocates of free markets [around the world] have given tens of millions of dollars toward developing free-market economics programs. This has done much good, but in my view, we’ve reached a saturation point. Educating more people about free-market economics at this point will make relatively little difference. I submit that if every economics department in [the western world] were pro free-market, the radical left would still win crucial arguments about economic policy. This is because the left controls the heart and soul of our universities: the humanities departments. So long as students learn philosophy, history, literature, and the like from professors who are hostile to free markets, few will come to embrace free markets....
    "We don’t get to choose where the main battlefield in this war of ideas is. The main battlefield is in the humanities departments, and we ignore that at our peril. If we want to succeed in our mission to create a free society, we must go to that battlefield, and we must bring the right ideas. We need more philosophers, historians, political scientists, and literature scholars in the liberty movement—and we need them ASAP."

~ C. Bradley Thompson, ‘C. Bradley Thompson on Making Capitalism a Known Ideal

"I’m actually more worried about the threat from within [the former Provost of Stanford University says in remarks reprinted in the ‘Stanford News.’] Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country – not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there, we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness, that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for. It manifests itself in many ways: in the intellectual monocultures that have taken over certain disciplines; in the demands to disinvite speakers and outlaw groups whose views we find offensive; in constant calls for the university itself to take political stands. We decry certain news outlets as echo chambers, while we fail to notice the echo chamber we’ve built around ourselves."
~ former Stanford University Provost John Etchemendy on 'The Threat From Within'


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