Liberty Studies

We’re All Doomed, University Now Offering Program in “Liberty Studies”

According to Bruce Rushton at the Illinois Times, the University of Illinois Springfield will now be offering a program in “Liberty Studies.” While we would hope that the program would be hours of watching Braveheart, the program instead plans to be chock full of Ayn Rand’s awful, rambling, books. Seriously, have you read “Anthem”?

Even better, the guy who pushed for the program is funded by the Charles G. Koch foundation. As in the Charles Koch who bankrolled the Mitt Romney campaign. The same Charles Koch whose other group, Americans for Prosperity, rated Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin as an A+ during the election season.

Kline is also a senior fellow at the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Foundation.

Rushton reports:

Students won’t be able to major in the subject, but the decision by the campus senate last Friday to establish Liberty Studies as a minor was not without controversy. Critics questioned whether the program will be more an attempt at indoctrination than education, with writings from conservative icons such as Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman eclipsing other points of view.

Via the Illinois Times.

  • William Kline

    Thank you for your thoughtful piece on this new academic program. That you took the time to actually examine what will be offered should be refreshing to all your readers.

    Your equally deep criticisms of Rand equal those of Whittaker Chambers and should be respected equally.

    Your final quotation from the opposition rivals the journalistic greatness of Fox news coverage of Hillary Clinton. The other side had nothing worthy to say anyway.

    I am sincerely glad that this caught your attention and has been duly addressed.


    William Kline
    Associate Professor
    University of Illinois, Springfield

  • Raymond

    Indoctrination..As opposed to what? Oh you mean as opposed to what we do in our academic discipline? Now I love me some critical theory. That’s why I visit this website. But even I can’t deny that the way it gets taught in many of our institutions is pretty much as close to indoctrination as you can possibly get without naming it as such. I mean even the author of this article himself, does not in any way attempt to be critical, to look at both sides of the argument, but instead jumps to conclusions it is obvious he started with from the beginning. So let’s not talk about indoctrination in a website devoted to critical theory please, because we all know we are just as guilty as anyone else on that score.

  • Erik

    Dear Professor. It’s sad that you had to stoop to cynicism, though I can certainly see how it could be translated into salient points. I hope you’ll find some encouragement and example in Raymond’s comment below.

  • Kevin Currie-Knight

    By no means am I an expert in critical theory, but I do know enough to know that much work by libertarian theorists covered in the Liberty Studies minor has actually quite a bit in common with critical theory. Critical theory, as I understand it, is a way to deconstruct social structures and look at the power relations at work within them. Well, a good many libertarian theorists do exactly that (Anthony de Jasay and James Buchanan come most readily to mind). However one defines liberty, that comes with a responsibility to look at existing (and possible) institutions to see if they enhance, diminish, or are compatible at all with liberty.

    And, as I teach in the Liberty Studies minor as a postdoctoral fellow, I can absolutely attest that the minor is not simply a rehash of libertarian or conservative theory. Rather, we talk about many different ideas of what liberty is from ALL AROUND the political spectrum.

    Anyhow, here is an article that might be of interest showing the similarities between critical theory and the fairly libertarian-themed public choice economics movement.;jsessionid=041E46E99AC4A7CB4D24127C9E5321E3.journals?fromPage=online&aid=3277972

    Kevin Currie-Knight
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Liberal Studies
    University of Illinois, Springfield