Lenin’s Stubborn Facts

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

stock exchange photoLenin famously said that facts are stubborn things, and they are, no matter how much his fans in academia try to hide them.  “Currently the public and academic view of markets is distorted,”  Paul Dragos Aligica of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University said at the Philadelphia Society’s annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina last weekend.

A fellowship of conservative intellectuals, the Philadelphia Society was formed in 1964 in the wake of the Goldwater defeat. “I grew up in Romania and have undertaken a study of the steps taken under communism,” Aligicia said. “There are two: Taking the markets out of the system; and 50-60 years later, trying to put the markets back in the system.”

“They try to eliminate entire disciplines from the curriculum that have anything to do with the market and replace them with elements of the communist curricula with enforcement officers at every institution. Obviously you can take this system of measures and look around.”

And one often needs only to look at the university next door. “Conservative students in liberal universities who argue with their professors learn how to play chess five moves out but liberal students know only one move,” Duke University professor Mike Munger said at the Charlotte meeting.

Yet and still, as Munger himself knows, the chess game can be a long one. “I ran as a libertarian candidate for governor of North Carolina in 2008 against Bev Perdue and Pat McCrory. I didn’t cut into their totals but it did give me the opportunity to participate in the gubernatorial debates. When the question of drought relief came up, Bev Purdue said, ‘when I shower, I have a bucket.’ If that’s what we’re looking at in economic education, why aren’t we doing better?”

Photo by Roger Bucher – rogerbucher.com

Photo by Roger Bucher – rogerbucher.com