A “Moral Foundations of Capitalism” class has been axed at Stanford University – this despite its popularity among conservative and liberal students alike at the campus, reports the Stanford Review.
The seminar, similar to an elective, “primarily covered the arguments of economists such as Milton Friedman, of Protestant and Catholic religious defenders, and of Objectivists,” reported Devon Zuegel of the Review.
“There was a huge demand for the class … with students sitting on the floor outside, trying to get in,” said a junior, (who wishes to remain anonymous), who took the class in Winter 2012.
While there was steady interest for the course throughout the three years the class was
offered, the type of students that it attracted varied. According to McCaskey, the class was largely made up of competing conservative students in the first year, largely because two students—one Catholic and one Ayn Rand Objectivist—extensively promoted the course before registration. By the third year, however, the class was much more balanced. “The class attracted all sorts of students, right and left wing,” said the junior. “Some objectivists, a couple of libertarians, a member of Stanford Democrats, and even two Marxists.”
“The class was still disproportionately conservative compared to the campus demographic,” said McCaskey, “but it was a good mix with strong opinions. It was just as much an intellectual challenge to be conservative in the class as it was to be liberal.” ….
Despite strong demand, the class was discontinued after three years due to a restructuring of Stanford’s general education requirements (GERs). Beginning next year, one of the new requirements will be “Ethical Reasoning.”
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